Sean. Sorry for the long delay but since I’ve had a busy day of hustling (what you have to do when you won’t “just pick a guy to settle down and marry to take care of you”). But I wanted to really see what you were saying and respond, not react, in a respectful and gracious manner after your responses to my sharing of the Gillette Ad on Toxic Masculinity, and interpret my use of emoji of course and if Tennessee if fueling my seemingly man hating feminism.
The fact that you see feminism as male hating is sad and part of the problem. The feminists I know aren’t male hating and a lot of them are men as well. The ones who are married or dating are in some of the most healthy relationships I’ve witnessed and their friendship in kind emulates a healthy and mutual respect for both parties. I love, respect and find great friendships with male friends. I’d love to marry a man some day. They are intuitive, intelligent, caring, empowering and loving. But feminism isn’t about hating on the male gender, it’s about fighting for equal rights and opportunities for women. It’s fighting for the woman whose husband won’t let her get a job even though she wants to work and needs that outlet, it’s for the woman who makes 19% less than her male counterparts and who “works harder because she has to prove herself more” – an actual quote from the CEO of a company I was talking to. Being able to choose between working, staying home with their children or doing both. Having an equal household. Being able to wear what you want without being judged. Empowering instead of tearing down. I was raised around great male figures (so lucky) but also have experienced first hand and witnessed the repercussions when a male has had less than stellar examples for how to treat a woman, or even when they seem to be “raised the right way” and use that as an excuse or an advantage. How many “Christian” guys I’ve gone out with who claimed their faith as “so important” when then expecting something else “so important” and throwing a temper tantrum when I said no. The thinking that because a girl is wearing a tank top or shorts means she’s asking to get hit on or raped. Listen, my favorite fashion genre is Elevated Amish and you should have heard some of the things I’ve been told and I absolutely refuse to take the crushing responsibility for an entire gender’s thoughts and actions on the thought that my appearance makes them think and do things that are sins but instead of it being on them, it’s my fault for being who I am and those ill fitting grey pants I got at Goodwill really turn a random guy on but it’s not his fault because I’m the one who chose to wear them. Hard pass.
When, after going on a few DATES and corresponding back and forth, “Dan” told me that after we got married I was going to stay at home with the kids where I belonged and not work and take my place there. While trying to tell him we weren’t going to be seeing each other any more he flew into a rage and told me that “God told me that we are going to be together so I’m going to have you one way or another.” Constant innuendos, ass grabs, wandering hands, expectations after they’ve paid for a few drinks, snide remarks about waiters once they leave, them telling you that the career and passion path you’ve chosen is basically just a placeholder until “we” get married. You make sure you are rapt with attention while he talks so that he knows you are listening and validating his story but the minute you start to talk his eyes wander and check out the waitress you can hear moving behind you. I’ve let my guard down and had the worst happen thinking I could trust someone. The fact that at every moment of my life outside of my house, (well, inside too), I am constantly formulating an escape plan if things get to a Threat Level: Midnight. Walking in a parking lot, down a sidewalk, through a building, in a bar, constantly uploading and adapting. I laugh because as I say all of these things it’s no wonder why myself and women in general are utterly exhausted.
So take our inside joke that you make every year about why I don’t just pick someone to settle down with because I’m one year older and my uterus is getting dusty and growing cobwebs. We both have laugh, I do too, because now it’s tradition and still sort of funny but the thing is I start to wonder the same thing. Because so far I haven’t dated anyone who has wooed enough to make me Marie-Kondo-clean-out my uterus, but I do see literally every man around me falling on his knee throwing a diamond ring at his girlfriend. I work so hard for so little and think sometimes how nice it would be if I didn’t have to worry about paying for my bills solo and could just worry about having dinner on the table at 6:00 and a martini in hand when he walks in the door at 5:30. But going on dates reminds me of who I don’t want and those that spark, well, there just wasn’t enough spark to catch on the lint trailing out of my uterus to start the final bonfire. It’s also that question that makes me keep searching for my feminist husband who is out there, picket sign in one hand and waiting with a broom in the other.
The video I posted, I captioned with a heart and hand clap emoji. The video made me cry. It made me feel. It gave a call to action. It was beautiful. It touched on bullies, the paper cut comments meant to bring someone down, physical abuse, treatment of women and the “boys will be boys” mentality that only gets worse when boys become older and then are dads and bosses and people in power who have say over other peoples’ lives. It then showed the empathy some men already have and others need, the acts of kindness and it ended with a call to action. It’s asking men to be better, not just to women but other men as well. Yes. I hearted it and hand clapped it. Creative directing that idea was brave as well as genius and I wanted to give props to those people. It also makes me so proud of my siblings and friends and the way they are raising their children, both boys and girls. It gives me hope for the next generation and even more hope for the one following.
So, no. I wouldn’t say it’s Tennessee.