We often wonder what feminism actually does. Some people believe that feminism doesn’t actually do anything, and actually serves to make things worse. However, studies have shown that that’s not the case. More importantly, real people in real relationships are finding that they really benefit from feminism in a big way.While gender roles sometimes make it a lot easier to deal with people of a different gender sometimes, relying on those gender roles really isn’t a good thing. There’s a lot of evidence that shows that feminism allows women an agency over their love and s*x lives that they might not have had without it. On top of that, gender roles are changing in big ways. We’re learning that while gender roles might make things a little easier for us, we don’t actually need them. Here’s why feminist relationships are better than relationships that aren’t, and how it’s hard to argue that.
Throughout history, straight relationships have been based on men courting women. More importantly, they’ve been about “keeping women,” in a weird way. This is a longstanding tradition that dies hard, even now.
This shows up in our dating traditions today. Men are the ones who ask women out traditionally, and when they go out, they pick up the bill. When we marry, men are the primary breadwinners. That’s how things were before, and for some people, that’s a gender narrative that works well.
However, the times are changing. Women are entering the “male” roles in life, getting high powered jobs and exercising their own s*xual freedoms. However, this raises a big question: how does this affect romance?
Feminism gets a bad rap. many people still see feminists as man-hating people who hat romance, so it’s easy for people to believe that people who consider themselves feminist or in feminist relationships are just kidding themselves. However, just because something gets a bad rap doesn’t mean it deserves it.
Let’s look at what’s actually going on here. Before the agent of feminism, the way women moved up in society was by attracting a male partner with high status. Gender equality has changed all of that, but the cultural scripts that shaped how we do relationships throughout history die hard, and they’re still influencing us today.
Girls and boys lose their virginity differently. While girls often describe the loss of their virginity as something that just happened to them, boys don’t necessarily have that lack of agency in their stories. As we grow up, this still holds, and men are a lot more likely to initiate s*x than women are.
These gender role scripts are getting rewritten. Thanks to feminism, women are becoming mrs active in their romantic relationships. Love and s*x are things that they’re being assertive in, and they’re not just things that are happening to them for no reason.
This benefits women greatly. For women, the payoff here is kind of obvious. The traditional cultural views of romance don’t allow women to express themselves as well, because those roles make them give up a degree of control. When women have more agency, they’re happier, and studies have proven that.
Women in feminist relationships are even happier. One study found that women who were in relationships with men who said they were feminists had healthier relationships. These relationships last longer and make the couple happier. If you were looking for yet another reason why you want to date a feminist guy, this is a good one.
Are men suffering because of this? Many people believe that gender equality adversely affects men. However, the evidence shows that this isn’t the case. When couples shift away from those traditional gender roles, they found that both parties shared chores and financial responsibilities more equally.
Men might want to do more of that “girl” job stuff. Men who take on a great role in housework and shopping, roles that are traditionally meant for women, are less likely to get divorced, according to research. When they take paternity leave and take on an equal share of the child care, their marriages are more stable.
Men in feminist relationships are happier, too. One study showed that men who were in relationships with feminist women were happier in their relationships, both romantically and s*xually. Evidently, more gender equality in relationships is a good thing for both genders, as is leaving traditional gender roles to the side.
Feminist relationships are less likely to be coercive. Research keeps coming out showing that in relationships where men are more strongly endorsing these gender roles, there’s often coercive behavior going on. That’s not good for anyone.
Equality makes us happy. But why does it make us happy? One reason why could be that with gender equality, the pressure to conform to a certain role all but disappears. That allows people to really be themselves in their relationships. Gender equality also ends up encouraging more communication, which is great for a relationship.
Does this mean that we need to give up those gender roles forever? Absolutely not. If you’re a guy and you want to pay for a date, go ahead. If you’re a woman who prefers the traditional gender role thing, that’s your choice. The point is that we need to be aware of the choices we’re making. If we’re being shoved into gender roles we don’t want, that’s not good for anyone. Gender equality doesn’t mean that you can’t be romantic, it just means that our relationships will be that much stronger in the long run.