I think I do, in fact, need a man. Emotionally, sexually, socially--I'm really not as happy when there isn't a man in my life. It's not a lack of independence; it's heterosexuality.
If "I don't need no damn man" is a feminist statement, it's not one I can make. Sure I can have my own career, buy my own house, raise my own kid, use a vibrator, and all that's better than being stuck with a really bad man; but given any kind of chance I don't want independence to become loneliness.
Well. I suppose I only want a man, and I guess that's an important distinction. I can support myself and live a life manless, and that's a crucial human right.
But sometimes I'm sleeping over at Alan's, and it's about 3 in the morning, and I wake up just enough to see him deep asleep next to me, and there's a pale orange light from the street on his bare chest, and without even waking up he snuggles up to me a little. And I could survive without this.
But I don't want to.
It's one thing to like having another person around for sex, companionship, splitting the rent, whatever--but when you're incapable of being happy or financially stable without a boyfriend, that's a bad thing. I don't think that's really your situation here.ReplyDelete
Aebhel - Financially stable, I can certainly do on my own. Happy... eh. I can be okay without a boyfriend. I really think my happiness does depend to some degree on having a partner.ReplyDelete
I understand exactly what you're saying here - I know I could survive without Erik, but I really don't want to. Maybe it's just because we've been together almost a year (it'll be a year in April, which is unbelievable in and of itself) and we've grown so comfortable together that I feel, now, that he's an intrinsic part of my life.ReplyDelete
Or maybe it's because of the way he looks at me sometimes, or the way he touches me (when I'm cooking dinner, or baking cookies or just walking past him, he'll reach out and brush his fingertips along my arm or my lower back or my shoulder and it gives me shivers and, honestly, I feel myself lean into his touch slightly...) when I least expect it. Or maybe it's the way we just know each other so well after all this time. I know that if either of us decided to end things (and believe me, I don't plan on it anytime soon), I can make it without him.
But I really don't want to.
Your last couple weeks of posts makes me think you're falling in love. ;)ReplyDelete
Karyn - Awww. Well put.ReplyDelete
Sarah - FUCK.
My reading of that classic quote is that, yes, that's the crucial distinction - not that women (should) have no use for men, but that the whole need/dependence thing is crippling. (Really, that's not just about feminism but about healthy relationships - between however many people of whatever genders/orientations.)ReplyDelete
Beyond that, I'm strongly (pigheadedly, even) of the opinion that each fish must decide for herself whether she wants a bicycle (and each bicycle decide for himself whether he wants a fish, rather than doing it just 'cause he's supposed to). That's what the movement is about, dammit.
Sunflower - I guess my interpretation of the quote, and maybe I'm being too literal here, is that a fish has no use whatsoever for a bicycle.ReplyDelete
Of course every fish/bicycle gets to decide for themself, but what if they decide that being partnered really is really important to them?
And finally, keep in mind that I don't always describe my own life and feelings with the notion that they're ideal. It may not be healthy to want male companionship as badly as I do... but I do.
Thanks, Holly, I try. :-) -glows-ReplyDelete
I agree that it's a poorly-constructed analogy. I'm not sure what can be done about it, though; even if we could get multitudes of feminists to disavow its shortcomings, it's still part of feminism's history, and still catchy as hell.ReplyDelete
You might be interested (if you don't already know it) in this page about the aphorism's history:
Well, fork. Let's see if Blogger commenting includes this under "some HTML tags":ReplyDelete
The fish and bicycle page
Yay! (And useful to know.)ReplyDelete
"sometimes I'm sleeping over at Brandon's, and it's about 3 in the morning, and I wake up just enough to see him deep asleep next to me, and there's a pale orange light from the street on his bare chest, and without even waking up he snuggles up to me a little. And I could survive without this.ReplyDelete
But I don't want to."
Ah. Poetry. Again about people, not so much as sex, but beautiful.
I thought this was a pretty cute way to make the same point in a webcomic.ReplyDelete