Maternal memorable messages in understanding femininity.


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The messages a mother communicates to her children play an important role in the attitudes they develop toward their own self-identity and toward their mindsets concerning femininity (Bem, 1983; Colaner & Rittenour, 2015; Fromme & Eccles, 1996; Golombisky, 2001; Green, 2003; Heisler & Morrison, 2000; Lombardi, 2013; O’Reilly, 2002; Reger, 2001). These memorable messages provide more than directives at the time they are spoken. They also provide the basis of social identity. Children of mothers who role model progressive attitudes toward femininity and communicate these attitudes through positive messages may develop and value stronger feminine identities in themselves. Memorable messages about gender role attitudes and self-identity constitute a large part of communication regarding feminine identity. The idea that “feminism begins at home” speaks not only to women’s equality issues but also to the re-defining of feminine identity and the role mothers have in this reconstruction. By transmitting gender attitudes through memorable messages, mothers may play a formative part in a world of changing gender roles (Colaner & Rittenour, 2015; Moen, Erickson & Dempster-McClain, 1997).