Dating, Feminism, and Rugrats
Grace BlencoweFeminist Wednesday University Ambassador
Due to my eternally single status, my experience with relationships is woefully limited. However an old teacher, a wonderfully strong woman who revitalized my love of education, once made everyone in the class promise that they would never date or, more specifically, marry anyone who didn't...
identify as a feminist. I have full intentions to stay true to that promise so if a man reveals himself as a politically active and aware individual who is not afraid to call himself a feminist, then he is instantly more attractive to me.
That being said, looking for a man to date in the modern era is not an easy task. For example, how likely am I to find a lovely feminist fellow in a club in which it is acceptable to just grab a girl by the hips and gyrate against her or forget all subtlety and fondle a breast while squeezing through the crowd? As unfortunate as it is, I highly doubt I am likely to find a guy with the ability to quote Simone de Beauvoir in a club or in most social settings on campus.
It is highly likely, though, that my aforementioned single life is because of this standard I hold to potential suitors, but I hold it strongly. I am a firm believer that gender roles are not and should not be fixed within a relationship. Of course, I have no doubts that this is a naïve and idealistic view in life. Recently, as I was vacuuming my apartment, I spilled a drink everywhere (twice), and then caught a lump of black pencil eyeliner on the vacuum, which left a massive black line sprawled across the carpet. I hysterically rushed out to the store, spent a heartbreaking amount of money on carpet cleaner (which I have never used again) and sat for an hour frantically dabbing at the stain to make it less noticeable. I just don’t think the housewife life is one for me.
While researching for this article I began to think that, yes, this view goes against my upbringing. But as I thought further, I realized that in comparison to my parents or my grandparents I was raised fairly contemporary. For example, the cartoons which I associate with my childhood, such as “Rugrats”, were quite progressive and gender bending. I have vivid memories of Angelica's mother being a strong business woman, yet of course, this was portrayed negatively with the character being portrayed as heartless and her offspring as spoiled and mean, but the mother was still a breadwinner. I also remember that in this show the roles of the twins' parents were less traditionally structured. Interestingly, my sister and I never appeared to find this odd or extraordinary, and so maybe this explains my stance on gender roles in my own future relationships.
As mentioned, I don't doubt that I am unlikely to find a “perfect” man who believes the same things I do, nor would I want a relationship in which political and lifestyle views are 100 percent compatible, but I believe it is something I wish to strive for and at the very least, attempt to attain.