'Feminist Baby' Is a Board Book That's Supposed to Teach Feminism to Babies. Seriously.
If you’ve been perusing the shelves at your local children’s bookstore lately, or perhaps browsing through board book titles on Amazon, you may have come across a little gem called Feminist Baby. Yes, you read that right. Feminist Baby. It’s a new book by Loryn Brantz, a cartoonist and former designer for Sesame Street. And it’s meant to teach infants about feminism.
Brantz told Time that the book is about a baby girl who “lives how she wants and doesn’t let the patriarchy keep her down.” (Because, you know, the patriarchy is always targeting babies.) Just in case you think I’m joking, let me be clear: Brantz thinks babies need to learn to be feminists. (Here I was thinking babies need to, like, you know, learn how to sit up and crawl and stop peeing and pooping all over the place and stuff. But apparently, that’s wrong. They’ve got a political agenda now.)
But what the heck does Brantz even mean? What sort of feminism are all these babies meant to espouse? Because, the way I see it, there’s feminism and then there’s “feminism.”
See, feminism just means that women and men should be treated equally. As in, if a woman does the exact same job as a man, she should be paid the exact same wage, for example. Or, if a woman wants to enter a traditionally male field (like engineering, or business) that should be fine too. Or, put more simply, women are just as valuable to society as men. You know, the kinds of things that most of us regular people now view as no-brainers and don’t feel compelled to talk about all the time because they’re just so obvious.
And yes, there was a time not too long ago when those things weren’t no-brainers. And when other, even more awful things, weren’t no-brainers either, like women being allowed to vote, or leave abusive husbands, or seek help and protection if they were raped. But our brave and intrepid foremothers (see what I did there?) fought for those things, and more, and won. And now we have those things. And we, the current generation, get to think of them as no-brainers. Which is a victory for our heroic foremothers. And also the whole point. The fight was fought. And won. Hooray!
But “feminism” is the idea that because, in the past, women weren’t treated as equal to men, women now have to act like men in order to prove that they are equal to men, even though they’re women. Or something ... Basically, “feminists” believe that things that have been traditionally female (like keeping house, raising children, wearing pretty clothes, etc.) are only seen as feminine because society has oppressed women into doing them. Therefore, no woman should be allowed to do anything that is traditionally seen as female. Even if they want to. Because that’s fair. Or ... something.