Where did I learn my feminism?

This is a repost. I first wrote this post back in 2007, when I was starting out in on-line feminism.

By way of Feministing’s Weekly Feminist Reader, an article in the Guardian where women talk about the books that first tuned them into feminism.

The stories are fascinating, especially because they cover books I have read myself. But it made me think about where I learned my feminism.

The answer – at my mother’s knee. My mother taught me that I must speak for myself, that I must be able to support myself, and preferably, have my own income, that I was an equal participant in this society, that I had the same rights and responsibilities as my brothers (I don’t have any sisters), that women must be independent. All this from a convent educated married woman who was still at that time a practicing Catholic. Mum also opened my eyes to the misogyny in the Catholic church. She could see that I thought that it was deeply unfair that my brothers could be altar servers, but I could not. Evidently even a 10-year old girl was too unclean to be allowed near the altar. She also taught me that it was possible, and desirable, to live with and love men, as independent, free standing adults.

So when I read books such as The Female Eunuch and Man Made Language, although some of the ideas were shocking, the whole thesis was not.

Thank you, Mum. I promise to pass the torch on to my daughters.

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One comment on “Where did I learn my feminism?

  1. Where better than at your Mother’s knee. I am sure that is where I learnt that girls can do anything

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