Can you be a feminist, but still prefer the man to be dominant in your own relationship?

(45 Posts)
flanjabelle Tue 16-Aug-16 14:57:52

I wholeheartedly agree that men and women should be equal. We should have the same rights, the same pay, the same opportunities, etc etc.

However, in my own relationship I feel most comfortable in a more old fashioned set up. I am happy to stay at home and raise my child. I am happy to be the one to cook and clean and organise the home. I have raised my child, feeding her, bathing her, teaching her, being up with her in the night.

I prefer my partner to go to work, and be less involved in raising our child. I like cooking for him and doing the housewifey things. I like him to be dominant in the bedroom. I like that he is stronger than me. I like that he does the heavy lifting and the typical man jobs. I feel happy and secure in this type of relationship.

He is not abusive, he does not control me, he wholeheartedly supports me in whatever I want to do. He calls himself a feminist and would never stand by and watch a woman being treated as an unequal.

Can you love being a 'housewife' and still be a feminist?

unlimiteddilutingjuice Tue 16-Aug-16 15:02:38

Feminism is a movement not a lifestyle. Also- all feminists have been brought up under patriarchy and have had their attitudes influenced by it.

So, no, your life choices do not rule you out of feminism.

However, if you get very into feminism be prepared for your personal perspective to change over time.

0phelia Tue 16-Aug-16 15:03:16

There's a "choicy" sort of feminism that agrees with you, it's your choice so it's fine. No one's forced you to stay at home.

But what's the point of wanting to be a feminist if you prefer men to be dominant?

Grimarse Tue 16-Aug-16 15:41:02

For you, OP.

JacquettaWoodville Tue 16-Aug-16 15:42:31

Dominant in bed or dominant in other things (e.g. where you live, where you go on holiday etc)?

Agree with unlimited.

OurBlanche Tue 16-Aug-16 15:47:48

Oooh! 'choicy sort of feminism'? what the fuck is that?

Is it the way it was when it began? When it was all about equality and choice. Women having the same political, economic, personal, and social rights as men. It was all about choices... the freedom to make your own decisions.

The point is that any woman can choose to live in a more traditional set up, to choose a dominant man and not be derided for that choice.

toadgirl Tue 16-Aug-16 15:49:41

However, in my own relationship I feel most comfortable in a more old fashioned set up. I am happy to stay at home and raise my child. I prefer my partner to go to work, and be less involved in raising our child. I like that he does the heavy lifting and the typical man jobs

But that doesn't make him dominant? confused

toadgirl Tue 16-Aug-16 15:52:15

In case my post wasn't worded well, what I meant to say was that your set-up (which you are both happy with, I presume) does not put one partner above the other. It's just simple division of labour which is acceptable to you both. So no dominance that I can see.

BertrandRussell Tue 16-Aug-16 15:57:56

What do you mean by dominant?

Lottapianos Tue 16-Aug-16 16:03:06

Yes I'm confused by your use of 'dominant' too. Him going out to work and you staying at home to do housework and raise children doesn't make him 'dominant', so long as you feel you have chosen freely to take that role on. It sounds like you have very different roles, which happen to correspond to the stereotypical male and female roles in a family.

I love cooking, my male DP hates it. He is brilliant at DIY and handy stuff around the house, I am utterly clueless about all of it. So I do most of the cooking, and he does most all of the DIY. That doesn't make him 'dominant', it just means that we have different skills and talents.

BertrandRussell Tue 16-Aug-16 16:06:53

"I love cooking, my male DP hates it. He is brilliant at DIY and handy stuff around the house, I am utterly clueless about all of it. So I do most of the cooking, and he does most all of the DIY. That doesn't make him 'dominant', it just means that we have different skills and talents."

I have to say my antenna always twitch at bit at this- how much time does he actually spend doing DIY? Is it anything like the couple of hours a day you probably spend cooking and washing up? You must not be able to move for shelves in your house!

Lottapianos Tue 16-Aug-16 16:10:47

grin Bertrand

I hear you. I always find it fascinating that the jobs that men are 'hardwired' hmm to do are the things that need doing monthly or hardly ever (mowing the lawn, washing the car, putting up shelves etc) whereas the jobs women are 'hardwired' to do are the things that have to be done every single day without fail (cooking, laundry, cleaning, tidying etc). I smell an avalanche of BS!

So, to reassure you - we do share the cooking equally during the week. I do more at the weekend because I love having extra time to do something a bit more special. All other chores get shared evenly between us. We don't have children. So all good.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Tue 16-Aug-16 16:18:23

Our job share used to be he cooked i cleaned, this was fine before children, at which point my workload doubled but his didn't really change.
This took us a few years to sort out, a few years too many.

Xenophile Tue 16-Aug-16 17:45:10

Negotiating equal household responsibilities isn't not feminist. Being a SAHM isn't not feminist. Some of the most radical feminists I know are SAHM, there's no conflict between the two.

As long as things are as equal as possible, and you have a good solid plan should things not work out between you and your DH, then I don't see a drama.

What isn't feminist is men forcing women to SAH or go out to work and women backing those men up. There are certain disadvantages to not working outside the home for long periods, but as long as you have made your decisions with your eyes wide open to them, then meh.

flanjabelle Tue 16-Aug-16 18:55:16

Sorry I had to go to the hospital to see dp.

I guess by dominant I mean that ultimately he is in charge. Not in a nasty way, but I defer to him.

I think this has come to the front of my mind as dp is currently mentally unwell and in hospital and the roles have changed. It has highlighted to me how safe and secure I felt before. Now I am having to make all the decisions and am the one in charge of everything as he is incapable at the moment.

Dozer Tue 16-Aug-16 18:59:55

I'm sorry your DP is ill. Hope he feels better soon.

I don't think it's great to want a partner (whatever their gender) to be "in charge". Especially if you have different views/preferences and have DC.

If you're not married being a SAHM is very unwise IMO.

flanjabelle Tue 16-Aug-16 18:59:57

I just feel a bit like a let down to the feminist inside that I have no desire to get out there and have an incredible career and show the men that I can be just as good as them if not better at some amazing job. I just don't though. I am happy being a sahm. It is the happiest I have ever been. I want dp to go out and earn the money, and I want to raise the babies.

Dozer Tue 16-Aug-16 19:01:54

Does he want to do that (earn all the money)? Is he likely to be able to do so with his health etc?

ImperialBlether Tue 16-Aug-16 19:07:19

Flanjabelle, how on earth can you defer to your husband after all he's done? Surely you could only defer to someone if you felt they were particularly wise and clever and kind and trustworthy? You've had problems with your husband for a long time and I've always felt personally you'd do much better without him. I don't think you did always feel safe and secure with him - you couldn't have.

I think your desire to have someone tell you what to do and to make sure you're alright stems from somewhere else rather than your current relationship. What was your relationship with your father like? Did he make you feel really safe? If so I'd guess you were trying to get that back; if not I'd say you wanted safety then and you still want it now.

flanjabelle Tue 16-Aug-16 19:09:17

Sorry im in a funny head space at the minute. There's a lot going on. I watched suffragette today and it just got me thinking. That added to my wobbly feeling about the shift in our relationship at the moment and I just wondered about it all really.

JacquettaWoodville Tue 16-Aug-16 19:09:24

"If you're not married being a SAHM is very unwise IMO."

Yes, I agree with this,. Are you OK for medical next of kin, access to finance etc whilst he is poorly?

Could I ask why you decided not to marry?

Dozer Tue 16-Aug-16 19:10:58

Perhaps OP is independently wealthy (hope so!)

JacquettaWoodville Tue 16-Aug-16 19:11:42

Within a relationship, money needs to be earned and children need to be cared for. Whether those jobs are each split 50:50, split 100:0 and 0:100, somewhere in between or if both work full or part time and pay for childcare doesn't really matter as long as both partners feel equal and are equally protected.

I would guess you aren't. Not because you are SAHM but because of your other language.

flanjabelle Tue 16-Aug-16 19:11:55

Imperial, I understand what you are saying about dp, but we have both been through a lot and come out damaged unfortunately. It does affect the way we are in a relationship, but he is a good person, just a bit broken.

My dad, yes and no. He's wonderful, but I never really saw him as a child. He worked all the time and I don't think I actually knew him as a person until I became an adult.

JacquettaWoodville Tue 16-Aug-16 19:12:14

No hard hat necessary after all then, Grimarse!

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