My grandfather would probably scoff, loudly, if I even insinuated that he is a feminist. That’s not the world he grew up in. He went to university, got married and took care of his family. He still does. He spent his life doing what a man is supposed to do.
But without my grandfather in my life, things would have been very different for me, and I wouldn’t have become the strong independent woman that I am. I would be a completely different person, I think. If I hadn’t been so sure of being on my own and taking care of myself, I wouldn’t have the marriage that I have today. I wouldn’t have the daughter that I have today – I would be someone totally different, and so would she.
My grandfather would never call himself a feminist, but he prepared me for the world. He spent my childhood teaching me how to build and repair things. He taught me how to drive, and while he was doing that he also taught me how to change a tire, so I would never be stranded.
When I moved away for school he gave me a gift – my own tool box, fully stocked with tools I might needs to take care of my apartment. My hammer has my initials carved into it.
Perhaps most importantly, he continued to not only support me, but tell me how proud he was of me, through every misstep.
He wasn’t raising me to be a feminist, he was raising me to be a competent adult. I just became a feminist along the way.