12 May Taking Up Space – Fabulous Global Feminists
Welcome to my Instagram series ‘Taking Up Space’ featuring fab feminists from all around the world! (Drop me a message me if you’d like to be featured!) This week we have the fantastic Hannah & Kelty from Upbringing .
These fabulous ladies are podcasters, coaches and speakers, who also just happen to be twins, mothers, and feminists. They are absolute champions of ‘parenting for sanity & social change’ and have a lot to say about feminism, men hating and smashing the patriarchy (which is why I couldn’t fit their interview into just an insta micro blog this week!)
Go ahead Hannah & Kelty… Take up some space
1. Are you Feminists?
Hell YES, we are…
2. Do You Hate Men?
Hell NO. They’ve been conditioned just as much as we have by our binary, conformist society and in our opinion, hating them is unproductive. Feminism is about raising everyone’s awareness, intention and approach. It’s about humans supporting humans!
Our husbands are great examples of that. Who knows if they identify as feminists, per se, but they are human, and luckily value and practice the same things we ourselves preach. Though men are a huge part of the problem, we’ve gotta welcome them to participate as part of the solution.
That doesn’t mean giving assholes a pass or feeling the responsibility to educate them. We try to remember that they were little boys once, too. If they’re ready to grow, that’s where we can all begin again. Side by side. As Liz Plank wrote in For The Love of Men, “the biggest lie is that the fight to address male suffering is separate or at odds with the battle to liberate women. We all experience gender. We are all limited by oppressive gender stereotypes.”
3. When Did You Start Taking Up Space and Calling Yourselves Feminists?
When we realized we were mothers to four kids under four. We struggled with respectful discipline big-time with our toddlers… They had feelings! They had opinions! They had rights! They could throw shit and run away from us! Around that time we happened to be reading a few books from the library on feminism and social justice and it just clicked. The traditional discipline methods we were struggling with weren’t just hierarchical, but downright patriarchal. The more we read and saw through the lens of parenting, the quicker we realised that we identified as feminists AND parents. We wanted to align those two identities. And our kids? We began to see them as mini-activists who fearlessly stood up for their personal freedoms.
4. What Part of the Patriarchy Are You Trying to Smash Right Now?
Discipline in parenting! Ladies have made such strides in dismantling the patriarchy in our homes the past 30 years. However we see discipline as a frontier many of us have yet to acknowledge as an extension of the cultural systems we fight against in other realms. Traditional discipline uses the same manipulative control tactics that patriarchy has been using on women, minorities and beyond since, uh, forever. Most of us have been culturally conditioned to believe that threats, punishments, incentives, judgement and isolation (ie control) are part and parcel to parenting. We now believe they are not just detrimental to our kids’ skill-building and identity formation within the home, but counterproductive to the feminist movement we’re fighting outside the home!
If we impose our will on kids’ bodies, feelings and choices, how will they be learning to use THEIR power when they have it someday? We created the RESIST Approach to welcome our kids’ healthy resistance using powers beyond control that allow US to resist the patriarchy in our parenting. It takes a hell of a lot more effort than what comes instinctually, but we gotta believe it’s valuable if we’re gonna raise a generation of bad-ass activists, empaths, innovators and change-makers.
5. What’s the Best Feminist Advice You’ve Learned Recently?
The best feminist advice we get is what our kids reaffirm to us daily as born feminists. It sounds a lot like “NO!” It reminds us to respect their resistance and continue to assert our own at work and beyond.
6. Who Is Your Feminism For?
Our kids. The way we talk to them, touch their bodies and involve them in their own lives shows them what feminism is all about. We get weepy when we read feminist history– the bevy of brave, bold women who sacrificed so much for their beliefs and freedoms. Their feminism was for them, but also for US, living today with the privilege and freedoms that we do because of their work.
Similarly, our work at Upbringing serves us and our families, but it may also hopefully extend to intersecting folks and future generations who will hopefully live and love better. We’re all capable of changing and making change!
7. What Feminist Book / Instagrammer / Music / Whatever Would You Recommend For Taking Up Space?
We implore you to learn about Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou! She is an Ethiopian nun in her 90’s who is fluent in seven languages, speaks out for social justice and is best known for her genius piano playing and compositions.
8. What’s the Worst Troll Comment You’ve Ever Seen?
Following Clementine Ford’s insta clap backs to young dudes now and again gives us a bit of a chuckle. It reminds us that although we exist in a comfortable feminist bubble, it’s important to see what’s outside of it! And yes, trolls remind us that the world is quite a diverse place… But more importantly, they show that people are suffering and there is vital work yet to be done.
Taking Up Space
So there you have it. The inspiring Hannah and Kelty, Mothers, twins, coaches, feminists, taking up space in the digital world. Helping us through the minefield of feminist parenting.
Look for the rest of the insta-micro-blog series, featuring some truly fabulous feminists from all around the world here . And hey, if you happen to be a fab feminist yourself… drop me a line and get involved. Everyone is welcome to Taking Up Space!