Latest posts by Angela D. Coleman (see all)
- Serena Williams:Woman Warrior - September 11, 2018
- How to Raise a Feminist Child - June 19, 2018
- Van Jones Interviews Oprah and Ava:What Sisterhood Activism Looks Like - March 12, 2018
As a parent, are you raising a feminist child? Chimananda Ngozi Adichie is learning how to raise a feminist child and teaching us at the same time. We could all learn with her, as explained in her book:
A HEALTHY FOUNDATION
Over the years, I facilitated Sisterhood Agenda workshops such as “How to Raise Healthy Girls.” In this workshop, we identified risk factors that act as hurdles to girls empowerment. These risk factors include:
- Trauma, such as sexual abuse and domestic violence
- Being left unattended for long periods of time
- Assuming adult responsibilities in their homes
- Lack of access to health and support services
Therefore, helping young people to become feminists also means helping them to understand and overcome any risk factors that may block their potential to self-actualize.
POLITICS OF IDENTITY
With a healthy foundation, we need to understand how labels can help us and hurt us. What is feminism? Who defines feminist thought?
Collectively, we all define feminism and exemplify its principles in our own individual ways. Individuality is the key. At Sisterhood Agenda, we call it self-definition.
When you teach your child that everyone is entitled to be who and what they want to be, to express their unique selves and to defend themselves against forces of oppression, you are raising a feminist child; one who is not simply aware of injustices against women and girls but one who is empowered to reach their full potential and help others reach theirs, too.
Gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation are all subject to labeling. Rather than listen to labels, which is a social construct, listen to spirit. Our spirits are naturally open-minded and appreciative of differences that make us unique.
Feminism and being feminist is about inclusion.
In the interview above, Chimananda Ngozi Adichie states:
“We have to call it what it is. It is about women being excluded… You can be feminine and feminist. It is what you want to be.”
She also notes that feminism is inherently inclusive: “Men need to be on board because we share the world. And men listen to other men.”
UNITY IN PURPOSE
Together, we are stronger. Sisterhood is the key. Chimananda says that she is very optimistic about how we can change the world.” I am, too!