Is there some sort of middle ground here? Can feminism coexist with chivalry? Can men still open our doors, but us also be able to decide what to do with our own uteri?
I am a strong, independent woman, but I still want my husband to be the designated trash-taker-outer and bug killer.
It is times like these where I struggle internally. I want gender roles to be way more fluid, but I find myself wanting to keep the ones that work for me and make me feel good (and sometimes…even…ladylike!).
Don’t get me wrong, I will gladly choose equal pay and autonomy of my body over men opening a door for me.
But a part of me (the same part of me that cries like a baby over “The Notebook”) loves to fantasize over that “old fashioned” love where a guy gives you his sweater and pays for your milkshake. Does being a feminist mean that I am relinquishing this right? Am I a hypocrite for expecting my husband to woo me until the end of time?
I don’t think so, and here’s why:
In a relationship, it’s all about what the two people prefer. In my marriage, my husband generally drives. He even drives when we take my car. But guess what? I HATE DRIVING. It has NOTHING to do with the fact that he is the man and he should be in control. I love being the co-pilot, having control of the radio, and secretly GPS’ing to our destination to make sure he’s going the right way.
On the flip side, I also love fixing things in our house. Case-in-point: My father in law got me a drill set for Christmas (bad ass right?). Men are typically the “fixer-upper’s” in the house. However, I had the good fortune of having a father who forced encouraged me to help him around the house. Conversely, my husband was too busy playing every sport known to man as a child to do things around the home. Sometimes I, a WOMAN, have to teach HIM how to do things. Who cares?
In society, I feel like it can work the same way. If a man doesn’t open a door for me, I don’t cry and frantically ask someone else to do it. But if a man DOES open a door for me, I genuinely appreciate it and usually verbalize my appreciation to him. On the flipside, I always try to open the door for people if I’m first, regardless if they have a penis or not. I just think it’s a nice thing to do.
At the end of the day, I will continue to fight alongside every other man and woman out there until women are finally given the opportunities, autonomy and respect we deserve. I will also gladly allow a man to pay for a bill, open the door and give me his jacket. Because some of us are cold. And broke. And the door is heavy, ok?