But there is also the raising of daughters to think about and the example I set. What is it that I want to show my children? I hope that I have shown them a woman who is fallible but keeps trying, who sometimes looses it, because I don't want to be perfect and have them have unrealistic expectations for themselves. :-)
One thing that strikes me is showing my daughters a woman who can do stuff. A lot of women, particularly middle class ones, talk a lot about how GIRLS CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TO DO but then pay a man to change a washer, change a tyre, fix the car, paint the ceiling.
Girls should also be able to do all those things they may not want to do, but have to do anyway.
When we had a car, I checked the oil, and put air in the tyres, and got the petrol, and in fact did all the driving because my husband doesn't drive. I have built shelves, painted rooms, drilled holes, and have tried to do jobs around the house with the specific intent that my daughters would see me do those things, and not assume that men do them. And that is not easy when you live with a man who is constantly doing stuff. So Fathers, maybe back off once in a while. It is nice to love your kids and want to do things for them, but let them see a woman do some of it. That would be a nice gift for them as well.
And Mothers, it is not enough to talk to daughters about equality. We have to live it for them. Set the example. Girls and boys should see women doing the work that needs to be done, like taking out the bins, just like they should see men doing the other work that needs to be done, like changing the nappies.
I was thinking of this as the Babe helped me to strip, sand and paint the gate posts last week. So here it is. Home education as feminist theory and manual labour.