Debate Magazine

What Advice Would You Give a Budding Feminist (who Just Happens to Have an Anti-feminist Stepmom)?

Posted on the 22 May 2011 by Danielleb

What advice would you give a budding feminist (who just happens to have an anti-feminist stepmom)?

It can be extremely frustrating when
people just don't *get* what
we're about.

There's no escaping it: at some point or another every feminist is going to have to deal with people who aren't exactly supportive of our cause. 
But what happens when these people are our best friends, our neighbors, or our very own parents?

The question below was submitted to me by Serena, a relatively new feminist who's experiencing some friction with her stepmom. Serena gave me permission to post this question on Experimentations in hopes of hearing different perspectives.


What would YOU do in Serena's situation?
Hello! My name is Serena. I have been reading your blog off and on for a while now and well, I finally feel comfortable asking you something. 
Here goes: I am really new to feminism and . . . enjoy learning everything I can. My problem is my parents, my stepmother in particular. Feminists are the enemy and there is no changing her mind, which is fine, but I don't like being backed into a corner. 
Recently, I was [arguing] that pregnancy was unfair and that men got the lucky end of the reproductive stick. Well anyway, she starts talking about men's rights and it's all the feminists fault for taking away men's parental rights. Her comments really took me by surprise and I had nothing to [say back] . . . so I was wondering if you had any material that I should read so I can have an intelligible debate with her. Now that I think about it, every time I say something good about feminism, she comes back with "they took men's rights away from them." 
I hope I made sense. Thank you for any help that you give me, I really do appreciate it.

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