We feel strong and independent, in control because we earn our own money, make decisions for ourselves, take charge, have friendships, maintain good relationships with our families, make time for the things that nourish us, but until we stop indulging and forgiving the following behaviour from men I don’t see how the patriarchy will ever be smashed:
- The ex who takes liberties with your child’s custody arrangements
- The younger brother who decides not to pay you rent because you earn more than he does
- The friend who calls himself a feminist, insists on mutual respect, but also flirts with other women behind his partner’s back, sometimes sleeps with them
- The friend who doesn’t believe in feminism
- The man who broke your heart, but you stay friends with because that’s what he wanted
- The guy who messages you daily, trying to form a connection even though he’s in a relationship with someone else
- The guy you keep responding to out of politeness
- The father who never visits, but expects you to want to visit him
- The partner you tip-toe around because his reaction to your feelings will be worse than your feelings.
I haven’t always done the right thing in some of these situations and I can see how damaging that is for all women and it sends completely the wrong message to the men involved. So smash with me!
- Hire a lawyer and lay down the law on that ex
- Insist on a fair contribution, since the younger brother enjoys many other benefits from a society geared towards men
- Call the friend out on his behaviour
- Never accept misogyny
- Cut contact if your heart is still hurting or set your own terms for a friendship
- Tell him to stop, he has no right and it’s not fair on the other woman
- Stop. You don’t owe anyone “politeness”
- Ask him to make the effort this time
- Make it clear to him that your feelings are valid and if he can’t hear and hold them, he can’t be with you.
It’s easy to listen to the excuses and apologies and slip back into our well-trained ways of putting up with things we’re not comfortable with to keep the peace, but women keeping the peace while men do whatever they want is exactly what needs to change.