Imagine the scenario, if you can: You’re a heterosexual/bisexual woman on a first date with a man. So far, so good. You haven’t had to use the fake “I have an emergency, I have to go!” (aka dial-a-friend-tosavemefromthisnightmare) excuse. The dinner is coming to its end and the server places the check on the table, closest to your date. Your adorable date flips it open, glances it over quickly, and says “Okay so let’s split this, should we use card or cash?”
I have to confess, I practically gagged as I wrote that. C’mon ladies, even diehard feminists- what are your INITIAL reactions/thoughts to this man?
Okay, next scenario, if you can: You’re a heterosexual/bisexual woman on a first date with a man. So far, so good. You haven’t had to use the fake “I have an emergency, I have to go!” (aka dial-a-friend-tosavemefromthisnightmare) excuse. You’re finishing up your appetizer, and the date asks you to elaborate on your research/life/job/interests/whatever the hell people ask on a first date. You mention that you’re a sex worker/sex work researcher/feminist/don’t want kids/have tattoos/whatever it may be, and your adorable date says something prickish that insults your feminist ideologies (“all women want kids, your clock will start ticking”).
Again, I practically gagged when I wrote that. C’mon ladies- what are your INITIAL reactions/thoughts to this man?
Well, I’ve been in both scenarios. My reaction each time? He’s gone from adorable date to idiot monster, and I will never see him again.
Why? Well, in scenario 1, he’s diverting away from traditional gender role norms. Norms say that men pay (especially early on), and women do not. Men are the breadwinners, and women must be taken care of. Benevolent sexism 101.
In scenario 2, he’s conforming to traditional gender role norms. Women are supposed to be chaste, stay at home raising the family. We are supposed to have biological clocks that tick, as we sit around watching Lifetime TV and brushing our hair. Well, if that asshole thinks that I’d want that, then he can go to hell. I’m a feminist, mother fucker, and maybe my clock is broken!
So, do I want a man who conforms to traditional gender norms, or who strays away? Welcome to “Why Christina Is Single Part 1.”
I’ve been giving this topic a lot of thought lately. I’m a single self-proclaimed feminist who has interest in studying the sex industry. Okay, since I’m using the “F” word, I should explore what it means to be a feminist. I know that I’ve always abhorred traditional gender roles, but WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? And, do I really hate them, or do I only hate the ones that won’t benefit me? I expect a guy to pay on the first date. I expect some chivalry, or do I actually expect benevolent sexism? I also expect a guy to “think outside of the box.” My ex-boyfriend of many years (and still a good friend to me, somehow. God bless his patient soul!) HATED when I would joke about having a penis (I don’t actually have one). He would squirm when I would make proclamations about our future child’s yellow bedroom walls; fuck blue and pink!! Even better, I don’t ever want kids! Talk about squirming.
He was SO damn traditional and it drove me nuts! This was a big part of the reason that our relationship ultimately ended. However, he was also a gentleman and I loved this. Gentleman (in this context): noun; a man who gave me diamonds and took me to lots of nice restaurants. *For the record, he is/was also an all-around nice guy.
Are you starting to see my point? When is it benevolent sexism, and when is it just being a “nice guy?” As modern day feminists (?) what do we expect?
I’m lost. Thoughts?
For the record, I find this cartoon to be offensive. Or, at least, I think I do. I did at one point...but now I'm not so sure! God dammit, being a young woman in today's world is confusing. Being a feminist in today's world is even worse!