It’s 2017. Women continue to face the paradoxes of gender oppression. We can be CEO of a company on one continent and victims of genital mutilation on another. We’ve come a long way baby yet I sit and listen to a woman who just gave birth talk about not having custody of her other children due to being in a violent relationship. This same woman smiles in complete confidence while telling me how everything will be different with the new baby due to having this new great man in her life. Although he seems like a loving and kind man, I heard the Avett Brothers singing in my head, “There ain’t no man that can save me. There ain’t no man that can enslave me.”
As I prepare to become someone’s wife for the second time, I am reflecting on love, being a woman and what it means to live a life that reflects one’s values. I did not change my name the first time I married. I don’t know why and my ex-husband never even mentioned it. I have to say I’m grateful I never took that man’s name. I’m often embarrassed by that choice in my life which has lead to so much heartache. I say this with awareness that he gave me 2 children whom I love. I also say this with the belief that all my choices in life have lead me to where I’m supposed to be. I try my best to live without regret but it does rear its ugly head more than I would like these days.
Today I am hopelessly in love with a man with whom I have a mature love. Mature love is when two people are together because they want to be and not because they need to be. Mature love includes acceptance, emotional support, commitment, calmness, respect, caring, kindness, friendship and consideration. Because of this mature love, this feminist Psycholobitch will change her name and gladly “submit” to her husband to be. Can someone please pinch me? Clearly receiving this type of love from another human being has freed me up to consider another worldview; one where men don’t take whatever they can and use your vulnerabilities against you. I fully support any choice a woman makes regarding her name…..it’s her name for God sake. My values have shifted and my brand of feminism is more about equality among women and less about equality with men.
As I move forward in life with my mature love in tow, I continue to have fears; especially when it comes to the people I love. I have learned to breathe through the fear and view excitement as simply fear with breath…..and courage as fear that has said its’ prayers. As I write this I hear the remainder of the chorus from the Avett Brothers, “ain’t no man or men who can change the shape my soul is in. There ain’t nobody here who can cause me pain or raise my fear ’cause I got only love to share. If you’re looking for truth I’m proof you’ll find it there.”
What does all this have to do with a man bringing me coffee? My fellow Psycholobitch suggested it was a fantasy and I think I agree. Some days I’m so tired I can barely move or find my words. I know my man is tired too. He continues to recover from illness. He is a father with work, home and family responsibilities. He has plenty of drama in his life just like me. I certainly don’t expect or need him to bring me coffee or anything else.
Coffee has been a reliable source of support for me over the years. I have often savored it alone or with friends while temporarily letting go of worries and have chugged it in efforts to stay awake. It has helped me avoid overeating and has helped me focus. Coffee is my friend and a man bringing me a cup means he understands the struggle. The reality is no one can really understand it the way another woman can, but the fantasy that he can is just, well…..it’s hot. So, if you too long to have a man bring you coffee, it’s ok. Our empowered feminist selves can make our own dam coffee for sure, but continue to have the fantasy. Maybe someday it will become your reality.