Feminist Mothering: Challenging Gender Inequality by Resisting the Institution of Motherhood and Raising Children to be Critical Agents of Social Change.

  • Fiona Joy Green University of Winnipeg


In spite of the significant contributions of feminists to feminist theorizing and research on motherhood and mothering, only a few scholars are paying attention to the analysis of the potential of feminist mothering as a site of women’s strength and resistance to patriarchy and as a location of revolutionary activism. This article explores how the work of conscious feminist mothers can empower women to break free from the rules of patriarchal motherhood to create their own models of mothering and, in turn, practice the invaluable work of rearing children to be active conscientious citizens for social justice. Excerpts from several interviews with sixteen self-identified feminist mothers, conducted for a larger research project on feminist mothering, provide concrete examples of how having a feminist consciousness transform the work of mothering into both a “rewarding, disciplined expression of conscience” proposed by Ruddick, and a location of active social change theorized by Chodorow (1978) and Rich (1986)