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International Womens Day & Womens History Month
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Let’s talk about valuing care work and recognizing emotional labor!
When is it?
- Women’s Day falls annually on March 8th
- Women’s History Month lasts through March
- Sharice’s Big Voice (Ages 4+)
- Seeds of Change (ages 5+)
- I Dissent (ages 4+)
- Queen of Physics (ages 5+)
- All The Way To The Top (ages 4+)
- For the Right to Learn (ages 6+)
- Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution (ages 4-8)
- Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life (ages 5+)
- Shaped by Her Hands (ages 4+)
I know you’re shaking your head being like ‘I can’t discuss the wage gap and the mental load with kids, it’s too complicated!’ But we did it with the 6 & 8yo – and the Earthquakes loved it, but also these little dudes were furious on all women’s behalf,* and then they brought me coffee in bed for a whole week. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, LADIES.
- Discuss with kids: what does it mean to work? How does our society value types of work differently? How can we tell? (Ex: who is expected to work more hours, for less wages? Which careers are held in high esteem? Which jobs treat the worker as the authority, and which treat the customer as the authority?)
- Why does our culture push back against paying for domestic labor, childcare, and community-support work?
- Why does our culture push back against paying targeted people for self-advocate work?
- Read You Should Have Asked together with older kids (8+) What is mental labor? What is invisible labor?
- What resources do families need in order to make working outside the home a choice? What resources might families not have access to, which would take away that choice?
Take Action: Girls & women deserve more than bland biographies:
Books about girls are not just for girls. Does your bookshelf pass the Uhura test?
Check your bookshelf: If 50% of your characters are not representing complex girls, women, and folks of all marginalized genders – why?
If most of your books featuring feminine protagonists are just anthropomorphic animals, polite white girls, sassy Black & brown girls written by white authors, and two-dimensional manic pixie girl-power ::sigh:: or not like the other girls biographies ::ugh:: – time to balance things out! Not everything about women has to be about smashing glass ceilings – let’s get more girls of color having fun and doing adventure on those bookshelves!
- IGNITE provides a K-5 Political Ambition & Writing our Rights toolkits for girls in K-8 teaching the basics of political activism.
(The site says it’s inclusive for all MaGes, but centers ‘girls’ as the default and has ‘mother+daughter toolkits’ and such things, so take what you can use and bear through the cishet family gender norms where all families have a ‘mom’ and it’s ‘mom’s job’ to empower daughters.)
Gift a Little Feminist Book Club subscription for the teacher in your life who could use some women’s history biographies.
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More resources to dig deeper:
- What do ALL feminists have in common? A flap book for our youngest activists
- Kids Books About Women’s History: Most of these stories are fine. A few of them are great. A lot of them are very boring. But all of them are the best ones I could find about each woman. I’ll be swapping out the more boring ones if/when someone publishes a better story.
- Article & collection of kidlit by Black Women & Femmes
- No White Saviors: Kids Books About Black Women in US History
- How inspiration porn humiliates women in ‘The Truly Brave Princesses’
- Stories featuring Unapologetically Kickass Girls
- Ending the erasure of women of color with Milo’s Museum
- What to watch out for in problematic women’s history compilations for kids