New on Babble: Binders Full of Women? Not for My Baby Girl.


Between Big Bird and bayonets, there were Binders Full of Women. Mitt Romney’s answer to gender imbalance in Massachusetts leadership. Or actually, a bipartisan women’s interest group’s answer to gender imbalance in Massachusetts leadership. Those binders would have gone to anyone elected governor that year. It wasn’t Mitt’s initiative that led to those binders. But good on him for taking it to heart and appointing women even if it wasn’t his idea.

BUT. But…I don’t want my daughter in a binder full of women. I don’t want anyone’s daughter in a binder full of women. I want our daughters to be people first, and not be distilled into gender before being regarded as whole people. I explain further at Babble today:

As a feminist mom of a baby girl, I tread a delicate balance of wanting to instill my ideas of equality and opportunity in her but not engage in outright brainwashing her with my most closely held beliefs. I will need to let her find her own way in life as she grows up and I can’t expect her to share 100% my sensibilities. If she takes away one feminist value in the years I spend raising her, I want it to be this: I flatly reject the thesis that anyone’s lifepath must be dictated by gender and that anyone must accept a particular type of treatment based on gender.

In other words, I don’t want my baby placed in any kind of binder full of women. I want her in a binder full of people.

The world I want for my daughter is one where everyone is judged, as Dr. King said, on the content of their character. Where being a woman is neither a negative nor a positive, but rather just a data point. Neutral. Significant only to her prom date, not her employer.

Read the rest of my post at Babble today!

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