RB ducks


Here is my nine year old son.

I told him about this project and he asked,

“What’s feminism?”

Oh… erm…

I don’t have a good, quick answer to this. I’m going to have to explain that it’s big and complicated, that we could talk for hours around the subject, that people do talk for hours around it, people study it, write about it, analyse it. Then I am struck that I can do none of these things, I can’t talk about it, I don’t have the words – am I even a feminist? I’ve never said I’m a feminist before. What does it mean to be a feminist? Do I ever even really think about why we need feminism.  I recognise that I am truly fortunate to have not knowingly encountered discrimination because of my gender but do I ever think about those who have or those who fight to stop it happening? How do I explain to my boy that, as a grown woman in the world, I am blinkered, not paying attention to the experiences and needs of others. I am supposed to be teaching him about how it is and how it could be, how it should be…

I don’t have a good, quick answer.


Small beginnings.

I say, “Feminism is the idea that men and women are just as important as each other and that – ”

“Well they are.”

He is so sure of this. I am so proud of him.

I go on, “You’re right. But some people don’t think so.” He rolls his eyes at the stupidity of some people.

I carry on talking to him, giving him the little I know. About inequality and unfairness, about fighting for votes, about throwing yourself in front of the King’s horse, about pay, about women’s choice and control over their own bodies, about Dads who don’t get to see their kids, about how absolutely fucking lucky I am that people are fighting for me so hard that I’m so untroubled that I barely notice there is a problem.

I will open my eyes. Next time my boy asks me a question about gender equality I will be informed. I will have evidence of what I have done to help. I will have an answer for him.

Not a quick one but a good one.