Skip to main content

Feminist Parenting: Patriotism

Patriotism. This could be a bigger issue than when to tell the kid how babies are made. At least with that, there are books with diagrams and science to fall back on. But patriotism...ay!

This issue came to light a few weeks ago as she was practicing for her spring concert. "A-M-E-R-I-C-A! I love America!" over and over for the weekend. I have to admit it was cute, but I asked her why she loved America. "Mom, it's just the song!"

Oh, hell no!

"You know why I love America? Because it's one of the few places where anyone can stand up for what they believe in and make things change." And on I went with the obligatory Stanton, King, Obama and Huerta talk. Seriously, her history teachers will either love me or hate me.

As a baseball fan I know all the words to the Star Spangled Banner. I sing it EVERY single time I hear it. Or at least I try to...Ya know sometimes the song just needs to be sung not interpreted. Anywho, so I feel like I'm a pretty patriotic person. I just want my daughter to know why we love this country, not a blind love.

It's ironic that some people who most loudly wave their patriotism scoff at those of us who dare to protest or question why things are the way they are. And my patriotism is grounded in that change, questioning and protest.

I know feminist parents who don't want their kids to even say the Pledge until they are old enough to truly understand it. I'm not at that stage, but rather I want her to question the things she's told "just are." Well at least from people who aren't her parents.

Comments

Sungold said…
While I was recently visited friends in Seattle, I got in on the first few minutes of their daughter's school day. They were having an assembly, and I was shocked to hear them begin the Pledge. In a liberal school. In liberal Seattle! My friend said they reinstated it after 9/11, and the kids don't *have* to say it, but of course virtually all do.

I was shocked partly because we *don't* say the pledge in our school, and I live in Appalachia (in a liberal college town, granted). My 9-year-old doesn't even know the words to it. I'm good with that.
Anonymous said…
I don't know why, but your layout is looking very strange to me this morning, grey type on a grey background. I had to highlight the text to read it.

Given what has just come out about the new pictures showing American soldiers raping Guantanamo detainees, I think that any feminist needs to have patriotism be more than, "Love it or leave it!" We need to inculcate that ability to question authority fairly early, and that means talking about the ways our country is great, and the ways in which it still has a long way to go, and what we can do to help that process. To me, loving my country means calling it on its shit, and making it be a place I can be proud of.

Popular posts from this blog

Is there love after abortion?

Over two years ago , way before I started writing for Girl w/Pen, Alison Piepmeier wowed me with an essay about getting an abortion and how her decision made with her husband was a love story : ...the story I most want to tell—and one I have never heard—is of abortion as an intimate part of a couple’s life together.  Our abortion was a love story. I’d worried that Walter and I were rejecting a gift from the universe.  What I discovered, though, was that when we stripped away the distractions of everyday life so that we could make this difficult decision together, it bound us together as surely as if our choice had been different—and as it turns out, that was the gift. Every once in awhile their story returns to me. I often don't know why it stumbles into my brain and says, "Hey! Ponder me!" but it does. This morning it returned to me yelling, "Why?!" I was half-listening to WBEZ's 848 and some story about a man running away from his life. Original, I kn

Book Review: Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

Less than a year ago, Abby Wambach took the stage at Barnard's commencement and gave a speech that shook many, including myself, to the core . Her speech went viral and I made the above image in order to share the highlights of her speech. Earlier this month Abby released the speech in book form. Wolfpack : How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game is short (less than 100 pages) but is much more than just her speech . You get a peek into how the speech came together and why she said everything. And because the book is short and is an expanded speech, it moves quickly. I feel that it moves with the same ferocity that Abby use to move down a soccer field. And you might find yourself cheering as she takes you through the story. Abby has always been one of my favorite players. The way she ran amok on the pitch was exactly the way I felt I played sports. Never caring how you looked and giving it your all. Leaving it all on the field. When she retired from socc

Chicago Women Who Owned 2015

When I asked social media which Chicago women kicked ass in 2015, I got a list far too long to do justice. I also realized how many of my lady friends kick ass every day, but it's a constant kicking of the ass, not a lot of headline kicking. Ya know what I mean? So I tried to make this list a mix of Chicagoans who had some headline kicks and some who kick ass every day and deserve a shout out. Let's get started, shall we? Photos from social media or public domain pages Luvvie Ajayi Luvvie did my job and summed up her amazing year herself! I love it when women do that. Yes, let's take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and dance at our own parties. Luvvie makes us laugh, even when we want to cry. She pushes us to be active, even down to our shoes. You'll never laugh so hard when learning so much than when you are in a meeting with her. From hanging with celebs to her epic travel schedule, Luvvie definitely owned 2015. Charlene Carruthers Carruther