You should feel safe with your own boyfriend. The world is a terrifying, disgusting place, especially for a woman. If you are in a relationship, your boyfriend should be your safe place from all of the misogyny and violence going on outside of your front door. With him, you should feel at home. You deserve to be with a man who respects you and makes a genuine educated effort to be a stronger person and make your immediate social environment safer.
Our society conditions men to think and act in certain ways around each other, all of which contribute to the overall bullshit that women have to face on a daily basis. As a woman, you already have to deal with the disrespect from strange men on the streets, with their objectifying eyes, threatening hands, and ignorant mouths. When your boyfriend looks, touches, or speaks to you, it should always feel like these actions are derivative of love, rather than lust, superiority, or control.
You should feel safe with your own boyfriend. He should respect and encourage your voice, and your desperate need to speak out against the stomach-wrenching conditions of this world that women have to live in. He should stand beside you, holding the microphone. Even if he doesn’t completely understand where you are coming from with all of the things that you say, he should understand the severe importance that you say them, and help you to be heard. He should believe in you enough to attempt to make an example of himself for other men to follow. He should know that with loving you, comes the responsibility of being your one safe place in a world of darkness.
You should feel safe with your own boyfriend. He should know that the presence of his Y chromosome shouldn’t be the one defining factor between the two of you that dictates why he can walk around without his keys pressed between his fingers, and not have to worry about having to defend his life in the short distance from the driveway to the house; or whether or not the pants he puts on in the morning would be too easy for a stranger to slip off against his will. He should understand and be terrified and frustrated by how easily he could have been the target of these everyday threats if only his body had developed slightly differently in his mother’s womb.
You should feel safe with your own boyfriend. He should use his fingers to lift your chin and wipe away your tears, not to pull triggers or point at you when bad things happen. He should understand that these terrible things are a reflection of the sick, damaged society we live in.