In the past, it was easy to conjure up an image of the stereotypical feminist: think Rosie the Riveter, Gloria Steinem, or any random bra-burner. These days, it's a little harder, as evidenced by a new study brought to our attention by Buzzfeed which found that self-described feminists are actually more supportive of attachment-parenting techniques than non-feminist moms — and that non-feminists would never have expected that to be the case.
In the study, published in the journal Sex Roles, 222 women who consider themselves feminists and 209 non-feminists were asked questions about the importance of some of the key tenets of attachment parenting: child carrying (some attachment parenting disciples forgo strollers and car seats in favor of slings), co-sleeping, and extended breastfeeding. Self-identified feminists were more likely to be in favor of all three principles, which surprised everyone — well, it surprised non-feminists, at least, who told the study's authors that they thought feminism meant you thought breastfeeding and sling-carrying were trivial matters compared to, say, fighting for gender equality. As if the two were mutually exclusive!
"These stereotypes are consistent with the image of a feminist woman as being less invested in her children and family, perhaps because she is more invested in aspects of her life outside of the home," the study found, concluding that "there is actually no such thing as a typical feminist." It would have been interesting to ask the self-identified feminists what being a feminist actually means for them, because we know what it clearly doesn't mean: only investing yourself in areas of your life other than family.
Image via S.Borisov/Shutterstock.