Eleventh Carnival of Feminist Parenting

Welcome to the eleventh edition of the newly two-monthly Carnival of Feminist Parenting. It looks like my decision to make it two-monthly – and the hard work of readers plugging it in their own blogs – has paid off, because I’ve had lots of submissions for this edition!

If you submitted an article or blog post which isn’t included in today’s carnival (and which wasn’t a spam submission!) please let me know as I think some of the submissions got lost when I switched the carnival from monthly to two-monthly.

So here it is. Many, many thanks to Earwicga for her help in putting this together, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you! The first half was compiled by me (Anji) and the second half by Earwicga. I hope you enjoy it!

Pregnancy and Childbirth

  • The Unnecesarean explains Why VBACs Should Be the Norm, Not the Deviant Care Pattern,detailing her horrible experiences with unnecessary caesareans and her attempts to have VBACs which were foiled by anti-VBAC medical professionals.
  • Fertile Feminism has a post titled Selling out on the postnatal ward, about how advertising has permeated those first precious few moments with one’s baby, in particular the problematic allowing of ‘Bounty ladies’ to roam the postnatal ward peddling their wares and coercing women to give up personal details.
  • The Unnecesarean talks about Good Little Girls, in a post explaining why so many women don’t fight for their birthing rights, because we have been taught from a very young age not to make a fuss or be a ‘troublemaker’.
  • Amy Gates writes For Better or For Worse? Childbirth in Popular Culture, about the problematic way in which childbirth is portrayed in the media, and how that portrayal affects women’s beliefs and expectations surrounding it.
  • In Secret Oppression: Epidurals, Mamapoekie talks about epidurals as a feminist issue and explaining why she thinks that in most cases epidurals are unnecessary and presenting her case for an epidural-free birth experience.
  • Courtroom Mama asks Why is VBAC a vital option? Because anything less is anti-woman, explaining that “VBAC bans” in hospitals are an example of society having no trust in women to make the right decisions regarding their own bodies.
  • Molly Westerman writes Manly Men and Blundering Dads: On Men’s Guides to Childbirth, about the stereotypes that plague new fathers, specifically the ones presented in books aimed at men whose partners are pregnant or who have young babies.
  • In When fighting rape culture means changing birth culture, Spilt Milk talks about how society creates a culture where birth rape is acceptable.


  • In It was either the Deech, or Jan Moir, Renegade Parent takes apart an anti-breastfeeding article in the Daily Mail by the ever-problematic Jan Moir with aplomb, discussing why it is in business owners’ best interest to ‘allow’ breastfeeding on their premises, among other things.
  • Gina Crosley-Corcoran tells us that When It Comes to Breastfeeding, We Can’t Handle The Truth, explaining that, as breastfeeding saves lives, it should be advertised in the same way car seats are advertised, and reminding us that breastfeeding advocacy is not intended to bash those who don’t choose it.
  • An “Other” Mother writes Pincer Grasp – Dealing with Anger as a Feminist, about how she copes with the painful side of breastfeeding and how being a feminist shapes her anger at those experiences.
  • Motherhood Denied has a post about Toddler breastfeeding: Good for mother and child, but society says no, talking about full-term breastfeeding and the negative comments she receives for doing so.

Sexualisation and Rape Culture

In Boys, Babes and Balls: Hooters mascots for U16 boys footy, Melinda Tankard Reist writes about how Hooters have joined forces with an under-16s football club and discussing how this may be teaching boys/young men that women are nothing but their bodies.

News and Media

  • PhD in Parenting writes All I think about is princesses… where she sets a challenge for Disney, discussing how Disney has ‘rebranded Rapunzel to appeal to boys’ and asking them to rethink their strategies.
  • Veronica has a post titled Women’s History Month: Why I love Ariel & Belle, discussing the least ‘princessy’ of the Disney princesses.
  • In TV for feminist kids, An “Other” Mother talks about the pros and cons of children’s television and the programmes she has approved for her daughter.
  • Elena Perez writes a review of the film How to Train Your Dragon from a feminist perspective, and it’s positive! I saw this film myself (twice!) and I have to say I agree with her on pretty much every point and would be happy to show this film to my young son.
  • Pissweak Parent writes about The other taboo topic and marketing mania, a discussion about parenting as a taboo topic of conversation and talking about the problem of the advertising aimed at parents.

Reproductive Rights

In Woman as womb, Julie discusses the reduction of women’s worth and interestingness to nothing but their reproductive capability and how especially when pregnant, people seem interested in nothing more than what’s in their wombs.

Work Choices

  • Jaelithe writes about the pain of children and mothers who spend days apart due to paid work, and applies some wonderful logic to this situation in To My Friends Who Work Outside the Home.
  • Society’s supposed opposite option to full time working parent(s) is discussed by Maman a Droit in Staying At Home: A Valid Choice, in which she discusses how women who are able to choose to bring up their children full-time are dismissed by society and shamefully by other women.
  • In When mothering isn’t work? Pissweak Parent outlines the bizarre notion that taking care of your own child isn’t work and it only becomes work when a third-party does the job with the requisite money transfer.
  • Spilt Milk takes a subject that I have always wondered about – how parents (in this case mothers) leave young children to go on reality shows – and teases out some issues. In Dishing it out the decision of a contestant, Sarah, to leave a show and the consequent ‘vicious criticism’ is shown rightly to be utterly sexist, hypocritical and unfair.


Only one entry in this section but it is a pure delight to read so heartfelt thanks to the submitter/Anji who found this article for the Carnival. Christina Campbell in Single Mothers Trashed For Not “Choosing” to Marry takes a Daily Mail article, which par for the course has great scope for criticism. Campbell decodes the language used surrounding welfare for single parents and other forms of welfare which have different names, such as ‘tax breaks’. Lots of good links too!

Teaching and Education

Lynne Marie Wanamaker shows how a playground conflict provides a teaching moment for self protection and assertiveness skills in the interesting and inspiring Self Defense Snap Shot: Queen of the Kick-ball Crew.

Gender and Stereotyping

  • Have a think about what “Mom Idol” could mean – how wonderful it could be – and then click into this post written by Saraline Grenier. A clever little post that I just know will keep me thinking throughout this week.
  • In Reconciling the primacy of motherhood with the rejection of binary gender, Elizabeth Willmott Harrop tries to understand her dilemma between gender and biological sex and the consequent ‘fundamental behavioural differences’ in the context of breast feeding and biological ‘programming’.
  • Pissweak Parent makes another appearance this Carnival with The ins and outs of gender politics, with a four year old in which a tantrum opens an opportunity to explain to a four year old (obviously) a version of feminism’s views/theories on clothing and gender.
  • Melissa McEwan’s I Write Letters is a letter to parents to reject the reductive terms ‘she’s all girl’ or ‘he’s all boy’ and is partially successful, actually very successful in explaining this. But, to my eyes this post is also a great big fail when you consider transgender and gender dysphoric children, which I don’t think this post, or McEwan does. You may disagree but go read it with the knowledge that these children exist. They exist everywhere and you will know them. But they may not know how to explain it to themselves, let alone you. I was particularly struck with a fact that Natacha Kennedy blogged – trans children do not learn any language surrounding transgenderism for an average of seven and a half years after their initial realisation of being trans.

Race and Racism

  • strong>Renee Martin provides the actual opposite of People magazine in Sandra Bullock and her Secret Baby. Stirring and strong!
  • A follow up post on the same blog, Motherhood and Homelessness, exposes the realities of motherhood and reproductive choices for young poor women who are statistically more likely to be women of colour. Renee’s words are elequently backed up by Katerina Cizek’s short film Unexpected which introduced me to the term ‘Only Parent’ describing my life way more than the term ‘Single Parent’!

Mother’s Rights

Ghost in the Dwelling written by Dw3t-Hthr is a personal post describing how it feels to have other people’s ideas of the label of ‘Mother’ forced onto the author, and the anger it can engender in particular to her own mother where the experience is very different and isn’t seem to be at all helpful.

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Feminist Parenting. The next edition will be in two months’ time on Sunday 11th July 2010. Submit your blog article (or one by someone else!) to the next edition using our carnival submission form or in an @ reply on Twitter to @m4wl. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our carnival home page.

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