Hello. I need some advice. I am a 24-year-old woman who has been dating this 28-year-old guy for a little over two years. In that time the political climate in this country, and in Alaska has changed drastically, and as I get older, I am becoming more involved in all parts of the process. Often times it becomes a discussion point between my boyfriend and I. With everything that is going on, we have found a few points where we disagree. Normally this would not be such a bad thing, as I believe that not everyone has to agree on politics.
Recently however, we were involved in a debate about some issues and it got pretty heated. Both of us were frustrated with the other and it turned from a debate into an argument. He said I was voting with my feelings and not my brain, and then as he stormed out of the house he yelled “This is why women should have never been given the right to vote.” I later asked if that’s how he really felt, and that I think he should apologize for saying it. He said that he would never apologize for something that he isn’t wrong about.
This is making me rethink our entire relationship, but I am not sure if I should break up with him over one thing, when everything else is going great. Help?
— Suffering Suffragette
Oh, honey, no.
While it is true that it is only one thing. It is a big thing, and a big problem. That type of belief is usually covering up a multitude of other behaviors that you are not seeing. It is time to run my friend.
To believe that women do not have the capability to make informed decisions regarding political issues may just seem like a minor example of misogyny, but in actuality it is a symptom of a bigger problem. Not seeing women as equals at all. It is the exact type of thinking that leads to starting to treat women as if they are less than people.
Now, as far as the “one thing” goes. We can’t look at interpersonal relationships like they are a scoreboard, and whichever side has the most points is the winning side. You have to view it more as a scale. Each of those “one thing” holds a different amount of weight. You can have hundreds and hundreds of little things that he does correctly but a comment like that would make us forget all about them.
He opens doors for you, pays for meals, and takes out the trash? Neat. Now is he doing those things because he is a gentleman, or is it because he was raised in a family where the “little lady” shouldn’t be doing a man’s work? That sort of thinking is deep rooted, and unless he is willing to make a drastic change to his entire way of looking at the world, he needs to go. Get rid of him already.
I was out having some beers with the co-workers the other night and as things wound down it was just me and another guy from my office. He isn’t my favorite person, but after a few drinks he loosened up and started to be an all right guy. He is your typical jock that makes tasteless jokes, and his fragile male ego is always peeking out whenever topics like civil rights come up. He is the first to make a “gay joke” or poke fun at anyone for being feminine. He even once said that if it came down to a vote between his money and equality, he would guard his money before someone else’s rights.
On the night that we were out drinking he got pretty intoxicated and made some confessions about things he has done in his past, and also confessed that he has actually had sex with a couple of guys while they were dressed in drag. He said some pretty degrading things about them, and said that it’s better because they practically beg for it. It was even more shocking because he said he has even done with since he was married, but it’s something that nobody needs to know about and made me promise to keep his secret.
I don’t believe in forcing someone to come out of the closet until they are ready, but I feel like this is different. His politics and his jokes are homophobic, but his confessions make it clear that he, himself, is at least bisexual. What should I do?
— Confused, but not as confused as him.
That is confusing, isn’t it? It is never our job to force someone to come out of the closet, but when someone is verbally violent towards a community that they are part of because of shame or fear, it’s hard not to retaliate by telling everyone their secret.
From George Rekers to Larry Craig to Ted Haggard there are instances of anti-gay politicians being caught up in these sorts of scandals all the time, and it’s not going to stop. Eventually they will all be outed, and they should just face the music now and be honest about it.
It’s not really your job to force this co-worker to come out. Telling everyone what he confessed to you will turn out badly for you in the end. First of all, you have no proof, so it will be your word against his. Second, he could turn violent or try to come after you in some way. He sounds like that type of guy.
Here is our suggestion. We are guessing he probably tells his jokes in a group setting. Next time he tells an off-color joke of any sort, tell him that you don’t get it, and ask him to explain why it is funny. When he tries to, tell him you still don’t understand why it is a joke. Tell him that it just seems mean. Explain that there could be people in the office that are in the closet and you could not imagine what a joke like that would do to someone that was forced to lie about who they are, and how it would hurt to have to not be truthful about your sexuality.
Just watch what happens as he stammers his way through an explanation. If it turns out well, he will come to you and want to talk about the confessions and one on one is the way that should happen. Worst-case scenario, he stops telling hateful jokes around you.
The Alaskans are politically motivated for change and we hope you are too! If you have questions, comments, concerns, or want to go on a blind date with one of us, send us an email atlastfro email@example.com