Friday, November 21, 2008

Well, isn't that just like a man

Pretty Lady is amused to note that the gay-marriage debate has not obviated that grand old patriarchal tradition--of the idealistic gentleman who eagerly sacrifices his loved ones on the altar of his ideals, whether they concur or no:
I am a 26 year old heterosexual, white male who is in the best relationship of my life. She is a 26 year old Egyptian woman. We're very happy and recently she met most of my family and extended family. They loved her as well. We even hope to marry someday. I am so grateful that I live in a country that would honor that bond. As you know, it wasn't too long ago that our relationship would not be recognized in many states. That being said, I've taken the stand that I do not want to join the institution of marriage until it is one that allows ALL loving couples to join.
Well.

As much as Pretty Lady honors this gentleman's sentiments, and agrees with him in principle, she has a few questions for his would-be fianceƩ. That is: does she want children? Anytime soon? Where is she living? Would she like to live in the United States? Would she like to work here? What does her family think about all this?

In other words, how long is her life going to remain in limbo, for the sake of an abstract principle that her actions have no influence over, one way or another?

Pretty Lady, as a recovering co-dependent, learned firsthand the hard way that forcing oneself to suffer until the entire world is happy only accomplishes one thing: it increases the aggregate suffering on the planet. It does not bring healing to the other sufferers; it does not create civil equality, liberty, or justice for all. It is merely extremely annoying.

Moreover, Pretty Lady is intimately familiar with the sort of unthinking chauvinism that induces idealistic, infatuated young men to address their favored ladies with that time-honored, romantic phrase, "You wait here while I take care of it."

Memo to all young ladies and gentleman: Any young lady who hangs around for more than five or ten minutes for this kind of twaddle is a fool. As free, equal, enlightened, capable women, we are no longer required to cool our heels while you fellows make everything perfect. Which is an excellent thing, because global perfection was never in your grasp to begin with. The best we can hope for is equal, enlightened, mutual pragmatism, on a small scale, wherever we can create it.




5 comments:

george said...

I have always believed Pretty Lady listed too precariously to optimism, idealism, and the fanciful. It turns out she is level, practical and perfectly balanced. I need worry no more.

Chris Rywalt said...

The wonderful thing about Pretty Lady is she is all those things, and more besides.

Pretty Lady said...

Gosh, and here I was cringing, thinking y'all would accuse me of being a male-bashing feminist. I blush.

Donna Dodson said...

Your post reminds me of a heterosexual couple I used to know through my former supervisor at work- their story, as related to me through my friends was that in solidarity with all the gay and lesbian people who could not marry legally- they remained unmarried- throughout the course of their relationship and raising a family together- b/c why? in their mind it was not fair to take advantage of heterosexual privileges while their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters were suffering- or so they said- and did.

Chris Rywalt said...

I do think the guy in your story, PL, is being a bit of a jerk. Maybe. Maybe his wife-to-be Egyptian goddess woman agrees. Who knows?

Marriage is overrated anyway. I think Dawn and I could've done everything we've done so far in our lives together without being officially married. Maybe there would be some health insurance complications, but that's about it, really.