Tag Archives: values

What Do You Do When The Things You Love Don’t Match Up With Your Politics?

I already knew, without acknowledging it, exactly, that Kurt Vonnegut and women were an awkward mix at best. Kurt Vonnegut didn’t write women well — he wrote women who weren’t fully people, exactly, but more a physical manifestation of the mystery women seemed to him to be. It’s not to say that he didn’t get along well with women in real life. There was just a lot missing in his characters. Mona Aamons Monzano from Cat’s Cradle, for instance, is practically a demi-god, more an embodiment of the narrator John’s checklist of things to desire in a woman than a real woman. Vonnegut was acute enough to be self-conscious of that, and write it into the narration, albeit uncritically. Mona gives of herself, of her body, as a matter of course, and doesn’t act in anything even approaching a self-concerned way until the very end. I loved her for talking back and standing for her principles in an impossible situation. I’m not sure if that’s something Vonnegut wrote or something I gleaned out of Vonnegut’s writing. Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “Is Misogyny A Dealbreaker?”

I’m engaged to a wonderful, hardworking, intelligent guy. He makes me laugh, is always there for me, and I even get along well with his parents. The only problem is that he has some misogynistic beliefs that really bother me. He’s from a very traditional culture where women marry young and tend to stay at home. (I have no personal problem with that as long as it is what the woman wants, but I don’t want that.) He believes that women should do almost all of the housework and has told me that if he ever runs his own company (his dream) he would never hire a woman because women “don’t work as hard as men and if they get pregnant I’d have to pay for that.” He believes that women should be respected, but that men will always be more intelligent, better workers and are more valuable than women. However, he doesn’t hold these beliefs towards me. He fully supports my dream to become a lawyer and helps me out with the cooking and cleaning a lot. Also, when I asked him how he would feel if a male employer didn’t hire me because I’m a woman he conceded that it would be terrible, unfair and he would be angry. I think he has trouble coinciding his culture and upbringing with how he actually feels. My question is: should this be a dealbreaker for me? Should I hold out hope that his beliefs will continue to change and become fairer, or is this a lost cause? I feel that if these sorts of beliefs and expectations were directed AT me I’d be long gone, but since they only come up in conversation I’m confused. — Too flexible feminist?

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