Friday, June 29, 2012

Is occasionally expecting people to fulfill gender roles okay?

For all my feminist rantings and ravings, I tend to think, yes, it is okay to occasionally expect people to fulfill certain gender roles. The most compelling example I can think of, which was a few years ago, has to do with personal safety.

I was sharing an apartment with someone who metamorphosed from a friend to a completely useless twat that I ended up having to support. Worse, I also had to support her boyfriend. I did everything legally within my power besides hold a gun to his head and force him out of the apartment. Anyway, that's not the topic of the blog.

Because the roommate was a complete control freak, she decided that it was okay to deadbolt me out of the apartment when I wasn't there, meaning I had to knock on the door to be allowed in....yes, you read that right...I had to have permission to be let into the apartment that I was paying for and supporting her and her boyfriend's useless asses in. She CLAIMED that it was "for safety." I know it was for control, which I DID express to her multiple times. In fact, she texted me one time and said, "Well, if you don't want to knock on the door for me to let you in, then you should text me or call me with your plans for the evening."

As you'd expect, I told her that she wasn't my mother and that I didn't have to report to her. She maintained that I should expect to always have to knock to be let in. 

Further evidence that it was all about controlling me, when the boyfriend was out and she wasn't certain when or if he was coming home, she did not deadbolt the door. He never once had to knock on the door to be let in. I don't know about you, but I would think if my boyfriend who had huge biceps were home, I'd feel safe enough NOT to lock my roommate out of the place. Likewise, I would think if he weren't home, and I weren't certain when or if he would be, I'd be a little leery of leaving the deadbolt undone. Somehow, this logic escaped her......all logic escaped her.

One night, I was out until about 4am, which wasn't completely uncommon for me. I came home, I was dead bolted out. I knocked on the door, no one answered. I knocked a second time....a third....a fourth...a fifth. I'm sure I awoke and scared several neighbors doing so. It didn't help that it was one of those rare winter nights in Georgia where the temperature gets below 20°. I then remembered that when I told the apartment about the situation, they recommended I call the police if there was a time she would not let me in. I decided I would knock one last time before calling the cops.

Finally, I hear a voice faintly ask, "Who is it?"

.....a FEMALE voice.

I announced myself, she finally opened the door saying she was scared to answer because she thought I was already home....I'm not sure if I believe that or not, but whatever. The fact remains, guess who else was there at the time?

Maybe this is sexist of me. Maybe I'm not as much of a feminist as I like to think I am. Maybe I need to reevaluate these things....but when you have a 5ft tall woman who probably doesn't weigh more than about 120lbs and a MAN....any man, but especially a man who has huge arms and shoulders and works out every day, WHY IN THE NAME OF FUCK, if some unknown, potentially dangerous person was literally beating your door down in the middle of the night, would you send the 5ft/120lb female to answer the door?

He was in bed the whole time. It wasn't like they planned for her to answer and him to hide behind the door and spring into action if necessary. He never even left the bedroom. 

I am right to think that is completely fucked up, right? I am right to think that he is not much of a man if he's willing to let her go to the door, right? I am right to think that she should have probably gone back to bed and beaten his ass for not protecting her, right? I am right to think she must have really low self esteem to stay with a guy that can't even be a man when it comes down to the nitty gritty, right?

Please tell me I'm right! Please tell me I'm not a sexist asshole for these thoughts!

It's not like she had a gun or a knife or a crossbow or even pepper spray. I could almost, sorta, kinda, a little bit, possibly, maybe slightly, but not really understand if she did have a weapon and maybe she didn't want anyone else handling it.

All I know is, if I had a really physically strong man in my house with me and I was afraid of a potential intruder and he didn't immediately insist on protecting me, he would not be coming to my house ever again except maybe to pick up a few things he left there...which he wouldn't find because I would have set them on fire or sold them. Maybe that makes me a sexist cunt, but at least I'd be a sexist cunt with some mind for security.

Pic stolen from who probably stole it from someone else.
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