“Swipe This! ” is an advice column about ways to navigate human connections and relationships in an age once we rely heavily on technology. Have a query? Email
Dear Swipe This!
Is it weird that my partner hasn’t said anything to me personally about #MeToo?
We’ve been searching for about a year and I really love my partner. I feel like I am totally got by him. I feel like I can talk about anything to him. But one thing we haven’t is rsquo; s happening online this week around rape culture and sexual assault & that the big conversation that. I know I could reach him out and ask him what he believes, but I guess what it boils down to is that I want him to reach out to me.
My partner is on Facebook and checks it regularly, but very seldom really posts anything. I don’t expect him to say anything publiclyif a post was left by him on his own wall, it’d be out of character. However, I guess I hoped he’Id say something to me. I know he’s a crazy work schedule, therefore its potential he hasnthe dialogue just isn & rsquo; t in the forefront of his thoughts, or ’ t much this week, assessed in on Facebook.
So, how long should I wait before asking him his thoughts? I truly want him to come to the conclusion without me asking him, that he should mention something to me. However, I’m also not opposed to saying something to him and describing it hurts that he didn’t talk, at least in private. At this stage in our relationship, I guess it may be necessary, although I don ’ t want to get that conversation.
Wondering and Waiting
Dear Wondering and Waiting,
What a fucking week.
I’d love to put a positive spin on this–to marvel at the strength of the girls and survivors around me that have had the courage to talk about their stories. I’d love to inform you that this is the second where things begin to improve. However, if rsquo & I;m being honest, the entire thing has made me feel sad and very tired and sore.
Because how much pain and suffering does there have to be until we say enough? When are we going to start doing what’s required to protect the most vulnerable among us? Survivors need to dredge up and relive their injury for people in power to finally believe us? Just how much can we take?
The thing that’s wonderful about social media activism is also what makes it so dreadful: It doesn’t stop. In #MeToo, we have found the energy of voices it’s painful, and it must end. But we have also had to revisit our injury and the injury. So before I tackle the dialogue you’d prefer to have with your partner, I’m going to pause, because I presume it’s necessary that we tackle the subject of self-care.
Have you paused to care for yourself? I expect you attracted a bath, or at the very least, or have made yourself a tea. I expect you have snuggled up having a happy kid or a pet or a soft blanket. I expect you have made space for some warmth some silent, and some calm in the middle of this stormy moment. And if you haven’t however, what are a few ways?
People frequently dismiss the idea of self-care in times like these. But I would assert that it is crucial to reconnect with yourself. As herself is a power to be reckoned with. She knows what she needs and she is unafraid to request it. I’m particularly fond of this passage from The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf:
“a result of female self-improvement is the fact that the woman develops convinced of social worth. Her love for her entire body will be unqualified, that is the basis of identification that is feminine. She doesn ’ t grudge what girls do with theirs, if a woman loves her own body; she laps its own rights, if she enjoys femaleness. It’s true what they say about women. We are greedy. Our appetites do have to be controlled if items are to remain in place. If the entire world were ours too, if we thought we could get away with it, we’d request more love more cash more food. All these sexual, emotional, and physical needs would begin to expand to social needs: payment for care of the elderly, parental leave, childcare, etc.. The power of appetite would be so good that society would have to guess with what girls desire, in bed and on earth. ”
When you show up for your self, it gets much, a lot easier to ask for what you need from other people. That’s not to mention that your partner does not have any part in this. It’s normal that you want your partner, the person who loves you and “gets you,” to approach you. It’s absolutely reasonable that you want him to reach out and show you he cares. In addition, I think it’s perfectly normal that he hasn’t.
Since here’s the awful fact: He doesn’t have to.
Your partner is in a place of privilege. He is type. He is tremendously empathetic. When his FB feed is overrun with a viral meme he might examine your grief. He may be willing to examine his role. But due to his privilege, he is free to go and come from this story as he pleases. He can dip in and out of our grief.
Since this is the way privilege functions. It delivers the privileged the luxury of visiting with the pain of the oppressed, examining it with curiosity and attention. We can be studied by them, they can learn our history, however they don’t have to live shackled to this ancient frame. They don’t have to carry our pain. They can exit through the gift shop and snag a button which proves they seen on the way out.
Naturally, you can wait for him to reach out to you. And rsquo & wouldn;Is it lovely if he did? However, if I had been you, regardless of how wonderful he is, I wouldn&rsquo.
What strikes me about your correspondence is how calm and composed and reasonable you look. I know you want him to show up for you. But being patient becomes its own type of labour that is emotional. And that I can’t if waiting for him to find it out as you hold it is one more way that you are putting the burden of this work help but wonder, when something is bothering you so intensely on yourself.
The simple reality is, even if you want him to show up for you, you’t got to inquire. Tell him how urgent this is. Tell this things to him. Tell him you want more from him in things that don’t immediately threaten him because they are. Maybe it won’t be pleasant, and it will be work. Therefore, if you’re feeling by all means, have a rest. But I advise you ask, whenever your strength returns and greedily you need.
It is very rare that I applaud male allies, however I’m going to point you in the direction of a TED Chat by former President Jimmy Carter. Carter asserts that the greatest human rights breach on our world is that the abuse of women and women. In addition, he highlights the anguish of girls of color. And why does this misuse persist? Carter says, “Generally speaking, guys don&rsquo. ” He goes on to explain that the best way to effect change is really for “girls…who have influence and that have liberty to speak and act to take responsibility…and become more forceful and tougher…to end racial discrimination against women and women all around the world. ”
The very first time I discovered that, I recoiled in disgust and anger. You Need us to perform more work? I’m sorry, it’s whose responsibility?
However, like it or not, he’s correct. This is our struggle to fight and no one else is going to fight with it. Women who have access to electricity, who have agency, and that can make our voices heard–it’s our responsibility to keep speaking up, to create a roar so strong that it makes silence uneasy. Change has never happened because an oppressed group said, & ldquo and threw up their hands;Let the King fix it, we’re overly exhausted. ” Change occurs when we make the roar of our voices impossible to dismiss.
The only thing more exhausting than performing the deep work required to create change is waiting around for someone else to do it for us. Dear Wondering and Waiting, I expect you will take some opportunity this week to appreciate yourself. And I expect that when you are prepared to consult with your partner you are more forceful, demanding, and more greedy than ever.