Teeuwynn enjoys shopping for friends and family alike. She likes finding interesting presents and ways to spice up the holidays.
Buying Gifts for the Liberal Mom in Your Life
Sometimes people think women fade into the background when they have children because we are so busy with taking care of our families and, very likely, jobs as well. However, we remain our own complete individuals with our own passionate beliefs—including political ones.
If you have a mother in your life—a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a sister, a co-worker or a friend—consider getting her one of the gifts below or a gift inspired from this list to show her you recognize her as a person with strong views about our society and its inequities, not just as a babysitter. She will appreciate you for it!
I’ve had experience with most of these gifts, and think they are great options for you to consider when trying to find just the right present for the strong feminist woman in your life.
1. Badass Mama Keychain
This is my favorite keychain. I have it on the key ring for my car and house keys. I’ll even flash it at checkout if for some reason I don’t like the anti-women or minorities talk I hear.
This round, handmade key ring from the Etsy store, simplestamp, can be made from gold brass or silver aluminum. You can get it engraved on either just the front ($14.00) or the front and the back ($18.00.) It ships out in 1–3 days with free shipping, so it’s also good for pretty quick, handmade gifts.
2. A Retreat, Weekend Away, or Other Time of Peace
Sometimes, any mother can get stressed and overwhelmed. We love our families more than anything in the world, but sometimes we need a break. This is especially true when the patriarchy is weighing down on us, and all the statistics about sexual assault, our lack of power in government, and all the rest is getting to us.
Try giving the mom in your life some space to regroup and gain some peace and perspective. If you can, send her on a weekend retreat or to a beach house for a couple of days. If not, maybe go take the kids and visit a family member for the weekend. Showing such thoughtfulness is a great way to express your love.
3. "Year of Yes" by Shonda Rhimes
The full title of this book is The Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person. This funny, poignant memoir by the writer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal goes into her experiences as a mother and her fear to reach for her dreams as a writer. This book came out in 2016 and instantly hit The New York Times Bestseller List. The Los Angeles Times said the book was, “As fun to read as Rhimes’ TV series are to watch.”
Considering all of her public successes, many people might be surprised to learn that Shonda is an introvert. Sometimes she has even suffered panic attacks before media interviews. Still, she persists.
Shonda had three kids at home and three shows on TV, so it was very easy for her to put this book aside. However, Shonda’s sister encouraged her to go for her dream of writing a book, and she did. The words her sister used to move Shonda? You never say yes to anything. Shonda made a hard promise to herself. For one year, she would say yes to every opportunity and see what happened. This book came from that wonderful experiment. Reading this uplifting message helps stir hope in the heart. I know it did in mine. This memoir costs $10.87.
4. Shattered Glass Ceiling Necklace
This uniquely beautiful but significant necklace costs $65.00. The necklace is a tribute to all women. It hangs from a silver-colored pendant. The round pendant has a purposely shattered piece of glass in it (coated for protection and to keep it in place).
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The shattered glass represents breaking the glass ceiling that so many women are still struggling to do even in our “modern” era. It can also represent all the women out there who have crushed that ceiling and broken forward so more women can come behind them.
The term "glass ceiling" turned towards women in the workplace is first thought to have been used in a broadly circulated article in the March 1986 Wall Street Journal. The article's title was "The Glass Ceiling: Why Women Can't Seem to Break the Invisible Barrier That Blocks Them From the Top Jobs."
The shattered glass necklace is handmade, so no two of them will look exactly the same, which fits since no two women's struggles are ever the same.
I wear this necklace often, and it is a good reminder that we can, and must, continue to fight for our fair share of upper positions in the workplace, politics, and all areas of professional and even personal life.
The necklace is made from glass and sterling silver. The chain is 24" long. Keep out of direct contact with water. I'd say it's generally a more daytime look, but with a clean neckline and gown, this necklace could make an elegant statement without saying a word. Try wearing it to, say, a congressional gala.
5. Michelle Obama Tote Bag
These really useful tote bags cost $44.40 for the pair. The glossy bags are patterned in different magazine covers all featuring our former first lady, Michelle Obama! You can wear these bags on your shoulder or cross shoulder. These are great for when you are on the go for shopping and other errands.
- These 2 tote bags have 2 crossbody strap options
- Large bag size: 16"(L) x 11.5"(H) x 6"(D) with 9.5" shoulder drop / Medium bag size: 14.5"(L) x 10"(H) x 5"(D) with 9.5" shoulder drop
- Detachable and adjustable crossbody strap with 23" drop max
- 1 zipper pocket and 2 open pockets inside each bag
- Zipper top closure and 1 back zipper pocket in each bag
- Sold through Amazon by Amy&Joey. Amy&Joey have a 96% positive rating in the past 12 months.
The former First Lady has always been a beacon of class and hope to women throughout the world ever since she first stepped onto the White House stage. She has been a particular beacon of strength and courage for girls and women of color. So these totes plastered with her glorious face gracing their covers again and again quietly tell girls and women that we do matter and we can make our way to the top if we want, despite everything put in our way.
So, I take my Michelle Obama bags to the grocery store. That may seem banal, but it makes me feel better because I’m making a statement every time I shop.
6. Time to Listen
Life is busy and we all get stressed out. But since 2016, life has been particularly difficult for liberal women. A lot of times, people think they are listening to their wife or their mother or their friend or daughter, but some time take a real chance to sit down, make that mom in your life comfortable, and ask her if she wants to talk about her feelings about having a sexual predator in the White House or worrying about having her rights taken away by a new extreme Supreme Court with a probable sexual assaulter as a new justice.
Listen. Ask genuine questions. Don't try to fix her problems. Just listen and try to empathize. You may be surprised what someone so close to you has been holding back and needs to get out.
7. "What Happened" by Hillary Rodham Clinton (With New Epilogue)
The 2016 presidential elections shook this country to the roots, especially if you are a Democrat. Liberal women were shocked, crushed, devastated, and disbelieving. Many were experiencing severe waves of PTSD after watching Donald Trump admit to sexual assault on the infamous Access Hollywood tape, so seeing him win the election was an even greater trauma… especially against the first female candidate to have a truly legitimate chance to become our president. Harsh times.
Well, after taking some time to walk in the woods, Hillary Clinton turned to book writing. Slate magazine calls this book “An engaging, beautifully synthesized page turner.” The New York Times said in this “candid and blackly funny” memoir, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was feeling and thinking at one of the most controversial and shocking presidential elections in history.
She takes us inside the election from her own unique perspective of being the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election full of rage, sexism, ups and downs, sudden lefts and rights, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules if he ever learned one to begin with.
This bestseller details the 2016 election from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s point of view. Clinton is a witty, insightful writer. There is such a morass of confusion over just what did and didn’t happen during that election, and Secretary Clinton’s insight is invaluable.
In the new paperback version of her book, which I just picked up, she adds an epilogue analyzing the first year of the Trump presidency. I’ll give you a hint—she’s not a big fan. I’ll give you another hint—Secretary Clinton’s analysis of the first year and a half of the Trump administration is a rightly stinging indictment. At $11.75, it is definitely worth a read.
8. "Feminist Icon Cross-stitch: 30 Daring Designs to Celebrate Strong Women"
This interesting take on the cross-stitch has 30 designs based on strong women throughout the ages. It also includes teaching instructions for those who are new to cross-stitch. Some of the women featured in this book include Susan B. Anthony, Beyoncé, Virginia Woolf, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Cross-stitch is not only an enjoyable activity and one which leads to art and gifts to others, but it is also a valuable way to add to your health. In 2017, the Charity Knit for Peace project analyzed a number of studies about knitters. Although these studies focused on knitters, the studies authors feel the results probably spread to other creative focused groups like cross-stitchers, cooks, artists, bakers, and the like.
What the studies found was that “there is an enormous amount of research showing that knitting has physical and mental health benefits, that it slows the onset of dementia, combats depression and distracts from chronic pain." The study review goes on to say, “It is a skill that can continue when sight and strength are diminished. Knitting and cross-stitch’s diversity make them easy to take up at almost any point in the mom in your world’s life.
Some less formal studies I have looked at show that cross-stitching increases your concentration skills, helps some people meditate or relax, and feel that creative high of completing an artistic project of your own. When you’re using a kit like this one where you are working on designs of powerful women, that rush is going to feel even better.
The same 2017 review conducted by the charity Knit for Peace analyzed several studies on the benefits of knitting. "There is an enormous amount of research showing that knitting has physical and mental health benefits, that it slows the onset of dementia and combats depression," the review stated. "It is an activity that can be continued into extreme old age. It is a sociable activity and a skill that can continue when sight and strength are diminished."
When I first got this book as a gift, I had only done cross-stitch a few times, but I found myself able to do these squares and found it very relaxing. The cross-stitch book costs $14.82.
9. "The Future is Female" Bracelet
These cuff-style bracelets are an ever-present reminder that women are more than half the population, and we shall overcome and earn our fair place in this world. We will make a new and better world for our children despite everything that is being done now.
Each of these curved metal bracelets says “The Future is Female” on it. They come in a variety of materials ranging in cost from $23.00–73.00.:
- Aluminum: $26.00
- Aluminum Long: $26.00
- Copper: $28.00
- Brass: $30.00
- Sterling Silver: $58.00
- 14K Gold Filled: $73.00
- 14K Rose Gold Filled: $73.00
- You have four font styles to choose from
I have the sterling silver bracelet, and it wears well. The words “The Future is Female” engraved on the bracelet mean something different to me at different times. When I’m with my daughter, I see her face and want a just world for her. When I see women helping each other, I feel warmth and pride.
Just what this means to the mom in your life might vary from woman to woman. Perhaps the woman you are giving this to has daughters, perhaps she is thinking that one day women will achieve equality, but whatever it is, this inspiring message will give her strength when she wears it.
10. Cozy Movie Night for Mom
Sometimes it’s the little things that count. Ask the mom in your life if she’d like to be the red carpet celebrity for your movie night and then make sure everything is as comfortable as possible with pillows and blankets, food and drink she likes and anything else she needs. If you don't have a streaming service and want to try one, you could check out Hulu or Netflix.
Oh, and she picks the flick (or flicks) of course! Don't worry if it's not your genre. Dystopian adventure? Check! Chick flick? Check! Amazonian warriors? Check! Check! Oh, if she complains about any men mansplaining or worse, don't worry, she's not mad at you. She's happy you're supporting her and believing in her. So, remember, you are being awesome!
11. "I Hate When I Wake Up In The Morning and Trump is Still President" Mug
My husband got this mug for me for Christmas. I have a few more mugs with similar sentiments. Every day, while Trump and his cronies are in control, is a day we all need a little extra caffeine. This mug is a good sardonic choice for the liberal mom in your life who struggles every day with seeing someone who has spent a lot of time denigrating, assaulting, mocking, and working on taking away the rights of the women who he supposedly leads as president.
This mug is washable. It holds 11 ounces. It is made in DeliciousAccessories studios, which has a five-star rating on Etsy. The mug is microwave and dishwasher safe. The seller will even add an image on the opposite side of the mug for you if you would like. This mug costs $16.99.
12. “Why, yes, I am Overqualified” Sticky Notes
These 3x3 sticky notes by Anne Taintor, a Harvard graduate who turned her love of visual design into an ironic feminist spin on 1950’s culture, cost only $6.49. She takes the stereotypical imagery of 1950s women and uses language and artistic touches to turn these stereotypes on their heads, making it clear just how ridiculous and limiting they are. Anne Taintor makes a whole range of products from collages to bags, cards, stationery, and more. You can find more of Anne’s works here.
I have these “Why, yes, I am Overqualified” sticky notes and have given out a few sets to my friends too because it is cringe-worthy just how often these are appropriate in the life of a mom. If we’re going to have to deal with it, we might as well laugh sometimes, right? Even if that laughter hides some pretty sharp teeth behind it.
If the gift recipient likes these notes, Anne Taintor has a number of other great, inexpensive products to look into as well. Some other sticky notes she makes that are available on the same site include:
- She was Comforted by the Knowledge That They Were Helpless Without Her.
- I Think you Heard me the First Time
At such an inexpensive price, these could make great stocking stuffers or "just because" gifts for the mom in your life or be a wonderful thing to throw into a gift basket or gift bag.
13. Shirley Chisholm Lapel Pin
This striking pin celebrates a woman who showed strength above all. The child of immigrants, Shirley Chisholm had to deal with discrimination for that as well as for being black, poor, and a woman. For the most part, she grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where she won many debating prizes. Earning her Masters degree at the Teacher’s College at Columbia in 1952, Shirley became known as an authority on early education. Shirley slowly became involved in politics, becoming a member of the New York State Assembly. She had many successes, including getting unemployment benefits extended to domestic workers.
In 1968 Shirley Chisholm won a seat in the U.S House of Representatives. In 1972 she became the first woman, and first black woman, to run as the candidate for a major political party, the Democrats. It is unfortunate that, 50 years later, we still have not had a female president of any kind.
Always reaching for her dreams, Shirley Chisholm is a true hero for all women to look up to, particularly immigrants or women who feel very marginalized in our current world. This lapel pin is a reminder you can dream for even the impossible.
14. Notorious R.B.G. Tee Shirt
Available in black and navy, this awesome Ruth Bader Ginsburg shirt fits well and celebrates one of the greatest women of our time. The only Supreme Court justice with a nickname, The Notorious R.B.G. was sworn in in 1993 as one of only four ever female Supreme Court Justices. Justice Ginsburg is forceful with dissents and is generally thought of as a liberal member of the court. Justice Ginsburg has authored many notable opinions on the court. In 2018, CNN produced a documentary on her life.
Justice Ginsburg earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University. She became a wife and a mom, just like my mother did, before going to law school. Ginsburg went to Harvard. She later transferred to Columbia Law School and finished tied for first in her class. When no law firm in New York City would hire her because she was a woman, she taught law school and eventually did legal work for the ACLU. Her incredible legal papers and ACLU work began to get her attention, and her career grew rapidly from there.
At $16.99, this shirt is an easy way to show your support for one of the few women in our country to ever hold a position on the Supreme Court. (There have been four women total to get a seat on the bench.)
These comfy soft tee shirts come in a variety of colors and sizes for women (and men). The Etsy seller Emtizee has a 5-star rating and is good to work with.
Ginsburg has also pledged to do her best to stay on the court as long as she can until there are better, safer circumstances under which she could step down. With the way the court has plunged into a radically right-wing hole, I find myself wearing this shirt more and more now. In fact, while I was writing this article, I bought a grey version of the shirt for my daughter!
15. "Bad Feminist" by Roxane Gay
I first read this series of essays when it appeared on the 2014 New York Times bestseller list. Author Roxane Gay is a young woman who has written several books and a memoir called, Hunger. The book, Bad Feminist, is a series of essays on a number of feminist subjects. The essays begin with stories about when she was a young girl and then move through essays about her work in the realms of film and TV and what those industries look like through the eyes of a young black woman.
Roxane helps readers look at movies and other cultural works of recent years and examine their meanings in terms of women and feminism. She is not afraid to confront the cultural inequalities that are front and center in today’s society and her book is somewhat prophetic in predicting our plunge into a toxic masculine government and the rising #MeToo movement.
All of Gay’s books are interesting, but I find Bad Feminist a particularly engaging read, especially now, and at $13.82, it is well worth the read.
Michelle Obama's Impassioned 2017 Speech on Donald Trump's Comments
© 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff