Transatlantic Blonde has a Friday Feminist Roundup Theme (here) calling for ruminations from “feminist moms” on “The Power of Words” (however you interpret it).
The first thing that the prompt brought to mind was a “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” t-shirt that I bought at a law school fundraiser. The shirts were being sold by the Women’s Association of Law Students at the school where I teach. I bought one for my then pre-school aged daughter. She loved it because it was black with bright pink letters, and people would say to her, “Nice t-shirt,” the few times she wore it.
She only wore it a few times because I — who bought the shirt — decided that it was not a comfortable parenting decision to put a “message” t-shirt on a child, even though the message was one with which both my husband and I felt comfortable. Yes, I explained to my daughter what “feminist” was (in appropriate-to-four-year-old terms: those who want men and women to have the same opportunities) before she wore the shirt, but it still didn’t seem right.
Around this time, I had a neighbor who dressed her pre-schooler in t-shirts that read, “Free Martha” [Stewart].