I believe in feminism and I identify as a feminist, but sometimes when confronted with some of feminisms ideals, especially when it comes to relationships with men, all I can think is “blah, blah, blah.” Some schools of feminism condescendingly pat those that favor “traditional” values on the head (“there there, yes, your ideals are valid!”) and then snigger behind their backs because clearly, no self-possessed woman with her wits about her could possibly ever need anything from a man! No! We are independent ladies now!
Rubbish. Sometimes, relationships and the things we need and want from each other aren’t as subversive as some schools of feminism would have us believe. Not everything is designed to beef up the patriarchy and undermine equality. I, for one, definitely want the man I’m with to possess certain qualities that make some people go “But you’re a feminist!” Yep, I’m a feminist, and sometimes–quelle horreur!–I’d like to be taken care of by a man. Aside from the regular things everyone wants from a man: kindness, honesty, intelligence, big dick etc., here are 6 things that are seemingly non-feminist, but that even feminists (well, at least this one!) want men to do for them:
1. Be Protective
Look, I don’t want a man who’s all up in the grill of anyone that tries to talk to me, or someone that is irrationally jealous, no one does. But you can’t admit that when Ben punched the guy who called Leslie a “bitch” on Parks & Rec in “Bowling For Votes”, you didn’t think it was utterly and perfectly romantic. Even feminists want a guy who can step up and protect them when the moment calls for it. Although, if I had’ve been in Leslie’s shoes, I probably would have started swinging before Ben even got the chance.
2. Fix Stuff
I’m sassy enough to change a light bulb. I can build furniture and hammer things without much misery. But I’ll be damned if I don’t need a man to fix my computer. Whatever it is that a woman can’t fix for herself around the home, it naturally follows that she will turn to her fella for help. This is not anti-feminist–this is called “being practical”.
3. Carry Heavy Shit
I am 5’1 and weigh just under 120 pounds. No, I do not want to fuckin’ carry my heavy ass suitcase up these stairs, thank you very much. I would like a big strong man to do it for me, because it hurts, I’m holding up everyone else who is trying to use the same flight of stairs, and I almost tripped and broke my neck trying to get the thing from step to step. It’s OK that women are (generally) not as physically strong as men. Sometimes it’s as simple as the way biology (or God or whatever you believe in) made our bodies. Again, “being practical”.
4. Yeah, OK, Sometimes Pay For Dinner
I am a big proponent of splitting bills, but I also think that every once in a while, a guy should offer to pay the entire bill. It’s just a nice gesture. I also think that from time to time, the woman should offer to pay the entire bill. That’s also a nice gesture. The politics of paying has got to the point where we’re cutting off the nose to spite of the face–having someone pay for you is nice, as long as it’s not an expectation or one of those gaudy shows of machismo (which is a clear sign someone is a douchebag), just say thank you and be happy that someone values your company enough to drop $25 on that lame-ass tiny salad you ordered.
5. Let Us Look After Them
I’m of the Beyoncé school of feminism where true empowerment is being able to do everything–and that includes cooking for my man, or whatever other damn thing I choose to do that shows him I care about him. I work hard, I have friends and a life, I work out, I read. I do a whole bunch of things that make me a valuable member of a community, I take care of myself and I will sass you if you disrespect me. I also want to be there at the end of the day with a steaming hot plate of food for my boyfriend when he walks in the door. It makes me feel good to do nice things for the person I care about. I CAN AND WILL EMBRACE DOMESTICITY WITH IMPUNITY.
6. Give Up Their Seat
When there’s a contest for an empty seat on the subway and it’s between a man and a woman, the woman will always secretly believe that the man should relent. And she will always stare daggers into the man that doesn’t offer her the seat, but sits his dumb ass down in it instead, spreading out his legs like he’s a centrefold. I can’t justify this one, but men (unless they are old or injured) should just let women have seats on public transport. It’s just the way it should be.