I have always enjoyed debating, public speaking and sharing my opinions. I can be quite vocal about social issues and equality. I’m not really sure where it started or who I was influenced by but there are a number of conversations that I can recall that clearly show the path I was walking.
When I was 10 at primary school I remember putting my hand up and telling my teacher (Mrs Crawford) that we shouldn’t be using the phrase ‘mankind’ and use peoplekind instead. I was shot down and told not to be silly! In reality I was twenty years ahead of my time trying to be gender neutral!
In time I went on to study sociology and then social policy at university. I became the women’s officer at university and attend national conference. Speaking up about equality and has always been important. I then spent several years teaching sociology and becoming Head of Department. Sociology is subject I think all children should be taught, especially living in a multicultural society. We are influnced and shaped by our experiences and I believe that there would be much more empathy and understanding in society if we looked at things differently.
It is no surprise that my own children have inherited my love of the subject. We often have conversations about equality and society. Dyl may not be studying sociology at school (Geography and History won out) but we talk the talk.
Chloe is very like me and is studying Criminology and Sociology at Plymouth (when she isn’t on the hockey pitch!) she wants to help others in the future, some of the most marginalised people in society probably and I know that she will be brilliant at it.
Erin is 9 and everyone remarks that she is my mini me. For Erin’s birthday I gave her the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and she has been so inspired by the stories. She also enjoys reading about amazing women from history and today. She wanted to take them into school to show her teachers what she was reading. I love these books as they are shaping Erin’s beliefs and helping er question society and the way we treat people.
Therefore it was no surprise to me that she was discussing the books with her teacher and she announced ‘she likes these books because she is a feminist, don’t you know?’
Her teachers’ reply was ‘that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest’
I thought this was both hilarious and inspiring! Erin is obviously taking after me and is not afraid to speak out! Now I am searching for more Christmas presents that will continue to inspire her – does anyone have any suggestions as we are really struggling on the present front anyway.
It shows just how much we influence our children, they soak up everything we say and do and it shapes their own personalities. So remember this and be the role model that you want your child to be.