Sunday, March 24, 2013


Disclaimer: I really want this post to be about my 12 mile long run yesterday. But I already know I'm going to get distracted. I want you to know that I have tried to calm down. I've tried wine, I've tried pranayama breathing, I tried talking to the Grige and my Mom, and I've reached the conclusion that if I am still this angry after 12 miles, or 2 hours and 17 minutes, of pounding pavement, I'm probably not going to relax for a while.

So let's start with the run, and see where we go. I wanted to start early, but let's be honest: I love staying in bed with the Grige for as long as he will let me. I'm building a whole life around that fact, because I am actually a morning person, but it's the only time I get to see him, so I take full advantage. So I dropped him off at studio around 8, and ran to the grocery store, and ate some peanut butter toast and a banana. I actually made it out the door by 10 a.m., which is quite a bit earlier than normal!

I really just want to let that paragraph be, but did you know that I am a horrible feminist because I let my husband's schedule dictate my plans? Do you know that that's what I was thinking about while we snuggled? That I am letting my gender down because I want to appreciate my husband. Yes, I let that stupid article in New York Magazine, which I will not link to on principle, get in my head BIG TIME.

I was actually excited to read it. I think it's so cool that we're approaching a time where women can chose to work, or stay home, or really do whatever they want without judgement. I was psyched to read about feminist housewives, who are devoting their educations and energy to raising responsible, kind, intelligent little humans and to providing care and assistance to those they love. Well, SURPRISE! Instead, I got to read a bunch of barely veiled snide commentary peppered with out of context quotes designed to make these women sound like simpering idiots and make me feel bad about pretty much every single choice I've ever made and will ever make.

And as my anger simmers, I realize that what is so wrong about this article is that it not only pits women against each other, but it pits women against their husbands, and it really makes you wonder what the hell kind of woman could actually win in the world the author paints. It made me feel like the fact that I cooked dinner for my husband last week is not because I love him and want to support him, or even because I like to cook, but actually because I'm participating in some patriarchal scheme that my husband and all the men everywhere have concocted. He wasn't working late, he was actually smoking cigars with all the other bros and laughing about it while I slaved over a hot stove.

You see, my marriage is not a microcosm for all gender roles everywhere. It's actually just a couple of fools trying to muddle through building a meaningful and enjoyable life together. As a team. And if I decided to stay home, or take a job as a CEO at a start up, it would be a team decision, and there would be pros and cons just like every other decision in life. Maybe it would work and maybe it wouldn't, our job is just to find what works for us, which is pretty damn feminist, if you ask me. I suspect we're not alone in this, and I'm tired of making a decision to do what's right for someone other than myself getting read as being a bad feminist. If I start believing that my husband is not on my team, and I'm out here alone fighting for an abstract construct or whatever just out of spite, that's a really sad life!

12 miles is a long time to think about something and not get any more clarity. Which is how I know that this is a big problem. And then last night, after inhaling a bunch of Persian food, our waiter overhead me bitching (and not for the last time) about what a horrible year for women 2013 is turning out to be. I was specifically complaining about the fact that a hotelier in Greece will only communicate with the Grige instead of me, even though we are paying him with MY CREDIT CARD. My tone was somewhere in between exhausted and "what the f*cking f*ck?!?!". And then, at the end of the meal, for the first time in my entire life (throughout most of which I have been either picking up or splitting bills), the waiter handed ME the check. So maybe there's hope. There was definitely a big-ass tip for him.

I think that feminism for me is a little bit like long distance running. It's a mental game, all about choice - how you let people make you feel, which way you turn, whether or not you can keep going. It always makes you hungry and tired, and sometimes, it gives you diarrhea. It's your race, but it's a lot more fun when you do it as part of a team. To win at running, it's pretty much useless to tear other people down. It's not a contact sport. And to be honest, the real win is just finishing for most of us. Maybe I'm reaching for that, but I think it rings true. I should know, I thought about it for 12 miles, or 2 hours and 17 minutes, yesterday.


  1. I had to go find this article after I read this. It had quite the agenda.

    I only got half way through and then I had to stop because I was getting really annoyed. I felt like the author was really taking things out of context and centering the article around a long family really worked the bias angle too.

    I did find the bit about women feeling like they have to do it themselves so it gets done right was interesting. I think it's unfair to but it only in the context of housework or childcare though because, truthfully I feel that way about EVERYTHING. Learning to let go and that Todd's way, while different and perhaps not as "perfect" as my way, is also goof and gets the job done, has been an intense intense struggle for me. And this is everything from the way to execute a particular recipe to dinner to how we should plan our flights for a trip or I mean, you name it.

    Also Todd is the primary caretaker for our dogs. I think this speaks volumes about how he will handle his role as a father. :)

    1. I think that you are hitting on exactly what was so disturbing about the article - a lot of it rang true, but it was framed so horribly that it just ended up making me feel bad about myself and my marriage.