Thought Feminism And Attachment Parenting Didn’t Mix? Guess Again

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I’m a feminist. A proud, active feminist who supports causes of gender equality, tries to integrate gender neutral parenting and generally wants to raise a strong, independent little girl.

I’m always amazed about the general perception of feminism and those who claim its mantle. The idea that feminists hate men is an oldie buy goody. And yet, I still manage to love and adore a very amazing man. Then there’s the belief that feminists want to see women run everything. It’s also misguided, because really we just want women to have the same opportunities that men have. The prime example was probably the fact that feminists never would’ve voted for Sarah Palin just because she has a vagina. There are other tired stereotypes about wearing combat boots and forgoing razors that simply don’t merit addressing.

But at it’s very core, a lot of the unwarranted criticism about feminism is that it condemns a lot of the fundamental “female qualities” that many women are happy to embrace. I suppose that’s why those who don’t identify as feminists were quick to assume that women who care about gender equality wouldn’t have the time or energy for something like attachment parenting.

And that’s why it’s even nicer to prove those assumptions wrong.

A new study shows that women who identified as feminists were more likely to be in favor of child carrying, co-sleeping and extended breastfeeding than their non-feminist counter-parts. But even more interesting was the fact that non-feminists assumed their gender-bias-busting peers wouldn’t think these issues were important.

Now personally, I’m not exactly an attachment parent. Slings have never been my favorite. I would be much too terrified to co-sleep. Extended breastfeeding is really the only issue that I would identify with, although I didn’t get the chance to do so with my first child.

That being said, my aversion to attachment parents has absolutely nothing to do with feminist principles. It’s not because I have other issues to worry about. Believe it or not, I’m capable about caring about pay disparity and gender stereotypes all while raising a child.

I think this study is important because it shows that feminists are just as capable of being dedicated mothers as anyone else. Wanting men and women to be seen as equal doesn’t mean that we don’t want to be involved parents. In fact, I think more often than not, it means that we want both parents to take part in childrearing. We want fathers and mothers to have an important part in the process, just like we want us to have equal opportunities in the office.

Attachment parenting normally takes two engaged and active parents. Honestly, it sounds like a pretty good fit for lots of feminist moms. And hopefully, studies like this can continue to dispel the myths surrounding feminism and what it means for motherhood and women in general.