My husband and I have known one another for over 16 years now and yet – it was just this last week that I first dropped the “F” bomb on him. I honestly hadn’t really considered it much – in relation to myself – until recent years. And I only became aware in light of raising daughters. I waited for the right time (date night) and had relevant context (a facebook post) and then I confessed…
“Adam, you married a feminist.” I bit my lip and waited for a response…
You might ask why it had taken us so long to discuss the “f” word (feminism), and I would tell you it was due to a combination of factors including:
A) the (wrong) perception of angry militant feminists as portrayed in the media
B) the fact that I had never considered myself one until recently (see above)
C) I thought he might freak out – once I decided I was one… so I kept it to myself, leaving subtle clues on social media
He paused… “When did you know?” “Are you sure?” “Do you think you will change your mind?” … may or may not be some of the responses he had. J/K
He had known for a while and (I’m sure) was somewhat relieved that I had finally brought it out in the open for discussion.
By the end of it all, I ended up labeling him a feminist too since his rhetoric imply that he agrees all people should have equal rights… as does the rhetoric of MOST people I know.
That being said… rhetoric, internal thoughts, and external behavior are often quite different. This specific discussion arose from a mutual friend sharing a negative portrayal of the WNBA on social media… a seemingly harmless post in many people’s opinions… HOWEVER, I argued with my husband (in a polite and respectful way over a tray of nachos), the degradation of the WNBA as an organization (IMO) undermines the hopes, dreams and ultimately future of women (our children included) everywhere.
I really didn’t want to get into a debate with him about the merits or demerits of the WNBA specifically, but I wanted to point out how subtly our culture is able to make peace with the belittlement of women, so the F word had to be brought up. He felt I was traveling from A to Z pretty quickly, ascribing causation where it maybe shouldn’t exist… but we both contributed thoughtfully and critically to the conversation, seeking common ground and mutual understanding.
I will say it was a peaceful discussion. I will also say we don’t necessarily agree 100% on what the F word means or the length to which we extrapolate the implications of “jokes” etc. in light of this word.
Bottom line: Since we are raising two daughters together – this isn’t the end of the conversation.
Are there political, social, religious or family issues that you and your spouse don’t see eye-to-eye on, but manage to keep the conversation open, respectful and honest? I would welcome and thoughts and advice about how to continue and enhance our discussions regarding differences in beliefs, while keeping the peace and respecting each others thoughts, feelings, and opinions.