I’m a double agent.
I’m working to bring down the patriarchy while simultaneously propping it up. The former is conscious and intentional while the latter, well; we’ll deconstruct it shortly. The point is that I might be working against my own feminist goals.
I suspect that many feminists share the same problem, though in different ways.
But maybe there is a way to reframe it: Maybe the behaviors I’m concerned about (described below) are actually assertive and empowering when and because I choose them, despite the patriarchal context. We’ll examine my resistance.
We’ll start with the most raw, intimate, and ideologically problematic feature of my life, and proceed from there to more simple matters:
Wanting to be “Put in my Place”
At my deepest, I want a partner to “put me in my place” as a woman. I absolutely crave this sexually and emotionally. And I want it to be comprehensive: In bed, in the household, and all the time.
To be clear, I won’t tolerate abuse; I want someone kind and loving. Just dominant. Someone that brings out a very feminine submission in me, as per traditional gender roles.
Also to be clear, I’m definitely not talking about S&M or sissy games. While I’m open to indulging a partner’s taste on these accounts, these have nothing to do with being a woman. Bondage I’m cool with because it symbolizes the constraints society places on us.
Why do I crave this treatment so much? Validation.
I want validation as a woman by the patriarchy, because the patriarchy is so damn powerful and authoritative in our lives. And the best way for my psyche to get this validation is to live out a traditional expression of womanhood as enforced by the patriarchy.
Because women have limited power, I want it forced upon me.
It is strange: I’ve previously declared that I’d like to work as a homemaker, because I think that would best fit how I express love. But it would be sexually and emotionally thrilling to have that lifestyle forced upon me by a loving partner.
So clearly the desires stated here strengthen the patriarchy.
How to resist?
I don’t think I can eradicate this desire to be “put in my place” as a woman; it is too deeply imbedded in who I am. But I’m claiming ownership of it: This is my craving, not the patriarchy’s and not a partner’s. And stating it publically takes the secrecy out of it, enforcing my ownership.
And I have full control over whether I ever follow through with it, and to what degree. And if I do follow through, all the pleasure derived belongs to me (and, of course, to my partner).
My Fashion Choices
I don’t dress in cute clothing to please men (with one very loving exception, and he is only a friend), but perhaps I should?
Maybe I’d enjoy that just as much as I enjoy wearing the same clothes for my own satisfaction?
Between the lines, I am talking about orienting my behavior to meet the tastes of a male-dominated world. If successful, I’ll receive the same patriarchal validation described above.
How to resist?
Fuck that. I’ll happily dress to please a romantic partner, but not every man. There is simply no return-on-investment on that that I’d actually want! And I mostly like women anyway.