Hubby’s got me watching Hoarders this afternoon. I’m not a big fan – it’s one of the most depressing shows ever. But he likes it, and marriage is about compromise. I got my hair chopped off a couple of weeks ago even though he likes long hair. But I figured pushing a baby out of my nether regions gives me the freedom to do what I want with my hair. Turns out he likes it. So we’re both happy. Except Hoarders is still on TV. So, to distract myself from the show, I’m blogging about feminism.
Dr. Rad asked us a couple of weeks ago when we knew we were feminists. I’m sure I have been most of my life, but, much like being a liberal, it took me a while to embrace the label. The word feminist has a negative connotation where I come from, conjuring up visions of miserable hard-ass bitches who hate men, i.e. feminazis. I’m not miserable, I don’t hate men, and I’m not a hard-ass bitch (unless you cross me). I also don’t really have a problem with the word feminazi, if it’s applied appropriately (i.e., to miserable hard-ass bitches who hate men).
When Hubby and I were preparing for this past year’s job search, Hubby found several feminazis ranting online about how they would *never* pass on a job offer for the benefit of their husbands’ careers. Either their husband would leave their job and follow them, or the relationship would end. Understandably, this scared the shit out of Hubby. He didn’t want me to turn down my dream job, but he did want me, at the very least, to consider his career. I started considering the idea of staying around here, which made me wonder if I was betraying the sisterhood.
After several discussions, the decline of NIH paylines, and a stalled job search, I decided I was not betraying anybody if we stayed here. After all, picking up to leave Hubby’s secure dream job for a not-at-all secure tenure-track position, which I may hate, across the country just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Hubby still wants me to continue my search, and he is willing to move – as long as he finds an equivalent job to what he has now. In return, I’m willing to keep my research career right here where I am, even if it means I never get tenure (I may not halfway across the country either). One of us will ultimately have to compromise, and we’ll do it because we care about each other.
Maybe this decision isn’t the best for the sisterhood. Maybe it doesn’t help more women get into academia. But those are societal problems. Personally, I believe a greater solution is for more men to be like Hubby, ready and willing to sacrifice his career for the sake of his family. I am a feminist. I want more for women. I’ll vote to give us more rights. I’ll support causes that work towards this same goal. But I’m not giving up my marriage or my family for the sake of being a feminist, and I won’t ask my husband to either. That’s unreasonable. THAT is feminazi.