This is a thoughtful and very flattering response to my 10 questions about your feminist parenthood from Maple Leaf Mamma. The writer is Michelle, a Canadian woman married to an Italian and living in Italy raising their son together. (I do like reading blogs by people living in places I would like to visit).
Michelle’s feminism really began to emerge after becoming a mother and was kicked along by meeting Prof Andrea O’Reilly and discovering my blog – hooray! How much do I adore reading about Michelle’s journey into feminism? So much. I have long thought motherhood will be a radicalizing experience for many feminists.
3. How has your feminism changed over time? What is the impact of motherhood on your feminism?
As mentioned above, my feminism has been bubbling below my surface for years. It has long informed how I live and the decisions I make, yet I’ve been a bit of a coward about actually calling myself a feminist. One of my greatest weaknesses, one of the things I like least about myself, is how much I care what others think of me. And let’s face it, it’s still not very cool or glamourous to call yourself a feminist. I credit motherhood as the catalyst for helping me finally make significant steps to get over that.
I still feel like a baby feminist. The most radical thing I’ve done is write this blog. I’ve never taken a women’s or gender studies class so I’m still learning how to use all the proper terms like cisgender, intersectionality, even patriarchy. I sometimes feel intimidated by the women’s studies majors and would like to see and interact with more Caitlin-Moran-style non-academic feminists. Professionally I’ve been most fulfilled acting as a kind of translator/interpreter, whether literally from one language to another or figuratively by using accessible language to explain difficult concepts to wider audiences (which, interestingly, is a very non-Italian thing to do). I know a lot of intellectual/academic purists accuse fence-straddlers like me of dumbing down their subjects, but the democratic idealist in me thinks everyone deserves some kind of access to beautiful and/or important ideas.
On her blog Michelle regularly turns a feminist lens towards life and current affairs in Italy, which makes for wonderfully interesting reading.
(You can find all the many other responses in this series here. If you’d like to respond to these questions yourself you can either email me your answers and I’ll put them on blue milk as a guest post or you can post them elsewhere and let me know and I’ll link to them).