I have a Tumblr and I follow many people who happen to be feminists. I follow them for their images and quotations, moreso than their feminist propaganda. But alas, the feminist ranting also shows up on my feed. And I inevitably read a feminist essay or two. And then my relationship starts to get a bitter taste to it. And then I start to resent feminism…
Sometimes we’re sitting around and he asks me why I never cook for him. And I get all sorts of defensive. Despite the fact that he constantly cooks for me and his inquiry has nothing to do with gender roles. Or he will say something sharp to a man who’s flirting with me, and I will have to restrain myself from backslapping him and singing Ani DiFranco. And sometimes he doesn’t even have to do anything at all. If we’re watching a movie that has zero female roles of consequence (i.e. any movie ever,) suddenly I don’t want to cuddle with him anymore. Because fuck the patriarchy!
It’s absolutely awful. He does everything in his power to make me happy. But despite his kindness, I get notions of feminism running around in my brain and I lash out at him in the most irrational ways. (It’s particularly ridiculous considering my white power and American passport. Overall, I probably have more privilege than he has by being a man.)
Feminism is especially lethal to romance. On our first date, he did all sorts of nice things. And towards the end, we were standing near a pool and he told me to look at the moon. It was the most picturesque moment ever, with a bright full moon reflecting in the pool. Emotionally, I was very much into it. (The next day, I jumped up and down on the couch and told my roommate that I really, really, really liked him.) But in my brain I was thinking, “He just wants to sleep with me. Don’t fall for it. Don’t encourage him lest he take advantage. Girl power.” So outwardly, I scoffed at him. Because I am a cold-hearted woman who scoffs at classic gender roles and romance. Because feminism.
I should really be nicer to him.