Somewhere in my social media feed a link titled 18 Ways to Make Sure Your Child’s a Feministcaught my eye. Of course I clicked. And found myself nodding in agreement at the suggestions (Lead by example, challenge stereotypes, watch your language, etc) most of which are things I’m doing or trying to do. The one that stood out to me, though, was number 15:
“15. Teach them about inspiring women who’ve changed the world. It wouldn’t be the same without Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, or Anne Frank, now would it?”
Now there are a lot of great biographies of women who have changed the world. If you’re looking for a particular woman’s story, I’d be happy to recommend one to you. But if you just want to share the idea that there are a lot of different women who have changed the world in a lot of different ways, I recommend Rad American Women A-Z. Not only does this book share one page profiles of women like education activist Jovita Idar, artist Maya Lin, and journalist Nellie Bly among many others, but it also encourages young people to be rad in their own way. What more could you ask for?
For me, the book was a mix of names and accomplishments I knew with more than a few that were new to me. As I turned the pages, I found myself happily surprised by the inclusion of musicians and artists along with activists and scientists. Soon, my seven-year-old daughter was peeking over my shoulder. The bright colors and bold text grabbed her curiosity, and she started asking questions about the women on the pages. Almost none of the names were familiar to her.
It occurred to me then that I need to be more intentional in making sure she sees what women have done (and are doing) to make a difference in our world. This book is exactly what I need to get started.