Monday, March 5, 2012

When will you stop being a feminist?

When there is no net advantage to being a man or a woman in society. When nobody is telling me what I can and can't do with my body, and when it is my own to do with as I please (without anyone touching me without my permission). When my reproductive organs don't tell you anything about my personality, or why I might be disagreeable at any given time. When the number if sexual partners I've had is a non-issue. When becoming a mother does not put me in a position of weakness (with respect to a male partner or in society in general) and when it does not damage my career. When I can automatically be assumed competent in the workplace until proven otherwise, and likewise men in the home. When the rate of family violence is very low, and there is no shame in speaking about it, and rare cases are fairly and equally tried. When the rate of sexual violence is lowered, and there is no shame in speaking about it, and the rare cases of it are fairly and equally tried. When there is no longer a wage gap. When our leadership actually represents women and minorities, and does so with respect and upholds everyone's human rights. When women are properly represented in popular media. When being a homemaker is not to be looked down upon. When "you're such a girl" makes no sense as an insult.

I could go on. But most importantly, when all of this is true for every person on the planet.
Sadly, this is unlikely to happen in my lifetime. That doesn't mean I can't begin laying foundations towards a better future for the next generation.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

On romantic gestures

One thing that I find a little strange about dating is how some men feel like they need to make particular types of romantic gestures to earn my affection. Things like buying me flowers and jewelry. I don't have particular objections to flowers and jewelry, they just seem... kind of useless to me.

I'm not a huge wearer of jewelry (it somehow rarely occur to me to do so, even though I have a reasonable stash of mostly costume jewelry that I've acquired in various ways over the years). I also have a habit of breaking/losing things too, so then I feel kind of pressured into wearing this thing... often which I don't even necessarily think is that pretty, and then worry about losing it, or breaking it by forgetting to take it off before sleeping or showering.

Flowers... well they die. And you have to look after them for a while before they do so. Also they have a habit of making a mess and smelling bad before you get around to throwing them out. It's doubly annoying when the giver of the flowers hasn't even bothered to find out what sort of flowers I like first. (Red roses, especially when packaged with baby's breath, immediately come to mind. I'm not much of a fan because they were my grandmother's favourite, and I buy them to put on her grave sometimes, so they mostly just remind me of her. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it's probably not what a giver of flowers is intending with them.)

Another thing that bothers me a little bit about this sort of stuff early in a relationship is the feeling that I might owe somebody something for this... like, what do they expect to get out of giving me things? Should I give them something back? Are they asserting some kind of ownership by marking me or my desk with very stereotypical items of romance?

Or are they just doing it because they feel like they should because that stuff always works on TV and in the media? (You know, just like how women are the hive mind and all like the same things, and the media is always an accurate representation... yeah something like that.) Is it like, they think that they're supposed to "just know" what I like without asking me (and maybe that I'd be annoyed by being asked), so they're falling back on the obvious (and stereotypical)? I mean, if I was asked, I'd probably say I didn't want anything for my birthday/christmas/valentines day/<insert other event here>. And I'd really be fine with no present, or non-object things like spending some extra time together, or cuddles, or food. Seriously... I'd really prefer that over wasting money on things I don't care that much about any day.