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I have made a most unfeminist decision and I am struggling with it

(108 Posts)
PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 20:48:53

I identify as a feminist, but have made a rather unfeminist choice last year that I fully intend to stick with, but am struggling to reconcile with my feminist convictions.

Is that 'allowed'?
Does it make me a hypocrite?? I suspect so.
Is there some validity in believing in certain principles but not living by them when it comes to the crunch??
Can certain principles be right and proper but don't applied in all cases??

I'd rather make this a general discussion than going in to ins and outs of it all wrt to us here - we've got a very good counsellor for that grin

CheerfulYank Tue 19-Jan-16 20:51:56

I can't decide without knowing. grin

Just kidding, I'm just nosy.

I personally am a feminist even though I've made choices that others would consider unfeminist. I don't care. I choose, not them. I am very committed to the advancement of women and girls and their equality. I am a feminist.

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 20:53:07

I bought pink knickers! I know, I need to give up my feminist member card <hangs head in shame>

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 19-Jan-16 20:54:14

You don't need to make every choice for womankind. What suits you won't suit everybody else.

If you're happy and everyone else is happy then you've made a satisfactory decision for yourself. Life is a compromise

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 19-Jan-16 20:54:48

I don't think it makes you a hypocrite.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find any feminist who hasn't made some compromises. I think it is normal.

But I think it's really hard if those compromises are make you miserable - that's the bottom line.

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 20:55:01

Just kidding too grin

Serious relationship shit, boring predictable longterm relationship nonsense, really not worth getting in to the details of. And I've decide to stay and carry on, even though I realise my advice on the Relationship board would be otherwise hmmconfusedblush

WilLiAmHerschel Tue 19-Jan-16 20:57:28

I think as much as you might want all your choices to be 'feminist' ones, we don't live in a world that makes that easy. Plus in a truly equal future we should be able to make bad choices and not be seen as letting down the team if you see what I mean.

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 20:57:29

Oh, I'm not miserable, the ugly boil that burst last year was a fecking relief in all honesty. And things are better than they have been between us for years, so onwards and upwards.

I know I would be ok if I had decided otherwise and left, I am very able practically, financially and emotionally to go it alone, but I opted not to. And I am not quite sure why…

I am rather relived nobody has shouted at me yet grin

TPel Tue 19-Jan-16 20:57:30

It is your life to make the choices you want. As long as you are making the choice freely without coercion, nothing else really matters.

Movingonmymind Tue 19-Jan-16 20:57:45

Life is compromise and principles are mostly not absolutes.

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 20:59:16

Hm, yes, coercion… no coercion, but are there not societal pressures in any society, so in ours, patriarchal pressures to remain in a marriage?
I often wonder how free many of our 'choices' are.

Movingonmymind Tue 19-Jan-16 21:00:53

Maybe. But often pragmatic reasons to stay (rightly or otherwise) . Individual, i think.

WilLiAmHerschel Tue 19-Jan-16 21:02:42

All our choices are influenced by one thing or another so I don't think any choice is completely free. Depending on your meaning of free.

Liara Tue 19-Jan-16 21:03:30

I think it depends a lot on your particular background and circumstances.

In my family, divorce is so common that the idea of having pressure not to divorce is weird.

I have made many unfeminist choices in my life, starting with giving up a high flying career and getting worse from there. However, my own particular brand of feminism does not require me to try to be what society thinks men should be only more so, it just requires me to be what I want to be.

So by those standards, I could be a feminist, though most of the people on this board would disown me if they knew me.

StealthPolarBear Tue 19-Jan-16 21:03:56

I firmly believe you can have feminist principles without every single decision standing up to the feminist board of scrutiny. For a variety of reason, life isn't black or whire there are 50 shades of grey (good film ;)). It is difficult I agree.
I am glad you're ok

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 21:07:43

This is really stuck in my craw tbh - I've made other 'unfeminist' decisions that I absolutely own and am not stuck on.

It's not divorce as such, it's leaving a longterm relationship as a matter of principle rather than because I wanted to leave.
It's nothing to do with forgiveness either, it's the principle of it that I find I cannot get past.

I am really grateful for everybody's thoughts btw and helping me apply some rigour to my half-thought through discomfort.

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 21:08:36

Stealth, I'm fine, thanks. Your support has meant a lot when the proverbial hit the fan thanks

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 19-Jan-16 21:08:49

I think women are quite strongly conditioned to believe they owe something to a relationship. Not to suggest this is what you're experiencing, but maybe it's part of it?

It always strikes me when people post elsewhere on the site with questions like 'AIBU not to want to date this man' or 'AIBU not to see him again', as if it's a question of what is reasonable and fair to the man involved.

Certainly as far as the personal side goes, I did get a massive (and delightfully Victorian) lecture from my dad about not giving up on the huge number of good things in my marriage. He had no interest in or knowledge of any problems (and he realised that), but he had no difficulty in telling me it would be a real 'shame' if I didn't work at the good bits.

StealthPolarBear Tue 19-Jan-16 21:08:58

Sorry I'm a bit lost. Are you leaving, and that's the 'unfeminist' bit, or staying?

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 21:09:45

Staying, I'm staying, Stealth, but I feel as a matter of principle I ought to leave confused

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 19-Jan-16 21:10:28

Also, I'm going to put this badly, but ... if you left 'on principle' because it seemed right, but deep down you felt it wasn't what you wanted/needed, wouldn't that be another kind of betrayal of feminist principles? It'd be refusing to trust yourself as an authority on your own life.

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 21:12:16

Yes, it's that conditioning that I am questioning in myself.

Having said that, clearly DH feels he owes something to the relationship too, just not as much as I do. Entitlement played a huge role in his behaviour.

I can just see my own dad giving me that kind of a lecture, LRD, in fact I can imagine every single word, I think grin

StealthPolarBear Tue 19-Jan-16 21:12:23

I see.
I don't think there's anything wrong with havingfeminist principles but choosing to make a decision which seems to counter them. A bit like with anything else that you have values or feel strongly about. There needs to be a good reason although you may not be able to articulate it. I suppose the worry is that you can't articulate it because your (general you, not you personally) reasons are bad ones.

PacificDogwod Tue 19-Jan-16 21:13:46

Aaaargh, LRD, exactly!!
That circuitous argument has me quietly going nuts in my head!!

I should just Know My Place and be done with it!!

Movingonmymind Tue 19-Jan-16 21:14:21

Your decision should ideally be one you can come to accept, irrespective of principle. Are you worried what others think? Hard not to do so but they sre far less important than you and what you prioritise/need/think. Also maybe you can make the change later, when/if you're ready and resourced up. Might be right decision, wrong time??

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