(Note: Every person has different ideas on what a feminist is and what feminism is all about. This? My two cents.)
The scene: a conversation between a group of women talking about what else? Men. Just some good ol’ fashioned girl talk about our wants, our likes, etc., and here was my addition to the conversation:
“I hate to say I want a guy to take care of me, because it doesn’t fit exactly what I mean, but I’m not sure how else to phrase it, so yeah, I like it when a guy can take care of me. Not financially or anything, but I’ve just taken care of myself for so long it’d be kind of nice to have a guy to, like, fix my weird steering wheel- or at least find me a mechanic who can- because, even though I can do those types of things for myself, I just don’t want to have to! And, while we’re at it, I like a guy who is comfortable making decisions like where we’re going to dinner and planning out our vacations. I’ve almost always ended up being the planner, the organizer, the decision maker with other groups of people that I just really like when a guy is assertive enough to take over that role for me in our relationship…” But before I can finish, I’m cut off by this:
“How can you say all that? I figured you for a smart woman, but God, way to take feminism back about 50 years. Man making all the decisions and taking care of all the “manly” things while the lady just swoons and says ‘my hero’. You don’t need a man for anything. That’s just failing feminists everywhere.”
Um. Exsqueeze me? Clearly this angered me, or I would not be writing about it. But, I took a little time, considered the (self appointed) MVP of feminism’s words, put my thoughts together, and here’s what I came up with…
When did having personal preferences in a type of man I’m attracted to make me less of a feminist? By definition, a feminist is an advocate for a woman having equal rights as a man, which I am ALL FOR. I’m also all for a woman having choices. For example, the choice to be able to take care of everything on her own or being able to choose to let another person (man or woman) do things for her. At no point did I say every man should make every decision for every woman, I just happen to be attracted to men that help me be less controlling by taking over said control in certain parts of our relationship. What angered me even more about the rude interruption is that while saying you don’t need a man for anything is technically true, it doesn’t make me any less of a feminist for wanting a man in my life. You can rely on a man for things, you can desire to find a man who is assertive in your relationship, but that doesn’t have to take away from relying on yourself and your own assertiveness. Having personal preferences, knowing what makes you happy and what you want, as I do, is a sign of self-awareness and intelligence, and isn’t that a large part of a feminist woman? Yes, thinking you need a man does date you back to the days of 1950’s housewives because women are strong and you can do any and everything on your own, if you so choose. But don’t let fellow MVP’s of feminism lead you to believe that wanting a man makes you lose your identity, because that simply is not true.
Stand up for womankind, stand up for equality, stand up for yourself; what you believe in, what you deserve, what you want, and to me THAT is not failing feminists everywhere.
*steps off soapbox*