Originally posted on The Bookshelf of Emily J.:
My seven-year-old daughter has pictures of Betty Friedan taped to her bedroom walls. The pictures are on leftover handouts from the college English course I teach. My daughter hung them after I explained to her Betty Friedan’s importance. (In 1963, Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique, largely considered to be the start of second-wave feminism.) Before this discussion, my daughter had laughed at the picture. She explained that her friends had laughed at the picture and she had followed suit. These young girls mocked something that they do not understand, and this concerns me. Consequently, I want to make sure that both of my daughters inherit a legacy of feminism.
Yet it’s not the major figures or the dates of the feminist movement that matter when children are young. As I thought about how to educate my daughters on feminism, I decided that it’s more about how we raise our daughters to think and feel, rather than being able to recognize Betty Friedan’s picture. The following is what I want my daughters to know about feminism.