This is my family:
We are almost embarrassingly normative–(mostly) white, middle class, a married man and woman with our new infant son. My husband works in an office downtown. Every morning after we have a cup of tea and breakfast together, I kiss my husband goodbye and, settle into my rocking chair for a full day of nursing, burping, and diaper changes.All I need is a ruffly apron for the scene to be from a 1950s sitcom. Or at least I should be wearing a shirt.
So, given that this picture of domestic bliss, why am I writing a blog about parenting beyond gender normativity? In part to keep the domesticity of my bliss from driving me crazy. We fill these normative gender roles for many reasons–a society that offers astronomically expensive day care as the only alternative to staying home, cultural values and ideals about gender that we have internalized despite ourselves, and to some degree personal preferences. The goal of this blog is to provide an analytical space, to engage in parenting as a reflective practice, and to confront bias and stereotype in our family and our society so that our son grows up to think critically and to speak truth to power.
I can only write from my own subject position, although I strive to consider intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability in writing and acting for social justice. I would love to have other writers with other backgrounds contribute as well. If you have thoughts about raising children as a social justice project, I’d love to hear from you. To become a contributor, email me at celesteb at umich dot edu