I want to encourage you all to buy my book. Yes, I said it. And I do because I truly and deeply believe in it. So I thought I would share with you the intro, a taster of what to expect, and hopefully you will want to keep reading.
Let me know!
When my father-in-law was reading the beta version of this book to give me feedback, he told me he was surprised that I mentioned that I wanted to change the world with my books:
But I do want to change the world, Malachy.
- Do you think you can change the world with your books?
- Yes. I do.
- You can’t say that. That sounds pretentious. Maybe you really will, but you can’t say that, definitely not yet.
- Of course I can.
So I decided not only to keep that comment in Chapter 5 but also to start the book with it. Because I want to change the world. I want us all to change the world. In fact we all do, every day. It is a matter of how much, or in which direction, but I am a deep believer in collective actions that move things forward. I believe in our power as consumers, as voters, as citizens and, by all means, as parents to change the world.
I believe I change the world when I equip my kids to think openly and to act with kindness. I believe I change the world when I create an ethical company that supports my values. I believe that we all make decisions during our days, from challenging a sexist joke at work to recycling or eating less meat. And all those decisions, in conjunction with a lot of other people’s small decisions, have a massive impact.
My story with feminism, like most people’s story I imagine, is the story of a journey. From feeling that something was not quite right to starting to understand how deeply wrong it is; it is the journey of unlearning and relearning, of reading lots, having discussions, chewing on them, moving on. I am surprised at my own journey, from refusing to be called feminist
to owning TheFeministShop.com. I am amazed at how it has affected every other aspect of my life, from parenting to friend- ships and career. The biggest thing I have learnt is that once you know, you can’t unknow, you can’t choose to unsee and you can’t choose not to care.
Don’t get me wrong, in a way it’s a curse. I can tell you that a lot of pleasures have been taken away from me. Simple joys of watching afilm with my kids or reading a book are now clouded by anger. Anger that moves me to learn more, to do more, to change things faster.
Don’t worry, the purpose of this book is not to turn you into an angry feminist, although I can’t promise you that it won’t. It is a book about awareness, and data, and tips and tools, so you can make your own decisions andfilter what is essential for you and how itfits with the way you want to raise your kids. This book will help you decide what things you are going to limit, which ones to encourage and how to readjust so the things that you pay the extra attention to align with your values. Yours.
I can’t tell you how to neutralize a whole society pushing your kids in the direction of being defined by their gender, I wish I could! But I can, and I will, highlight some of the things that perpetuate the message, and give you ideas on how to compensate for it or alleviate it. I will encourage you to put them into practice.
Like I said, I wasn’t always a feminist, but by the time my pregnancy test showed me two lines I was definitely one, and I made it my goal in life to make sure my kids, no matter who they were, had as many options and choices to be their true selves. Now, four years later, I have a boy and a girl and have spent an insane number of hours doing research, reading, paying attention, doing workshops with kids in schools, writing books for them, and making sure I know what I am doing, as much as you can be sure of anything at all in parenting.
Becoming a parent also has a very intense way of changing your values and priorities; you become impatient to change things because you are no longer changing them just for you. We want to give our kids all the great things we had in our childhood, whilefixing every mistake our parents made, with the best of intentions of course.
It is great to see how parenting is now something we take so extremely seriously, but we need to remind ourselves that we are going to make mistakes, that we are not the only influence our kids have, and trust that they are going to befine. So let’s try our best, let’s bring all that knowledge in, the awareness, but also let’s assume that parenting, like literally anything else in our life, is a journey we take.
These books will grow with my kids. I will hopefully write another one about their late childhood and pre-teens, and then teenage years, because the challenges will be different and because I can guarantee you that I will keep reading, and researching, and growing with them. I can’t predict what society will be like by then, because there’s no way of knowing the pace of change, so I am going to focus on the now, on children aged 0–5, and how amazingly important it is to establish good foundations for what is yet to come.
I want this book to be given to grandparents, and to nannies, and to be read in nurseries and pre-schools. I want parents to have something useful and research-based to gift or pass to friends when they are tired of justifying why they do what they do; something to feel like a non-judgemental conversation when they realize that those things matter to them. I want this book to bottle up the thousand conversa- tions I have had with my friends in the last years because I love how they now text me to tell me ‘I could almost hear your voice pointing out this or that’. I love it because it wasn’t my voice, it was theirs, fully aware and ready tofight it. I want that voice in all of us.
So yes, this is my unapologetic attempt to change the world, or more precisely to prompt you to change it! This is an action - orientated book, one that is written with the goal of you seeing things a bit differently and tweaking things accordingly. I never said that I couldfix the world, that would be delusional, but change it? Of course we can. Together.
If you want to keep reading you can buy it (signed and dedicated to you) HERE
You can also buy it in all main book shops and in digital version. Please whatever you do, leave a review! I can't stress how important it is!
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