Early feminist education

January 17, 2020 • 5:24 pm

In this world of patriarchy, where structural sexism is ubiquitous, it’s important to educate future women in the nature of their oppression. Here I am teaching little Selma, granddaughter of my friends, about the great women of history, emphasizing that women can be whatever they want.

I also taught her about penguins, which seemed to fascinate her. After all, it’s never too early to learn about biology:

You go, girl!

(Photos by Tim Groves)

15 thoughts on “Early feminist education

  1. Jerry it is wonderful you are enjoying time with this precious little person and instilling the seeds of understanding what her future might be in this world and to enjoy what is precious on our planet.

    I am presently working at developing a relationship with my 7-year old great-granddaughter who recently became available to me. Times have changed so, so much it is challenging.

  2. Like old times: fifty years of relaxing and good conversation with betsy and tim….
    And new times with selma. Welcome aboard weit, little selma.

  3. I remember in the early 70s trying to teach feminism to my mother! I gave her a copy of Germain Greer’s ‘Female Eunoch’. She thought it was all a bit silly, despite the fact her father, a doctor, had forbidden her attending medical school on the grounds that female doctors were treated dreadfully in the profession(by males, of course). Instead she studied ‘Home Science’ at university, becoming a fantastic, if reluctant, family cook!

  4. Right on! I haven’t spent time with a toddler since my niece 13 years ago or so. Do I miss it? Not really, but it’s fun spending time with wee humans.

    There are many, many books in that series, all focused on empowering girls at a young age. There’s “Little Scientist”, “Little Artist”, “Little Traveler” and many more. Not so cool is “This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer”…unfortunately, this volume shows a Middle-Eastern girl in a hijab high-fiving a black girl…I don’t think that’s a way to encourage “girls can do anything”. They should have shown a little girl throwing her hijab into the garbage can, now there’s a positive message…just sayin’. I’m afraid the hijab is here to stay though.

  5. “Queen Elizabeth I reigned and proved girls are fearless.”

    The dissonance between the image and the language is interesting. ‘reigned’, ‘proved’, and ‘fearless’ are pretty grown-up words and concepts. Sophisticated. The image is rather basic, simplified. Perhaps juvenile.

    My guess would be that the little girl likes the pretty image, probably recognised it as a face. And had bugger all understanding of, or interest in, the text.

    1. The fundermental idea is to give young girls THE idea of being equal and able. All different because of cultural restraints but if the motivation is set in place, replicated and spread, taught over generations it has the a chance of building upon itself.
      I prefer to be optimistic.

    2. Brenda the First as a feminist icon is a bit on the hilarious side too. “I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king”

      Tudor era transplantation … without either anaesthesia or antiseptic technique. Ohhh, that’s gotta smart!

  6. As a substitute teacher in a small school district, where I normally taught middle and high school, I occasionally had the opportunity to get into some early elementary classrooms. It was always enjoyable because the kids are cute and fascinated by the simplest things. They also puke in the halls and crap their pants on occasion.

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