Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Romance & Relationships

I thought that the article Feminism Keeps My Marriage Together shed a new light on the connection between relationships and feminism. The couple seemed to be equal in their relationship and defied the social constructions of the typical male and female roles towards their relationship. The decision was made by both to get married while they were folding laundry together instead of the man getting down on one knee. This clearly was confusing to the people within her life which led to her questioning the validity of their relationship/engagement. Even though she was fully happy with buying each other shoes instead of the traditional ring bought by the man, her friends and family showed pity towards her situation as if it wasn’t her choice in not having a ring. She began to feel guilty for the traditional things that she defied in her role as a bride. Due to the societal influence that we all are subject to, marriage meant filling those social roles of traditional male/female tasks, chores, responsibilities, etc. Even though they were clearly attempting to be anti-tradition in their engagement, they still fell victim to the traditional roles of wife and husband. Her solution to defeating this was to realize and confront the sexist stereotypes and view their relationship through a feminist light.

I think what she is saying is very true. It is pretty cool to me they have the audacity to defy tradition like that, but she isn’t saying you have to give up the traditional proposal and buy each other shoes if that is not what you want for your future. In confronting the sexist roles that tradition instills in us instead of ignoring them and pretending they are not there, both men and women can feel happy about their roles within their relationship.

I know that personally, I envision for my future to include an engagement that most would consider traditional to our society. The ring, asking permission from my father, and the romance factor, those things are all important to me. It’s not that I need to be shown a ring as a promise of financial stability provided by my husband or that my father decides who I can and cannot marry. I just like tradition. I like the respect that comes from talking to family prior to the engagement and I like the ring as an outward symbol I can share with other loved ones. You can bet that my husband and I will have an equal share in household duties and taking care of children. My boyfriend and I split chores right down the middle. If I am busy studying and don't have time to clean the house, he takes on that responsibility. In turn, if he has been working overtime and is stressed with work, then I clean the house. He makes dinner majority of the time, so I do the dishes. Personally I think that as long as you have a balance and recognize the responsibilities not as gender assigned, it is definitely okay to partake in the traditional roles of engagement.

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