Under the banner of feminism News Week published an article: The Case Against Marriage . Maybe it were the broader themes the authors used as an argument, maybe it was the way of reasoning – however I felt insulted.
The topic of feminism keeps creeping up on me and while I tried several times to write a piece about it, to make my point, I kept deleting the writing afterwards – a faith that this entry will probably share, too. I seem not able to write about it cynically enough, thus end up sounding utterly naive; but here we go again.
Saying I am a feminist would mean that it was not natural that until I went to university, I never had to question who I am. My gender was insubstantial with regard to clothing, wishes for profession, and interests. I never ever felt restricted. Saying: I am a feminist, would defeat the object, because it would mean my life has not yet been this way. It would instantaneously imprison me in a world I have not yet experienced.
The problem is that I would like to be able to say: I am a feminist. However, saying this would mean that I need to be.
It would devalue the equal relationships I’ve always known and had. It would mean an attack on my family, on my granddad, who was happily helping my granny in the kitchen cutting patiently veggies and fruits for hours, or reading the news paper articles to her while she tidied the kitchen. It would mean, I have to defend that granny tidied the kitchen, not because my granddad was a macho, but because she is slightly obsessive compulsive and cannot bear anyone else putting things out of order.
It would mean I have to go through lengths explaining I learned cooking from my dad, not my mum. It would mean that it was not natural for me as little girl to have a hunting knife and slingshot as well as dolls and piles of books from Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe to Enid Blyton and Astrid Lindgren. When I learned cycling I had to learn how to repair my bike, because one needs to know how to take care of things.
On top of all the article mentioned above, uses feminism as excuse to tell me that my decision to marry was a decision to conform. Until now, I always thought conforming and subordinating depend on your character not on your gender.
I always thought the decision to marry was a decision for celebrating a relationship, a very private decision, and a tribute to my family to give them a son they can love. I never thought it was about tax breaks or financial security.
I grew up learning that no matter what, in a relationship you still have to stand your woman, you still have to be able to be independent from one moment to the next.
So, why would a celebration (an awesome three day party in our case) change any of this? And what does it have to do with feminism?
She asks oh so naively.