Work in a rural location in Australia Got asked each week for around 3 years who I live with, if I’m married, why I’m not married, that it’s ok to be gay (it is, but I’m not, but they assume I am gay because I’m 30, with no husband or kids) then had to tolerate many conversations around women’s health, reproductive issues, got offered the name of a gynecologist Got asked to get to know a local boy better (who’s 34 and lives with his parents), he asked me when I’m planning to have kids, as I’m not getting any younger I need this job to pay the bills, raised these issues to those in charge politely in the last few years, problem is promised some action, then forgotten about
It’s really bugged me this year that all our Christmas cards have been addressed to “Mr and Mrs HisName” even though I’ve not changed my name to my husband’s. People shouldn’t assume the woman takes her husband’s name on marriage! It’s been really inconvenient when people have written me cheques and addressed parcels to the wrong person as well! But apparently I should suck it up and accept it, because it’s “petty” to “make a fuss” about it and actually encourage people to question traditions and challenge everyday sexism…
Me: Expresses self as whole human being, warts and all Him: I preferred it when you were cute and fun Me: I asked you nicely 5 times to pay that bill Him: Still, I preferred it when you were cute and fun. Make a clever joke about how other men are the problem. That’s more sexy I’m finding myself almost physically unable to coddle men anymore. Why can’t they be adults?
I work full time and I have a family consisting of a husband and pre-teen daughter. My husband works, as well, although I have 10 more hours per week at work. When he gets home, he relaxes and plays games on the computer and watches shows because he’s tired from work. When I get home, I do the dishes, try and figure out something for dinner catch up on a few chores if have any energy left and then I can relax and watch a show. If I don’t do that, I feel as though I’m not being a good woman or a worthy wife. I often feel deeply angry and resentful of this, however I usually say nothing because it isn’t worth the pain of the argument. Nothing’s going to change and I know it. I often wish I’d never gotten married. It isn’t worth the hassle and the male attitude in exchange for the greater financial security of having two paychecks, rather than one. If anything ever happened to my husband I would never get married again ever.
I had the best Valentines Day with my husband this year. Finally, in my mid 40’s, I had the satisfying sexual experience that has been sold to me in every sappy romance novel and Lifetime movie. This experience started with a moment of self discovery that came to me during a fight I had with my husband about porn. I caught him watching porn one evening. I felt really uncomfortable about it. To be clear, I’m not against watching porn. I’ve always hated porn because I get nothing out of it. I’m not stimulated by anything visual. The truth is my sexuality is linked to my sense of touch. The rougher, the stronger the stimulant. When I’ve tried to explain this to previous boyfriends, they thought I was broken because of a sexual assault early in my life. I’ve been afraid to live honestly about my sexuality because of the stigma associated with BDSM. Therefore, I’ve rarely had an completely satisfying, sexual experience. In my marriage, touching another person, sexually, is considered cheating – his rules, not mine. If I go to a dance club and dance with someone else, cheating. For him, touching is a stimulant only for us. I argued that if watching is a stimulant for him, then he is denying me the same pleasure when putting restrictions on how I can experience stimulus. I’ve never spoken about my sexuality, with anyone, until having that fight. Afterwards, he did research. We’ve been experimenting with different methods of sexual play. Sexism – especially sexual stigma – kept me from sharing myself with the person I love.
This is but one of many encounters I’ve had like this but this was the most recent and sums up a lot of the behavior I’ve dealt with. I am a single woman in my early twenties. My father passed away very recently, so I’m in mourning at my home. People are in and out, and during one visit, I mentioned that I wish I could change my shirt since it was ratty, but couldn’t do so at the time. Presumably joking, a female friend said that I should worry about that because people here are looking me over to see if I’m marriage material. This may have been said in jest, but there’s a definite, unfortunate truth to it. I had to field a fun comment from a relative, “You’re going to get married and have a man take care of you, but your mother is all alone now so you need to take care of her.” I’m so glad that I apparently am going to get married asap and a man will make all my problems go away.
When I was depressed a few years ago and having serious doubts about my studies and career choices, instead of encouraging alternative careers that suited my skills, goals, and interests, my mother suggested that my calling was to become a housewife and mother.
I need to get this out. I’ve gone out with my brother and boyfriend for a couple of drinks the past two Saturdays. On the first occasion, my brother who calls himself an ‘anti-feminist’ not necessarily knowing what the word even means, was talking about the kind of girl he wants to marry. How she needs to cook for him and be smart, you know the awful, overrated story. I rolled my eyes and simply said you’ll never find one, women are getting too strong to appease that kind of crap. What got to me more however, was how he spoke to me. He seemed more comfortable speaking about women to my boyfriend, than he did to me, as everything I said was responded to by a ‘F*ck off’. Fine, I dismissed it as a boys topic mixed with drunkenness as well as the probable knowledge he holds of no woman ever being his cook and cleaner in his life. Let the boy dream, I thought. The Saturday after, my boyfriend brought up a topic we argued about. Then said actually he doesn’t want to talk about it, but I insisted that if he started we may as well explain it to my brother fully and see what he thinks. What I wasn’t expecting though, is having every sentence I started being interrupted by him. I didn’t get to explain the tinniest bit of my opinion or argument. Every single sentence starter that came out of my mouth was finished by him. It got to the point where my brother looked at me with the words ‘I’m so sorry’ screaming from his eyes and said ‘Let’s maybe change the subject.’ Just for contextual information, both these guys speak about there not being such a thing as feminist or unequal rights that need fighting for. Yet this happens? Yet I am silenced twice, for trying to T A L K in the presence of two boys? How are they this blind and deaf and goddamn ignorant to the problem they are so casually the cause of? Girls, who’s up for a drink with me, because I’m not planning to go with the opposite sex anytime soon?
The fact that in this century, some people (including some women!) view the man as the head of the household and/or think that a wife’s role is to be submissive to her husband & allow him time to go out & be a man, whatever the smeg that means. These views were aired as part of a series of short films on Channel 4 a few years back, & they were made available online as well. There was the ever-present comments section under the vid, & the comments were absolutely depressing as & made me both furious & despairing of modern society. The majority of the commenters seemed to be labouring under the misapprehension that it was the 1950s, not whichever year in the late noughties/early 10s it was, & posted comments to the effect of how the lady in the vid was right, as the man is the ‘captain of the ship’ (why? In my opinion, a healthy & happy marriage is one where both partners are equal- a democracy, if you like- not where one partner calls all the shots! Depressingly, I think a woman posted that). Another commenter posted something to the effect of how they knew that what the lady in the vid said wasn’t very politically correct, but they agreed with her (I think this poster might’ve been male, but I wouldn’t swear to it). WTF?! As I already said, it makes me despair that in 21st century Britain, people still hold these outdated views.
A few annoyances recently (apologies for length): -I was in our local shop recently, & this guy- who has form when it comes to making sexist & off-colour comments & ‘jokes’- was there. He made some comment to the effect of how one thing men never get right is knowing what a woman wants, which ticked me off royally. Because OF COURSE all women are impossible to please, & to (mis?)quote someone another poster mentioned, want grilled ice! This isn’t the worst this man has said- on one occasion when it was a nice day, he made a comment about the weather, but managed to incorporate women’s ‘bits’ (sic) into it (I forget exactly what he said, but it was off-colour). -I watched an ad for the JML Phoenix Gold iron recently, & it featured a woman doing the ironing. Because OF COURSE ironing is woman’s work, right?! The Vanish ads are also female-dominated. -I posted about sexism in Heartbeat before, & have noticed more since (hardly surprising, since it was set in the 1960s). In the episodes I’ve been watching recently, a character called Jenny Latimer (who was the pharmacist at the doctor’s surgery in the village for a time) recently married a character called Dennis Merton, who was the local police sergeant at the time. Merton was naturally kept quite busy by police work, & when Jenny objected to this, she was made out to be demanding & unreasonable (the doctor that she worked for remonstrated with her for complaining about the fact that Merton hadn’t phoned her while he was away on a conference, & told her that his job was important, & that his work comes first & wives come second. This comment ticked me off royally, especially since the doctor was female, although she was hoist on her own petard in another episode, when she was a bit put out herself because her own partner Ben Norton had been a bit elusive of late due to important work commitments- I did feel like pointing out to her what she’d pointed out to Jenny!), & Merton even said in one episode that he’d better get home otherwise Jenny would give him grief again. This comment was addressed to the aforementioned female doctor (they were at the local hospital on a case), & she smiled wryly & said “the constraints of married life”. I know that in the 1960s, women were considered to be ‘less-than’ compared to men, & married women were expected to support their husbands’ careers sometimes to the detriment of their own, but I was still annoyed by that attitude. I also felt bad for Jenny, & couldn’t help thinking that if the roles were reversed, & it had been her who was very busy at work & rarely at home (or kept having to cancel things like going shopping for curtains for their new home at the last minute due to work commitments), she would’ve been crucified by her husband’s male colleagues- one in particular, I suspect- & other people in the village for being ‘selfish’ & a ‘bad wife’ because she spent more time at work than at home, & been accused of neglecting her husband! Indeed, I think one of the previous village doctors, Kate Rowan (who was also married to one of the former village policemen, PC Nick Rowan), may well have had similar accusations levelled at *her* when *she* wanted to further her medical career! Jenny was also made out to be hysterical in another episode because she wanted to help a mother find her child, & got quite heavily involved. Pardon her for caring! She got described as ‘highly strung’ by PC Alf Ventress (yep, him again), if you please. That episode was sexist against both women & men- I actually felt bad for the child’s father in that episode, as the child’s parents were separated, & the mother hadn’t let her ex-husband see their child for a YEAR, so her ex had had to take her to court in order to see the child. On the face of it, I couldn’t see any valid reason why the ex-husband should’ve been stopped from seeing his daughter (I don’t think he’d been abusive to his ex-wife, had alcohol or drug problems or abused his daughter)- I think his ex-wife was just using the child as a weapon, which I thought was out of order. Not that that made what he ended up doing (kidnapping his daughter with the intention of taking her out of the country) OK either- 2 wrongs don’t make a right. -Whatever your opinion of Diana, Princess of Wales, surely you must think that the Daily Mail (yep, that paper again) was out of order for doing a pull-out section on how Diana made swimsuits sexy? Ridiculous! I’ve yet to see a pull-out section in the Mail about how a male member of the Royal Family made swimming trunks sexy! -I’ve watched a couple of programmes on the Crime & Investigation channel recently which talked about how the police solved certain cases. Both programmes featured female murder victims who’d been raped before they’d been murdered, & the police implicitly victim-blamed in both episodes. Both these victims walked through isolated areas to get home, & the policemen said something to the effect of how [the areas] were unsafe for women walking alone. Um, excuse me? Instead of telling women & girls not to walk in isolated areas at night, why not tell predatory men not to attack women in these aforementioned isolated areas?! Blimey O’Reilly! Also, when I was at uni (years ago!), I saw a notice in the Union Bar telling students not to walk through the park that backed on to the main campus (I assume at night) on the grounds that people had been attacked there. To be fair, this notice wasn’t specifically aimed at female students as far as I can remember, but I do think it should’ve been a case of instead of telling students to avoid that park at night, it should’ve been a case of telling predatory men not to attack students in the park!