It’s finally happened. Now every single person I know is in a relationship. Every-single-one. Everyone, that is, except me. But I guess I don’t count. Because I don’t know myself. Or rather, Cupid doesn’t know of me.
And what comments do I get from people who are, inevitably, in a relationship?
* “You’ll find someone” It doesn’t cut the mustard. For starters, no one knows, and for main curse, if my previous encounters with Cupid are anything to go by, said “someone” won’t stay around longer than 3 months, or an average of 1. Which if you ask me is almost worse than not finding anyone at all. Because the suffering involved in the post break up lasts more than the actual relationship.
* “It’s not a big deal” This said by someone who, let’s recall, IS in a relationship. And as recent events seem to indicate, that someone is likely to not have spent more than a month between one long term relationship and the next. Because, of course, “it’s not a big deal”. Here’s a hint on how not to act. If someone is starving, and you have more than enough food, don’t say to the starving fellow that “food is not a big deal”. It reeks of privilege, and lack of empathy. And they are not very nice.
* “Change your attitude!” Ahhh, yes, the “attitude” problem. Because, in the words of author “Barbara Ehrenreich”, “You can change the Universe with your attitude!</sarcasm”. Look, I get it that people feel so powerless in their everyday lives that they must believe that the good things are the result of their personal agency. I understand why people use this gimmick, I really do. But I don’t quite appreciate it when the use it against me. Seriously, knock it off. Not all the attitude in the world is gonna change the facts that I’m a radical feminist, that I have clinical depression, that most men are arseholes whose brains have been replaced by pr0n, and that there are no single men available where I live. Attitudes have their limitations. Changing my attitude can help me feel (ever so slightly) better, but it’s no magical spell to make things work. As proof I can offer my remarkably paltry and bare love life. I didn’t find partners by being any different than who I am now.
* “Shut up about it already!” Ehm… No. I’ll shut up about being single when you shut up about your bloody boyfriend. What? It’s ok to share one’s happiness with others but not one’s misery? Oh, yeah, I forgot that’s how the world works, ie: BADLY!
And no, there is nothing particularly useful in this post for the Feminist Department or for the Revolution, feminist or otherwise. I am merely ranting about the fact that not only do I have to live surrounded by people who have love hearts coming out of their butts, but I also have to content with being patronized by people who were last seen single when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
A useless post, that is, unless someone out there happens to share my belief that there is something which I shall call “Boyfriend Privilege” worth defining and calling out. I don’t personally believe in privilege as a political tool, but the liberal feminists do, and it’s them whom I want to acknowledge it. And what exactly is this beast? The fact that it must be a heck of a lot easier to be a feminist, much more so a feminist blogger, even more so a feminist writer, if you have a man by your side. Not only because he can, in principle, provide some sort of protection, should the need for it arise. And not only because love is, in general, very useful in life. But because one of the biggest attacks hauled at feminists, that we are man hating horrid spinsters who are bitter because we ain’t getting any, disappears from your consciousness in a puff of smoke when you a) have a man and b) are getting some. For us horrid, bitter spinsters the sting is very painful. Because we are always double guessing whether it is true, that we think the way we do because we haven’t found a man.
Also, I would greatly appreciate it if, upon acknowledging said privilege, feminists would stop making fun of the whole “finding a man” dealio. You know, since they have found one themselves. Again, it’s not nice. It reeks of privilege and lack of empathy.
Any takers in defining “Boyfriend Privilege”? Or am I going to be the only single person in the intertubes as well as in the meat world?
(Note: I haven’t erased lesbian feminists. They may not have “Boyfriend Privilege” per se, but they have something much better. They have “I don’t care whether men live or die Privilege”. And it must be very, very useful when dealing with Tee Patriarchy.)
(Note 2: If you are interested in a powerful critique of the whole “You can change the Universe with your attitude!” philosophy, you should check our Ehrenreich’s lastest book, “Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Has Undermined America”. And then come back and tell me about it. It will most likely never make it to my (little) public library.)