My Favorite Holiday-time Question…

Every. Single (no pun intended). Year. Always around the holidays, I get asked the same question and the answer is always the same: BIG. FAT. NO. Trust me, if I was in a relationship, you would know about it. I do not need a yearly reminder of how single I am, I’m quite aware, thank you. Now, I would go into more detail about this topic, but when I looked through the archives and found this post, it put everything I planned to say to shame.

But don’t worry, this post is far from over.

Since we are on the topic of holiday conversations, this past Thanksgiving I was talking to an extended family member (who just so happens to be female) about my job at the Women’s Center, which led to quite a heated discussion about all things feminist. She asked me why I work at the WC and what my connection to it is. My starting argument was around the lines of “Well, I think there are still many inequalities that women have to face…” and her response was one of great surprise. She told me she doesn’t see the inequalities. I’m sorry, what? To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement.

I knew right from the start this conversation was not going to be a fun one when she started with the question: “So, if a man opens the door for you, would you be offended?” Well, no. A car door? Maybe. “Well what about if a man helps you take your jacket off, would you be offended?” I don’t know if offended would be the right word, but unless I was struggling hard core with that jacket sleeve, then yes, I might be a little ‘offended.’ “See, I think that’s nice and he’s just being a gentleman. There’s nothing wrong with that.” Clearly if you think feminism is about men being “gentlemen-ly,” I’m gonna need a drink before we continue this conversation.

Let’s take a gander at her paraphrased responses to the following topics:

And my personal favorite, while discussing women in the workplace, she mentioned that she works in hiring and is encouraged to hire a woman, even if there is someone more qualified for the job because women are considered a minority in the hiring process. UM HELLO THAT’S A PROBLEM! THAT’S WHY THERE IS FEMINISM AND WOMEN’S CENTERS! WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A MINORITY.  WE MAKE UP 50.8% OF THE UNITED STATES POPULATION. I DON’T WANT TO BE HIRED BECAUSE I’M A WOMAN, I WANT TO BE HIRED BECAUSE I AM THE BEST. DAMN. CANDIDATE. FOR THE POSITION. OMG. [end rant].

ugh.

The conversation we had was so surprising, but it made me realize why there is still a need for women’s centers and feminism. I mean, if there are some women who do not see the inequalities and even when presented with an argument, still do not see it, then we still have a long way to go. How do we make a national change without a majority on board? And don’t even get me started on the “war on men.” (of course it’s from FOX). Watch out for that man-ism? Male-ism? Phallus-ism? Whatever the male version of feminism is. Apparently this country isn’t patriarchal enough as it is. (Can someone please invent a sarcasm font?)

Do any of you get the dreaded relationship question or have heated discussions/arguments over politics/social issues around the holidays? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment below!

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3 thoughts on “My Favorite Holiday-time Question…

  1. I know exactly where you’re coming from. Even when I was sad about not having a significant other, I hated it when people (especially my family) keep asking when I’d have one.

    And yes, over Thanksgiving break my family had a good ol’ debate about equality in the U.S. (the “joy” of living in a white Republican family: nobody seems to understand how the American Dream isn’t easily achievable).

  2. Pingback: The War on Men | University of Minnesota Women's Center Blog

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