How to Raise a Feminist Son: Motherhood, Masculinity, and the Making of My Family by Sonora Jha is a stunningly candid account of the struggles, victories and life lessons accumulated by the author as she nurtured in her Indian American child, Gibran, a feminist consciousness. It is also an intriguing, beautifully articulated memoir about single motherhood, marriage, disability and surviving a violent childhood.
Jha (Foreign), a professor of journalism at Seattle University, reflects with humor and humility on strategies that influenced her hopeful parenting mission, sharing insight and practical to-do lists to guide readers embarking on their own feminist journeys.
With graceful determination and a confidence that didn't always come easily, Jha exposed Gibran to her feminist approach from an early age by helping him to recognize troubling stereotypes in the movies and books they consumed together. She urges adults to re-create beloved stories in a feminist mold and construct new stories centering strong female characters. For older children interacting in an online world, Jha advises constant engagement and conversation to take advantage of teachable moments, even if that means playing video games together.
How will readers know they are on the right path? One sign is if a son exercises compassion, kindness and empathy to stand by the women in his life, serving as an ally. Crucially, Jha acknowledges that parents and children will slip up, and that too is an important part of the conversation. Admitting that her own feminism sits on wobbly legs, like the sofa she self-assembled, Jha wisely points out that "feminism, like yoga, is a practice, and perfection is an illusion." --Shahina Piyarali, reviewer