Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 01/25/2010
A Feminist Break Up
A few weeks ago, one of my best friends broke up with her boyfriend. I’m a teenager, so I should probably be used to this by now. It seems as though I can’t make it through an entire week at school without hearing about some type of relationship drama. But this break up moved past the realm of crying-in-the-bathroom-hysterically-with-your-friends-huddled-around-you-one-day-fine-the-next typical high school break up. This one was pretty bad.
Now, I’m of the school of thought that the end of a relationship doesn’t equate to the end of the world. While some might sarcastically comment, “How shocking that your life does not revolve around guys. You’re only a super-feminist” I’m not convinced that this personal way of thinking is entirely connected to my feminist sensibility. The fact that I’m a feminist has no effect on how much I love my significant other, and how much it hurts when they’re not in my life anymore. I’m a feminist, not a robot. But ultimately, life goes on, and while my aversion to mooning over some guy is related to my feminist independence, I do believe that it’s just as related to my personal practicality and ability to plain old get on with my life.
Or at least that’s what I thought until now.
My friend is totally a strong and independent woman. She stands up for women’s rights and completely holds her own with guys, demanding respect. Yet she has never identified as a feminist, and it’s been weeks since she broke up with her boyfriend and she’s still walking around like a zombie and is unable to really be near him.
Like I said, I feel like the way that I have dealt with my break ups was a personal thing: I am a person who is able to move on. I’m not convinced that that is because I’m a feminist. But then here’s my strong friend, who I believed because of her personality would react to a break up in the same way as I do, crumbling over a guy. She’s not a self-identifying feminist and I am. Hmmm.
Which is why I am turning to this wonderful community of feminist teens, who have undoubtedly been through this before. What does a feminist break up look like? Do you think that the way you break up is even related to whether or not you’re a feminist?
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