2008-02-19

Feminism, Marriage, and Settling

Before you guys read this, I am very happy in my marriage, but things run through my mind often. I am just stupid enough to post what I am thinking to the world. I love my husband, he is awesome ok!!!!!!!!! I was inspired by this post by C1 and Yan.

I was once the you can have it all super duper NOW member uber feminist. I was going to have the career, do my thing and have independence. I was going to be super woman. I could have the husband, the little NOW militant kids, and the career. Be my own woman, do my own thing. Then I got into a relationship with my husband.

Let me say before I got married I envisioned myself being upwardly mobile in my education and career while dating and supporting my sensitive artist man with his dreams and desires, and he preferably had great taste in music, and maybe a strong accent from France, Italy, or the UK. We would spend our time together reading books and newspapers and discussing art and world politics. We would cook dinner together and work out together. We would hang out in bars and trendy restaurants together drinking and becoming regulars knowing everyone and having intellectual conversations. We would travel the world, staying in hostels and trekking the Himalayas.

OK I married to a guy with a run of the mill American accent. He is from Houston, TX, and has like me managed not to have a twang. We don't have the same taste in music, he is into Iron Maiden, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and top 40 crap. I on the other hand enjoy indie, punk, and SOME electronica, and I am a complete and utter snob when it comes to my music. I tell people I listen to alternative, they start talking about Good Charlotte or My Chemical Romance I curse them out. That shit ain't real alternative. OK my husband thinks it is rude to read a newspaper or book while eating together as to him it means you don't want to be in the other persons company. He doesn't do politics, he used to do art, but not anymore, and anything abstract or modern to him is crap, but he does love anime art. He doesn't cook, and when I do it is for me because he doesn't like a ton of things. He prefers Wendy's , I prefer sushi or thai food. We don't work out together, we barely work out. He hates going out to eat and he barely drinks, and when we do go out to eat it is Chili's, Friday's, and other chain restaurants where it is required to sing happy birthday to people and wear flare. I love local places and can drink pretty much most people under the table (so I say that now, not true, three shots, I am tipsy) He hates to travel, and doesn't like me traveling without him. We are for the most part complete opposites.

My husband makes more than me and we focus on his career more than mine. I have turned down job opportunities to keep the peace in my marriage because the job required too much travel, training, or time away from home. He hates it when I stay late at the office. I can't pursue other opportunities even within a company I am working for because it usually means relocating and he won't relocate, which scares me because if he ever lost his job he better be willing to relocate for MONEY. He helped me through my last couple of years of school financially, I graduated from college 6 months before we got married. I do the majority of cleaning and cooking. My husband has never mopped the kitchen floor in the four years we have lived in this house or wiped down a counter, he has put dishes in the dishwasher though, and he refuses to take his shoes off in the house, because he pays for the carpet too. My husband does not do yard work, change tires, or do oil changes. He will kill a bug though. When we have kids I will be the one driving the kids around because I have the SUV, he has the Mustang.

I am saying all this because I still consider myself a feminist, but obviously I am not living the feminist ideal. I took a women's study class my last semester of college that put everything in perspective for me. The woman's movement saw to make us equals with men, but instead it taught us to surpass men. No where in the "have it all" diatribe did it say make the man cook and clean while you are out with the super career. It said you were equal, but you were still going to be the happy homemaker, the momma, and the good wife. Or you were going to be a lesbian or a woman happy to be single. You can't have it all, I have learned that, but I don't want to compromise. I am going to finally go back and get my masters. I have decided that 2008 is the year. I am not going to compromise on that.

I think many times you have to compromise to keep everyone happy and keep their insecurities at bay. My husband prefers thicker women, and I suspect he likes the idea of me being bigger so that less men look at me. It makes him nervous every time I start working out and dieting because he feels I always go too far. I have given up guy friends because he felt that guys and girls can't be friends, as guys always have motives when hanging out with girls, even though 90% of his friends before we were together were girls. He quit hanging with girls, I quit hanging with guys. It even bothers him when I go to lunch with gay guys. I go out on my own with my friends sans him if I want to try something new restaurant wise. He feels once a month sushi is plenty. I listen to my music on my ipod or in my car so he won't make fun of me or turn it down. Am I no longer a feminist, but rather a door mat? Is a wife to be a door mat? Or is a wife simply just a wife? Did I push my desire to get married before my feminist ideals?