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If we can talk about this stuff in ways that are interesting and productive, I can work with it most of the time. Where I differ from Jaclyn, I think, is that finding a long-term stable relationship isn’t a huge priority for me, and so compromising on feminist values doesn’t feel particularly urgent.

It would be nice to be in a long-term stable relationship, but only in the sense that I would like to find someone with whom I am actually motivated to build such a relationship.

Or like the dude who referred to Joanna Newsom’s voice as “shrill,” and I made an off-hand comment about how “shrill” is a pretty gendered word and only used to describe women, which was met with “But her voice is ! And I don’t bring this up to be critical of those dudes — those particular dudes are very nice dudes, and the defensiveness kicked in, I think, because they were actually trying really hard to be not-sexist, and the realization that maybe they were partaking in something less than egalitarian — or being of being sexist — was frustrating and uncomfortable for them, especially coming from a Known Feminist. But the whole “I pretty strongly ID as a feminist” thing means that anything I say about a dude’s sexism gets blown into a whole big thing, like if he makes a wrong move I’m going to handcuff him and throw him in a cell with Camille Paglia.

And then of course there are the times when I actually want to handcuff a dude and throw him in a cell with Camille Paglia because what he just said is so stunningly ignorant and offensive that I’m wondering how I ever came to date this person in the first place. Even getting to the point of “this is a person worth dating in the first place” is… Any relationship requires compromise and flexibility, sure; but how and where to compromise on the feminism thing is particularly difficult because we aren’t talking about a political issue here, we’re talking about a way of seeing the world.

Which isn’t to sound morally superior or like this is actually a good thing; it’s probably something I should talk to a therapist about, to be quite honest.


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