Maternal Feminism

Maternal feminism is at the heart of our work within Big Ocean Women. Because feminism has become a broad banner which has encouraged many women to have a voice in all levels of society, as maternal feminists we likewise have a voice in the public square for the things that deeply matter to us – our faith, family, and maternal identities.

As women, mothers, and caregivers we are innate leaders and critical change agents. We seek to create lasting and impactful changes starting from within, and rippling outward.   Maternal feminism makes peace with the maternal identity, and recognizes that “mother” represents both a biological and relational role. We recognize and honor the “mothering” relationships genuinely offered by powerful aunties, sisters, daughters, and friends the world over.

Carolina Sagebin Allen, the founder of Big Ocean Women, chose the name based on her vision of the power of a collective body in shaping the future. Although the image of the wave is used by mainstream feminists to define their movement, Big Ocean represents more than a wave. It represents a vast and enduring ocean of women who now have a philosophical home in the tenets of maternal feminism. It is a place where women of all faiths, cultures, and life circumstances can find sisterhood and validation. Even among ourselves we will not agree on everything (how boring if we did!), but we work to find common ground and create the world we seek, together, wherever we can.

Our 12 Tenets



The language of faith is intuitive to women. It’s how we communicate and lift each other up. Our faith and connection to a higher power fuels us with the desire to engage in and improve the world around us with optimism and confidence. We believe meditation and prayer is a doorway to unlock our inner power through our profound connection to God.



We are all born with the innate capacity to decipher which actions will bring about the most good for us and others. This is our internal compass, and can be developed and refined through practice. When we learn to understand it and act upon it, it can help us make choices that will increase our joy and our capacity to influence for good.



We understand that each choice we make has a ripple effect and can either build or destroy. Peaceful, life-affirming choices made through one’s internal compass will result in deep satisfaction and lasting joy. We are always free to choose, regardless of our situations or circumstances.



Maternal feminism includes men and invites them to work with us to elevate the status of women everywhere. We highlight the powerful and gentle qualities within the men in our lives as they establish homes and communities that respect and support women and girls.



Whether or not we choose or are able to bear children, each of us is born with the potential to create human life, and this is of monumental importance. We understand the significant responsibilities connected to procreative power. We seek to create a culture where women and girls, as well as men and boys, respect this power with the utmost care and sensitivity.



From every human being that has ever lived and ever will live, there is only one you! Our individual worth is not contingent on external factors, rather, we are inherently and naturally worthy of safety, goodness, love, and respect. Women and men who understand their internal worth will build relationships with one another highlighting this truth.



We understand that ALL life is unique & intrinsically valuable & we seek to safeguard it. Our network of life culture consists of three environments; the womb, the home, & our mother earth. We encourage individuals everywhere to seek out non-violent paths within our human relationships and our ecological world.



We believe that wisdom is the highest possible form of knowledge. Wisdom is achieved by uniting our internal compass, or conscience, with our life experiences. We see the value of obtaining as much education as possible. We value and cherish the wisdom passed on through our elders. We draw nourishment from our roots to strengthen and grow our branches.



The concepts of scarcity and abundance, although typically associated with economy, can also be applied to our human experience. Internal abundance comes from recognizing our Creator’s bounteous love, and helps us navigate the external world around us with gratitude, hope and optimism.



As empowered women, we recognize that our influence is vast. Our power originates from God, and, like the ripples of a pond, our positive energy naturally flows outward to impact our family and then to our community. This is how real and generative changes are created in the world.



Our collective global sisterhood works together in a vast network to shine our light in a more powerful and focused way. The world has need of our light, and as women, we are especially set apart to gather and work harmoniously together in ways that will bring about much goodness and light. We can illuminate a better path for the rising generation.



The family unit has the potential to protect, shape, and lift humanity more than any other institution. Individuals working in families can accomplish more good in the world than individuals alone. We are like links in a vast intergenerational chain of family members and family members and relatives that span across time. We seek to preserve and renew our relationships with family members past, present, and future.