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Feminism

I have a similar situation as one already mentioned. The one about her boyfriend's resistance to feminist ideals.

Well, in my situation I'm not sure when I became fond of feminism but it happened some time ago, and my boyfriend WILL flat out tell me he doesn't like it. He will make fun of it, he also seems to believe that men are superior to women and it should be how it used to be, women in the house, man at work. He often tells me I don't respect him as a man, and I shoot back saying "you don't respect me as a human being". Which I'm sure just feeds the fire. However, I've read your response about not being too general, and I've already tried that. I'm sure I used to be general but I've already acknowledged the problem a long time ago and made steps to stop that. Probably even before I met him! And he seems to make more generalizations than I do, ALL women are like this, ALL feminists are like that.

Sometimes I know that he's just giving me a hard time for the fun of it, but other times I know he's trying to get a rise out of me. And I know he gets a lot of these ideas from his father who hasn't had a single successful relationship in his life, because he claims he doesn't know how to "combat" with women. tried to explain that he knows perfectly well how to combat them, the problem is he doesn't know how to compromise! But either way, how do I make him get off of his pedestal? His male ego is so high that I think the relationship depends on it.

Every argument we have ends at me supposedly not respecting him as a man! And I have made more sacrifices for him than I'dlike to admit, but I'm still being told that I don't "respect" him, and I know that is coming from his dad because that is who he always goes to for relationship advice! I've often wanted to have a talk with his dad but in person we get along. It's just that he's very judgmental and he's a "man of God" and he loves to point out the flaws in our relationship. It scares me that my boyfriend is getting advice that he takes very, very close to heart from a man who hasn't been in a relationship for 15-20 years. Normally I would probably ditch the relationship but we are at our 2 year mark and he is living with me. We are very close otherwise, which is why it makes it difficult.

 

Just reading your note I was frustrated. It's very hard to be misunderstood, especially by those who you care the most about. I was once in a relationship with this guy who reduced my motivation toward feminism as being a part of a PC culture. That felt so limiting and entirely against what I perceived my motivation to be....justice! Anyway, I can relate to that level of annoyance.

In terms of how to progress, I think that you have to be careful not to take the bait. He might actually think these things, but he might be saying some of them just to push you. Sometimes having a sense of humor about it is what throws them off and gets them to capitulate their real motivation. But of course, it might also be true that he really does believe these things and in that case, I think you really have to ask yourself if you want to be with someone like that. It's not the issue, in this instance feminism, that is so much the focus, but it could be another issue, like raising kids, and if he thinks he is superior than you lose out.

Of course, you want him to be on board with your politics, but more, you don't want to be overruled constantly and also have your opinions constantly challenged and so perhaps feminism is just an example of how he will be on other things. That's just a thought. I hope you can figure it out. And as hard as it is to exit relationships, it's harder to be trapped in something that makes you constantly feel misunderstood. Good luck.

-- Amy