Authentic Feminism, Not Fear

With little on my to-do list (an odd occurrence in this office, or so I’ve been told) I came across this charming piece on a not-so-charming display of chauvinistic dumbass-ery at its finest. Honest to goodness I wish I could say this was satire, but no one at AskMen is clever enough to be satirical. I’m left wondering, who reads this shit (besides feminists who are blogging in reaction)?

My second thought is that I’m so glad to have found a responsible, mature, and supportive partner who is practically as feminist as I am. I feel lucky. But why should I feel lucky? Why shouldn’t the expectation be that men be sensitive to issues of gendering? Why should it be so rare to find a person who wants to be in a partnership rather than a traditional gendered relationship?

Of course not all women want partnership either, so I guess SCL should be glad that he found me, too!

Being in partnership requires more work, I think. For one, I know I have to constantly combat the way I have been cultured to behave—as well as fight against my feminist impulse to embody the polar opposite of that societal norm.

Take cooking for example. When my mom got divorced, the act of cooking was a painful reminder of her unhappy marriage, so she simply quit doing it. We’d go out, we’d make sandwiches, we’d eat ice cream for dinner—anything but cook a real meal. I, in turn, picked this up and ran with it, not to mention that my mom didn’t teach me how to make anything. When I got to college and dated someone who loved cooking, I was immediately put off by the idea. Rather than admitting the truth (that I didn’t know how and was afraid to try), I claimed it was symbolic of my mother’s oppression as a stay-at-home wife and mom, and I refused to do it. Sounds silly now.

SCL and I love to cook. I’ve gotten into trying new recipes, and we’ve starting adding little odds and ends to our kitchen collection, which absolutely thrills me now. I love it because we do it together, we share, we take turns, and we enjoy each other while we do it. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is having a shared kitchen where we can try different recipes and invite friends over for one of our (soon to be famous) bacon and mashed potato pizza.

I hope the fear of the unknown doesn't prevent me or others from trying something new--like a new kind of relationship. It's totally worth the risk of failure.

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