What if I’m a feminist but my boyfriend is not?


January 10, 2016 by Cláudia

Today I will not provide any useful insight. I need help. Please.

I believe in gender equality with all my heart but he doesn’t and how can I have a relationship with him like this? How can I be with someone that believes each gender has its own place and that men need to protect women and be stronger and dadada.

This question never came up but when I jokingly said I wanted to gain arm muscle so that I could beat him everything escalated. I don’t want to relive what he said or read the messages he wrote again. It was something like I couldn’t handle you being stronger than me because I would feel my masculinity diminished. If you were stronger than me I would feel useless because I couldn’t protect you and that would be a humiliation (I wouldn’t need protection if I were strong enough to defend myself). I don’t mind you getting stronger, just not stronger than me.

I tried to explain why that was chauvinistic – believing men should be stronger than women – but he kept disregarding what I was saying and dismissing terms like feminism as “absurd” and “disrupting”. He says that if believing this makes him a chauvinistic, then he is one.

This never came up. He is kind and treats me well. But he, as many many others have this concepts inculcated – concepts that I don’t think I can live with. He feels humiliation if he is not “the man”. I am waiting for him to say sorry and recognize there’s nothing wrong with me being stronger than him, but that’s just not happening. He’s just texting me things like “why are you so upset?”, “why does this matter to you so much?” and treating this like a pointless tantrum.

I don’t want to let this go as I let go so many things. I want to get to the bottom of this and I want this to be changed. I want a world where there is no defined role for any gender. And that should start on my own relationship.

7 thoughts on “What if I’m a feminist but my boyfriend is not?

  1. Bhanu says:

    Well what can I say, you already have all your thoughts clear.

    Basically if this is still not sorted out, you need to let the man know what u think and what u need, if he is OK with it, well and good. If he is not, he might give u back something, then u need to check with yourself. Are u OK with it ?
    If yes, well n good. If no, then can u live with it, if u cannot then is it something that can make u let go of this relationship. If so, then do as your heart says.

    I appreciate you standing with the last line, saying that whatever has to start has to start from self.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Keef says:

    This is a really tough one. You have to understand the feminism is very very recent compared with the entire history of the human species and even the design of the human body – men tend to have broader shoulders and narrower hips meaning it is easier for them to develop upper body strength and run faster whereas women are the other way around because they are designed to be able to bear children. For literally millions of years human behaviour/role models have been largely based on this body design and it’s only recently that we have lived in a world where this is no longer necessary.
    Personally I think we should all play to our strengths, I find it rather sad that women only feel they can succeed by being stronger or more aggressive than men – I’d prefer a world where women and men were equally recognised and appreciated for their natural talents. Being a Pagan and working with male and female archetypes (mother earth, father sky etc.) I recognise how both are equally important.
    Unfortunately, being an older man I too think I would find it hard to date or live with a woman who was physically stronger than me – when it comes to attraction it is not the female gender that attracts me but femininity – sorry 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s okay, I understand. My problem was not attraction, there are things I don’t feel attracted to as well and I cannot really control that… So it’s perfectly reasonable if he said that is not really what he fancies.
      What really bothered me was him saying that if I was strong enough to be able to defend myself or to carry my own weights (because I have never been into fitness until very recently) he would feel useless. That he would feel inferior if I had more physical strength than him. That is not about attraction, that is about gender roles and the belief that men should be stronger than women and protect them etc etc.
      My goal was never to be stronger than him, I only said that jokingly. But it did bother me that it would be such a big deal if I was.
      Anyway, thank you very much for stopping by, I was really deeply upset when I wrote this but now I am calmer. I understand this has more to do with how society tells him he should be as a man than what he actually would like me to be like. Thank you and best wishes to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mon ☠ says:

    I think feminism is a very new concept to him. Societal pressures are hard to break through. I think he needs time with this, just that. Society basically taught him that he is useless if he can’t provide safety for the women. I think he needs time to realize that he is more than a “protector’.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 466 other followers

%d bloggers like this: