Mother Outlaws

Last night we had our first Mother Outlaws meeting. In case you are not familiar with Mother Outlaws it is a group based out of Toronto, connected with the Association for Research on Mothering where mothers who are feminists come together to discuss how their motherhood and feminism intersect. I have started a group in London with like-minded women and we kicked off our first meeting with 13 mamas in attendance and many more interested in attending in the future.  It was an energizing first meeting where we each discussed our own path to feminism and thoughts on how it corresponded to our mothering. The conversation flowed from there and we touched on feminism as it relates to attachment parenting, young mothers, gender roles and raising children, queer parenting; working; & the constraints of the ‘good mother’ role.  Many of these themes will become topics for future meetings. The group will be meeting on the 3rd Monday of each month at a different members home. It is open to any woman who is interested in feminism and mothering and I am sure the group will evolve based on who we reach out to.

I absolutely loved having this group of women in my living room – especially when my young daughters returned home with my partner after an evening out. Having  strong,  passionate women sending that energy out into our home felt right, real & radicalizing. I want my daughters to be surrounded by strong women who advocate for change and for that energy to surround and influence them. They already have this just by nature of our community, but bringing a group of women dedicated to that and speaking that into their space made if feel more tangible.

Since becoming a mother, I have felt distanced from my feminism as mothering sort of took over my life. Feminism has always been an integral part of who I am but until recently, I hadn’t been thinking as conciously about it.  Fortunately through mothering I have been able to connect with a community of women who emulate feminism in their lives. Therefore,  bringing a group of women together to discuss feminism and motherhood was a very organic process. I feel blessed to have this group of women to discuss, share and grow with and I am intrigued to see where this group will lead. Eventually I would like to see us more from reflection to action but am comitted to letting the group unfold as it will.:

Some future topics of discussion:

  • Nuclear family – challenges/alternatives
  • Attachment parenting
  • Working and motherhood
  • “Good mothering”
  • Mothering: global perspectives
  • Women’s empowerment of their own bodies
  • Gender roles – gender polarity
  • Young mothers
  • Raising boys
  • Isolation, depression, mental health of mother
  • Reproductive rights

8 Comments

  1. Summer said,

    January 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Oh, I wish there was a group like that down here. It sounds awesome, to be able to talk and hang out with a bunch of feminist mothers.

    • doulamama said,

      January 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm

      Summer – why don’t you start one? That is all I did – found some women who wanted to talk about feminism and motherhood and set a date.

  2. January 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    That sounds wonderful! I’m reading Feminist Mothering right now.

  3. anna said,

    January 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I thought of another topic as I was driving home last night. It’s sort of a cliche of women’s studies discussion topics, but it’s a good one: media representations of the mother. Moms in sitcoms, movies, commercials, etc. Always worth coming back to this one, I think!

    • doulamama said,

      January 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm

      Another great idea Anna – I will add it to the list.

  4. jodi hall said,

    March 6, 2009 at 2:46 am

    shawna,

    you inspire ME. I am so honoured to be connected to your world, and can’t wait to make it out to a meeting…as of now, this feminist mother/academic is drowning from a lack of balance and could so use the energy of other fierce women around me!
    love Jodi

    • doulamama said,

      March 6, 2009 at 3:05 am

      Thanks Jodi. You know the feeling is more than mutual & I look forward to having you at a future MO meeting. We could use your fierceness.
      Lots of love to you. Shawna

  5. Marta said,

    June 10, 2009 at 5:19 am

    That sounds awesome! I wish there was something similar in Vancouver!


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