One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

November 23, 2008

Assessing Patriarchal Systems

I can’t remember if we’ve already had this conversation. Google says we maybe haven’t?

Anyhow, was thinking about marriage and feminism today. There was this time when I said to Ian how I had been thinking that, normally, when the radfems call marriage a form of prostitution, I think, “how hysterical,” but that I had come to agree.

While his first reaction was (like mine) “Oh hardly.” After discussing it a while, he allowed that, actually, yes, marriage serves the patriarchy more than it serves the needs of individuals. That marriage is an institution that allows women to trade away their power in exchange for survival. And he even added points to my argument.

And he didn’t call me on it like, “Oh YEAH? Are you saying you’re not going to marry ME than??” Same as how, while he agrees that appearance expectations of women are sexist and aid misogyny, he doesn’t call me on it or get condescending when I dress up. (Instead he just makes a point of telling me I look good next time I’m in jeans and a t-shirt.)

This illustrates one of the things I love a great deal about Ian. He understands that my crititicism of patriarchal systems is not a personal or  moral judgment. It’s like fish commenting that the stream is polluted. You’re not going to give up the water. Nor does it make sense to pass judgments on other fish partaking of the water. But, making a point of noticing the currents makes it easier to seek out fresher water.

It made me think of some relationship in my youth, with one of those young men who likes to go on about how they never want kids.

Until I interrupted his “If you got pregnant it would ruin my life” declarations once with, “Relax. It’s not like I’d tell you if I got knocked up anyway. You’re off the hook.”

Then he was all offended with me.

You know, because clearly I owed him such significant consideration that I had to opt to have him involved in my life and that of my theoretical child even though it was neither in my best interests nor that of the child to have around a man who would waste no time making it plain what a burden the whole situation was to him.

Oh no, but he was shocked by my coldness.

Because i was fine for him to spout selfish drivel about how children would ruin his life. Not fine for me to say selfishly how I would prefer to be a single parent than accept his reluctant involvement.

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