For the Books for the #boymom series, Lindsay Schlegel explores the many takes on feminism as she raises young men.
This month’s book may seem more relevant to #girlmoms, since it tackles the various waves of feminism over the last century and a half or so, as well as one woman’s journey back to Catholicism. But I’d argue that boymoms will get just as much out of Motherhood Redeemed: How Radical Feminism Betrayed Maternal Love by Kimberly Cook as our counterparts.
(For the #girlmom take, check out Katie Fitzgerald’s review earlier this month.)
My husband and I both have a responsibility to raise our sons to respect the dignity of women (the dignity of all people, of course). But I have the unique privilege/challenge of being their primary example of a woman who loves and serves the Lord. Sometimes, this task feels overwhelming. Our culture promotes so many false ideas about what it means to a woman, to the point, for some, of rejecting the idea that the Lord created people as male and female.
We can teach our boys the reality of how and why people were created. But I know they are going to encounter women who believe all sorts of things about what it means to, in fact, be a woman. While I want my sons to know and live the truth, I also want them to understand why so many in our culture are off track, in part so they don’t end up in the same place as teens or adults.
I want my boys to have empathy for women — and again, all people — who don’t know that they are loved simply for existing. As they get older, that may mean that my being able to explain how and why women have pushed for social acceptance of things like abortion and contraception that go against God’s plan. Cook shows that many of the changemakers in the four waves of feminism were not all bad, not all looking to destroy women or the family. But often, one thing led to another, and without a recalibration toward objective truth, real and lasting damage has been done.
Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I found the footnotes in Motherhood Redeemed to be really helpful. Should one of my kids start to show interest in a false ideal of feminism, I have primary resources I can go to in order to work through those misconceptions and back to the truth.
Ultimately, my hope is that the more joyful I am about my experience of motherhood, the more fun my husband and I have while raising our kids, the more open they will be to raising Catholic families of their own, should that be what they’re called to. But whether they are called to family life, single life, or religious life, I hope they always know who and whose they are — and who and whose they are not.
As parents today, we need to educate ourselves about the philosophies and ideologies competing for our children’s attention and for their hearts. I’m grateful to Kimberly Cook for her work in compiling a resource to help me do just that.
Copyright 2021 Lindsay Schlegel
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About the Author
Lindsay Schlegel is a daughter of God, wife, mom, editor, and speaker. She’s the author of Don’t Forget to Say Thank You: And Other Parenting Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God and host of the podcast Quote Me with Lindsay Schlegel. Lindsay seeks to encourage, inspire, and lift others up to be all they were created to be. Connect with Lindsay at her website, LindsaySchlegel.com.