Sixth Carnival of Feminist Parenting

Welcome to the sixth edition of the Carnival of Feminist Parenting! This month has been a spectacular one for articles and blog posts related to feminism and parenting, and I’ve really enjoyed putting this edition of the Carnival together. There’s a bit of a change in format from the previous carnivals – every time I’ve put it together it’s evolved a little bit. Eventually, when I find a format I like and that you the readers like, I’ll stick with it. 😉

Anyway, without further ado: November 2009′s Carnival of Feminist Parenting!

Children’s Rights

In Feminist Parenting: The Larger Picture, Elena Perez talks about the intersections between feminism and children’s rights, explaining why children’s rights should matter to feminists.

Ruth Moss has written an open letter to Kate Harding, a response to Harding’s child- and mother-blaming article about children screaming on aeroplanes.

Arwyn wrote a fabulous explanation of the personhood of children, explaining how when we say ‘people’ we often mean ‘adults’, and what it means to respect children as people.

Ruth Moss (again, she’s that good!) wrote a response to Arwyn’s post, adding a couple of paragraphs about encouraging age-appropriate behaviour.

Noble Savage has a great post titled On child hate and feminism, talking about her impressions of motherhood/children before she had children and why feminists should be in favour of children’s rights.


In a guest post at The F Word, Amy Clare talks about the most recent attacks on mums, with news of a study which appears to show children of paid-working mums are less healthy.

Blue Milk has a quote from a recent blog post by Carrie Fisher in which she (sarcastically) apologises for not meeting certain beauty standards post-children.

Deanna Dahlsad writes an excellent article about why we vilify single mothers, discussing the history of negativity towards them and how that is relevant today.


Renee Martin has a post titled Who Will Love The Black Child? talking about how Black children are taught to devalue their colour, and how parents might counter this.

Teaching and Learning

Kathleen Deveny writes In Praise Of Bossy Girls, explaining how girls who are assertive are often accused of bossiness, whereas the same accusation is not placed on their male peers.

Renee Martin talks about how We Teach Our Children Homophobia by passing on heterosexist notions to them, even unintentionally.

In If She’s Not Having Fun You Have To Stop, Thomas writes about an occasion where he witnessed a father teaching his two-year-old an important lesson.

Apu writes about raising liberal daughters, pondering the “gap between what parents expect and what young women would like to be and do”.

Stephanie writes a critique of the book ‘Rules for My Unborn Son’, pulling apart some of the more problematic ‘rules’ in the book.


Molly writes some more on breastfeeding, feminism, cost, and value, explaining why she believes breastfeeding is not an inherently antifeminist act, and is even a feminist act.

Gender Equality

Kate Townshend talks about Gender in the playground, the ways in which children learn the gender divide and particularly how girls learn that their appearance is the most important thing.

Renee Martin writes Don’t Let A Girl Beat You, talking about how boys are encouraged into sport while girls are discouraged from competing, and the messages this sends to both.

In To tutu or not to tutu? Misty writes an intelligent, thoughtful response to a woman who is concerned by her son’s propensity towards traditionally ‘female’ clothing and toys.


In her post titled Fuck you Disney princesses, Jenn talks about the effects the Disney princesses had on her as a developing girl.

Rosepixie gives us an excellent critique of Dora the Explorer’s massive transformation from brave explorer to “pink, fashionable and girly”.

Catherine Porter writes about raising brave princesses in a Disneyfied world, negotiating the minefield that is the influence of Disney princesses upon our daughters.

Pregnancy & Childbirth

Shira Happlin has a lot to say about The Loss of Childbirth to Male Physicians. It’s a very old article, but much that she says is still very true and relevant today.

In Birth & Babies, Jennifer Fink uses the world’s first live birth as a springboard to talk about lack of belief in ourselves and adequate support during labour.

Reproductive Freedom

Sandy Maple writes about the insurance company who told a woman to get sterilised or they wouldn’t cover her, simply because she had had a previous Caesarean and for her to have another wouldn’t be profitable for them.


In the Hot Moms Club post Motherhood and Feminism, the writer talks about how parenthood has changed her feminism, and the realisation that she can be – and is – both a stay-at-home mother and a feminist.

In Feminism, fathers and valuing parenthood, PhDinParenting discusses the need for society to recognise fathers as parents in the same way it does mothers, and how this would benefit all.

Laurie writes that she is a Wanna-be Selfish Mom, talking about the ‘Mummy Guilt’ she feels when she does things for herself, and promising herself a little selfishness.

Judith Warner writes about The Choice Myth, positing that for many women, the choice between being a ‘working mum’ and a ‘stay at home mum’ is not really a choice at all.

And finally, Nikki gives us a list of 10 things you probably shouldn’t say to a teenage mum. It’s concerning that anyone might need to be told not to say these things, but I heard almost all of them myself!

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Feminist Parenting. The next edition will be here at Mothers For Women’s Lib as usual, on Sunday 13th December. Get your submissions for next month’s Carnival in by Sunday 6th December using our carnival submission form. You can also submit articles by sending your link as a reply or DM on Twitter to @m4wl.

If you’d like to read the previous editions of the Carnival of Feminist Parenting, they can be found here – 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th – enjoy!

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