Thursday, April 15, 2010

Standing Up for Me

One of my biggest pet peeves is men using feminism to absolve themselves of treating a woman right. Just because I'm assertive doesn't mean you get to sit & watch while some guy harasses me or tries to violate me. I remember dating this guy that I call "Vampire Boy."

Oh, Vampire Boy...the relationship where I constantly wondered whether I was in love or not & learned I wasn't after meeting my husband. He would say stuff to me all the time like "Don't fall in love with me," but then say that I helped him recover from this brutal dumping by an ex.

Among this man's many flaws & transgressions, one thing really sticks out in my mind.

At the time, he fancied himself a wannabe musician. Called my singing voice "okay," so that definitely tells you something (most people tell me I'm very good/should sing professionally/you get the idea--at this point, I'm close to semi-professional). He starts working graveyard shift at this gas station & meets some musicians who live nearby. They invite him to a house party & for reasons I still can't figure out, he decides to go & takes me as well as two of his goth friends. He is Vampire Boy b/c he wore all black & my family only saw him at night (my mom gets the credit for this nickname).

When we get there, I notice that it's a lot like my college's frat parties but w/more people & a bigger house. This is definitely not the environment I expect Vampire Boy to want to be part of. As we walk in, he tells me that if anyone messes w/me I'm on my own since he's too small to defend me against anyone (he was my height of 5'6*).

I didn't think much of it at the time but again, I was merely dating him. I was talking about the issue of standing up for your woman w/my husband today & a thought occurs to me.

If someone gets good & mad, size doesn't matter. I'm sure plenty of people wouldn't want to mess w/me if I hit that point or think they could take me; that's just common sense. For that reason, I believe you shouldn't go around ticking people off regardless of what they look like since the smallest person in the room could easily fight dirty/know the exact pressure points to hit to knock you down/be a trained fighter/who knows. Anyone in a rage filled state isn't someone to mess with.

So if you can't get in a rage filled state over someone messing w/your spouse or serious girlfriend, I don't think you deserve to be w/that person. At least, I don't think a guy deserves me if he won't stand up for me in a situation. It means he doesn't care that much about you & if you can't count on that, you may as well be single.

My husband really ticked me off one time for not doing this & I've told him that if it ever happens again, we'd be talking divorce. Strong woman or not, he wouldn't deserve to be with me if he can't back me up or be there for me like I would for him. That kind of imbalance doesn't work in a marriage.

I think this easily applies to any woman. No man deserves your love if you can't be sure that he'd at least tell some jerk who's bothering you to back off. You can bet I'd NEVER let anyone mess w/my man; hurting him means you're going to pay in some form & everyone knows you don't mess w/an angry redhead. We're all crazy!!

And if a man is causing pain to you, that's even worse. Especially if it's physical. I have never been in an abusive relationship, probably b/c I lived w/my mother who famously said she didn't get why a woman would take that from a man since "they always go to sleep." The women in my family don't mess around; if you hit one of us, we just hit you right back & keep going if we have to. My mother put up w/a lot from my father but she said she'd never put up with infidelity or physical abuse from him. She didn't & my father knew better than to try it, even in his worst drunken rage.

In fact, he's often used the fact that we were never physically abused to excuse the other crappy stuff we were subjected to. That still ticks me off.

* As a side note, most of the guys I dated were close to my height. My family joked that I liked guys near my height so I could push them around but honestly, I've found a lot of romantic advantages to dating someone near your height (you can do this if you're 5'6 but probably not if you're 5'1). They also know I'd have never let ANY guy boss me around; my husband doesn't even do that.

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