Add to GoogleReader

Add to Google Reader or Homepage


A Quick Complaint...

What is this, 1942? From here.
 I know it's the season of hope, happiness and ho-ho-ho. But I have a complaint to make. And I'll just say it upfront so those of you not interested can just turn away- it's about sexism
... and well intentioned people who make carelessly sexist remarks.

Case in point: this conversation that happens to me with surprising regularity.

Me: something something something "my boyfriend" something something...
Other: Oooh, a boyfriend, eh? What does he do?
Me: He's getting a PhD in Engineering.
Other: OOOOOOoooooHHHHhhhh. You should totally marry him.
Me: ...............ok, thanks.
 Now to be honest, I normally giggle and play along. Because I get what they're saying. He's preparing for the type of career that is, in general, dependable and well-paying. And that's a nice quality to have in a husband. But when I get to thinking about it, saying that to people, and even worse, thinking it, is a terrible habit to be in. Here's why:

1.Yes, The Boy has a million and one qualities that make him ideal husband material - he's generous and kind, loyal, very funny, and pretty darn cute to boot. But misguided speaker above has no idea of that - he could just as easily be a stingy, mean, shifty, daft, ugly bloke. Who hits me. Or leaves toenail clippings around the apartment. Or hates cats. (Just to be clear, he does none of these). So I'm being encouraged to marry someone, for no other earthly reason than the fact that he may possibly have a well-paying job sometime in the future? Gee, why not just sell me down the road for a couple of goats and call it even?
Clearly... from here.
2. And what about me? Sure, my current job isn't anything fabulous but I do make enough to pay my own rent, bills, and buy Christmas gifts. For most people, that's doing extremely well - and I'm only 25, with a college degree and work experience, so the chances of my lot improving are good. So what do I need to marry him for? Companionship, love, sure. But economics? Mmmm, not really. 

3. What about him? If I were a modern, caring, sensible guy I'd be a little peeved to hear people tell my girlfriend to marry me, based solely on my future career prospects. Don't guys deserve to be loved for their good qualities, just as much as girls deserve to marry for love? I think that's pretty much the basis for equality between the sexes, when it comes down to it.

I don't normally go off on feminist rantings on a day to day basis. In general, I'm pretty optimistic about gender equality.  But as any romcom can tell you, marrying for money is not a good idea. And encouraging young women to do so, and in turn devaluing their own economic and social worth, is hazardous not only to them, but to society as a whole.

So people, I'll leave you with the immortal wisdom of Destiny's Child: Independent Women

Rock on, sisters!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a thought? Share with the class!