How many of you women out there have been at the receiving end of that classic pigeonhole defining statement "OH. You're a FEMINIST"
(preceded by curious cocking of head to one side, followed by understanding nod with almost sympathetic look - usually from a man you've only just met a while ago)
I did, a few days back from a rather nice boy I'd just met once before. We were all in the midst of a conversation about what bachelorhood pleasures women thought were acceptable for their husbands to still enjoy (watching porn being an example) and somehow we veered into a topic that made him do the pigeonhole thing with me. I got the classic "Are you a feminist" question and my response was the usual 'whatever' shrug that I reserve for snap judgments.
Thing is, indifferent expression notwithstanding, the question apparently does get to me, cause in my last post I made a rather open threat to slap anyone who called me a feminist again. And P (1 of the 2 regular readers on this blog) asked me why. What was wrong with being a feminist, after all?
I have to admit, that sort of took me by surprise. I've simply become SO used to the negative connotation that goes with the word, esp with the body language described above (which smacks of "I've figured you out. You're one of them.") that despite what Wikipedia has to say about the term, my association with the word was no better than that of an ignorant layman.
So I'm going to have to finally admit that me (and most women I like) are feminists after all. (And, yes, I can ALSO say it without having to hide behind a group of like minded women).
Because I would be as ashamed of a man who needed taking care of, just as I would of a woman.
Because I believe we all need to know how to cook (men and women alike) because it's such a basic survival requirement. Conversely, I don't find it 'incredible' that a man cooks despite being a man.
Because I believe neither of us is better at something than the other regardless of predefined roles (women aren't necessarily better at parenting, men at earning money).
Because I believe men have as much a right to take time off work and get a break for a few years as women do.
Because I don't believe in burning bras even to make a point. (They're too darned expensive)
Because I believe men are entitled to whatever stereotypical activity gets their adrenaline pumping (sports/ porn) before AND after marriage. Just as women are entitled to theirs (shopping/ not keeping a perfect house) before AND after so long as it stays within the limits that their mutual consent has set.
Because I believe that the GRAND proposal (an elaborate plan + a ring that costs 2 months worth of pay) and the whole "you need to send me chocolates/ flowers/ fluffy bears coz I'm a woman and you're a man and that's just how it is" and also the "You should know what I'm thinking even without my saying it" should ALL be taken off the list of mandatories that men are expected to provide.
That does make me a feminist, I guess. So label/ stereotype me all you like. I promise not to bite. Or even bark. Regardless of how YOU meant it, I'll choose to hear it for what it is. A good thing.