Empowering Mothers and Daughters through Matroreform and Feminist Motherlines


  • Fiona Joy Green University of Winnipeg


Feminist motherlines, spoken in the mother tongue of relational discourse by mothers with their female relatives and children, help feminist mothers gain authority of their embodied knowledges of mothering. Along with matroreform—the self-determined mindful process of (re)claiming and (re)forming one’s parenting power—feminist mothers develop alternative rules and different practices to those prescribed for them by others. Drawing upon research into feminist mothering over the past two decades, this paper explores the ongoing rich contributions feminist motherlines and matroreform provide families and feminist theorizing. By participating in matroreform and feminist motherlines, mothers and children often develop a life-cycle perspective and a worldview of interconnectivity with each other, with others, and with the world that offer them opportunities and ways to create feminist mothering perspectives and practices countering those prescribed by the patriarchal institution of motherhood. Discovering and nurturing matroreform and one’s motherline is often an idiosyncratic and a chaotic process that takes a lifetime, yet through it, mothers and their children can often reconcile intergenerational rifts. Findings shed light on the potential that matroreform and feminist motherlines have in presenting children with opportunities to engage with their own mothering practices and motherlines should they become parents.

Author Biography

Fiona Joy Green, University of Winnipeg

Green is a feminist mother and professor of women’s and gender studies at the University of Winnipeg. She’s interested in the agency of children and mothers, in gender socialization and gender identity, and in the ability of matroreform and feminist motherlines to contribute to feminist theorizing and praxis. She’s the author of practicing Feminist Mothering (Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2011) and is co-editor of three books addressing feminist parenting and maternal pedagogies published by Demeter Press.


How to Cite

Green, F. J. (2018). Empowering Mothers and Daughters through Matroreform and Feminist Motherlines. Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, 9(1). Retrieved from https://jarm.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jarm/article/view/40475