Being a girl is hard. I often find it difficult to navigate these menstrual blood-y waters. So I turn to words, because words help me figure things out...
I believe in equality. I don't think boys should hold doors open for girls, unless maybe the girl is carrying a bunch of groceries or something (but I would also expect a girl to hold the door open for a guy if he was carrying a bunch of groceries or something). I don't think men need to pay on a date, or know how to change the oil in a car, or master the art of barbecue.
In my household, I am the person who usually takes out the garbage, I open my own lids (most of the time), and I make sure the bills get paid in a timely fashion. I also do most of the cooking and cleaning, but that is because I have the time to do it. My dude doesn't do the laundry because he doesn't know the difference between jeans and delicates. And why would he? He doesn't wear lingerie or spandex workout clothes. (That I am aware of.) I haven't bothered learning to start the lawnmower (although I am certain I could if the situation arose), because I honestly don't care how long the grass grows. All this is my convoluted way of saying that in my relationship, we work it out so that we share household responsibilities with little regard for traditional gender roles. We are equal partners. Okay, so that's that.
(As an aside, I am currently listening to Britney Spears singing about how she is a slave for you. Oh the irony.)
I'm not a big fan of labels, as a rule. I don't brand myself a feminist (I don't brand myself anything at all), although I believe in the power and strength of women. I also believe in the power and strength of men. I believe it is our duty to each other to work together to create an environment of compassion and acceptance. I also think it is our duty to each other to work together to create a world that is fun and safe and free.
So how do I reconcile this ideal of equality with my sexuality? (Because sexuality, not gender, is where the greatest differences between us arise. I think gender androgyny would rid the world of many of its evils. We can't go around turning everyone into hermaphrodites, so widespread sexual androgyny probably won't happen anytime soon.) How do we, as a society, reconcile our existence as sentient, thoughtful, rational beings with our basest, most primitive instincts?
I think it comes down to this: I want you to want to fuck me.
I don't want you to actually fuck me. I want you to want to fuck me. If I'm walking by on the street and you whistle, that animal part of me is glad that you want to fuck me. If I'm standing at the bar and you tell me I have a nice rack, I will thank you and be glad that you want to fuck me. (But if you try to buy me a drink, I will politely decline.) I won't feel threatened unless you do something to make me feel unsafe, like touch me or order me to suck your cock or pull out a knife.
It's nice to know people think we are fuckable. It's also nice to know people think we are intelligent, funny, compassionate, and kind, but we can't know that about strangers just by looking at them. (And often when we get to know someone on a less superficial level, we might find that that instinctual desire to fuck has dissipated. Sexy goes deeper than skin.) I know it is politically incorrect to say, but we are objects, insofar as we are out there in the world, perceivable by other people's five senses. It is ridiculous to try not to be an object. Yes, we have brains and feelings, but we are also here, physically, in this world.
I believe in not being afraid. I don't think men are inherently violent beings who want to rape everything they see. This is not, of course, to say that there are not violent men in the world. Sadly, I know people whose lives have been irreparably damaged by sexual assault. Sometimes life is a huge drag. We hurt each other, for a myriad of reasons: to gain power and control, because we are weak, ignorant, unloved, alone, afraid.
So to combat the fear in the world, the insecurity and ignorance that so often lead to acts of violence, I think we should always tell people, even strangers, if we appreciate something in them. We might find a facebook observation witty and amusing, enjoy the song that person wrote and sang, be moved by their art, laugh at their jokes, find them physically attractive, want to fuck them. As human beings, we are intellectual, emotional, and physical. Try as we might, we can't separate these parts of ourselves. They work in tandem anyway.
So it's after 3:30 in the morning and I haven't really figured it out, but I'm going to sign off for now and possibly revisit this later.
Be kind to each other, and riot on.