Currently I’m reading a book…
-obviously, since that’s what we all do in this book blogging world.
Anyway, the girl in this book is really messed up. She was hurtful and demanding. She forced compromise, but only as long as she wasn’t the one having to give anything. She made no effort to show affection. Instead, she left it all to the boyfriend. It was his job to make the relationship work. He put in the effort, trying to prove they were good together. He had to convince her to date him, wondering the whole time if in the end she actually wanted him. We as the readers know she did. We know she is just afraid of commitment. To anything.
He finally confronts her, and it’s the moment I’ve anticipated. It hurts, because I know she loves him. Logically I know she needs to make it up to him, because that’s how relationships should work. She should go to him and give him the words she knows he needs to hear. Frankly, he deserves them.
Somehow I still find myself wanting him to show up for her. I want him to make it easy on her. I’m sitting here hoping he comes to her door, with her in her depressed pajama state, to declare that he still loves her no matter what. I want her to reciprocate with her own feelings, but I want him to come to her first.
I don’t want her to grovel.
Why is that?!
As a society we have a preconceived notion about gender roles. I’ve always felt like I was an enlightened individual, but today I realized, no matter how much I try, I can’t remember ever feeling this way in an LGBT book. I can’t remember feeling like one character needs to be propped up.
At some point I unknowingly swallowed the Kool-Aid. If the situation were opposite, the man who behaved badly, I would expect a huge blown out ordeal with the big “I forgive you” scene. Does that mean I’m some deeply closeted non-feminist? I’m having an existential crises here. Do I feel like woman shouldn’t be held responsible for their own mistakes, or expected to own up to them?
I know I tend to be harder on female characters. I shouldn’t, but I subconsciously expect more out of them. I recognize the idea that women should be more understanding, and less demanding, is outdated. I’m working on it, because logically I know that’s crap. Now, not only do they have to be understanding and less demanding, but now I guess I unknowingly believe they are fragile.
All of it is bullshit.
Equality means we all own up to our own mistakes. Gender doesn’t give either person an out.
Women don’t need to be understanding, or less demanding. They don’t have to be quiet and polite. And, dammit, if they’re assholes they should apologize for it. We can make fools of ourselves for love. We can be bold and brave, and apologizing takes both of those emotions.
I don’t know why i’m thinking about this now. It’s not like I had an epiphany with all the answers. It was something I started thinking about, and I decided to share it out here. Consider it a topic that’s open for discussion.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.