As a somewhat-recently regular reader of Shakesville, I've begun to find words and names for all those seemingly 'random' feelings of uneasiness (which, as it turns out, weren't at all random). Once my eyes were opened to how the world really is, (via, the red pill), I was bombarded with all of the little, subtle, misogynistic references that were always there, but I had never really noticed before. And, since I'm not much of a going out person at this point in my life, most of these things were coming from my own family. These are the people who are supposed to love me and not want to hurt or oppress me, yet there they were, saying things that told me, over and over again, that I was less, and other, and not worthy. But, being the girl who always 'questions things', I figured that they had no idea what they were really saying; so I decided to speak up and try to talk about it with them. That went over about as well as a lead balloon. It caused so many fights that when I even try to bring things up now, I get told I'm just 'antagonizing', or I've 'become so sensitive', etc.- eventually I kinda gave up trying to bring things up with them, and now limit myself to posting relevant links on facebook, where they can choose to read them or not (most of the time it's a not).
Anyway, that's not actually the focus of this post, as you can see by the title, but it is some relevant background information. This post is about an interaction that happened between me and my Boyfrog (as he's affectionately known to the GirlBrainTrust <3 ). Boyfrog and I have known/dated each other for a couple of years, and though there have been some rocky parts, we've been successfully been able to navigate those parts and figure out what we wanted and where we wanted to go- and naturally, as I was able to become more and more aware, and more and more a part of the feminist movement, I wanted to share this with him, as it was an important part of my life.
Hell, it is my life.
So, as I read through Shakesville, I looked for a post that could sum up some of the stuff I saw happening, without making him feel like a bad person, or one who continuously hurt me, neither of which he does. Eventually, I found this entry, entitled The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck, and I found that it spoke to my general concerns while making sure it addressed the fact that the only reason I would show Boyfrog the page was because I love him and because I trust him more than anyone else. And, most importantly, because I know he does not want to hurt me. With those thoughts in mind, I typed up a mini description, pasted the link into a facebook message, and sent it off to be read.
*insert Jeopardy waiting song here*
We finally talked about it last night when I asked him if he had read it (to which he said of course) and what he thought about it. He thought for a long moment, then responded "I saw way too much of myself in her ['Liss'] writing. I have a lot of work that I need to do." I had no idea how much just a simple recognition and validation of my feelings and concerns would mean to me until I realized I was crying happy tears with a huge grin on my face. From there, we talked about my general feelings on some of the stuff I grew up with, and I got to talk about how it felt, as a woman, to have my voice hushed and my concerns dismissed (also of the fear of the meta of having my concern about having my concerns dismissed dismissed). It was amazing, and all the while he just listened, and eventually I got what was on my mind out, and we both said I love you and that we'd try harder. [At some point, I asked him if the piece could be accurately framed for some of his experiences, as he is 100% Puerto Rican living in a very white area of the country, and he said yes, so I apologized for probably having contributed to that, and encouraged him to call me out on things I say.]
All in all, it was an experience that brought us closer together, and opened all of our eyes, and one I'm very grateful for.