One issue that many women face is being subjected to sexism within their relationship; sadly, we are often not taught how to see it, react to it, or correct it. For straight women, sexism is a problem they will likely face throughout their relationships. Being raised in a patriarchal society, women are often taught that they are inferior to men through many direct and indirect cultural and societal cues.
Even if you were raised in a feminist household, you still grew up in a society where men are predominantly the ones in power; they are even mainly in control of what you can and can not do with your own body.
As a heterosexual woman, you may sometimes feel unease with your partner’s comments or behaviour, and you may wonder how to address these issues without driving a wedge between the two of you.
First, it’s important to note that your partner also grew up in a patriarchal society. More than likely, your partner is not purposely trying to oppress, control, or offend you. For him, this is “how things are,” it’s neither good nor bad. It’s up to you to identify the specific problems and articulate how it affects you and your relationship with your partner.
Several issues in relationships must be navigated, such as sex, finances, housework, meals, and disagreements, among others. When problems surface that you believe rooted in antiquated gender roles, for example, you are always expected to prepare meals, challenge those expectations. Let them know that cooking and meal preparation needs to be equally divided.
When addressing sexist comments and discussing the issue of sexism, it’s crucial to use a tone and language that your partner will respond to best. You know your partner well, so do your best to remain factual and sincere while being diplomatic. It will be awkward to discuss, but keep in mind that your relationship needs to be a true and equal partnership. You should both feel comfortable talking to each other about problems for your relationship to succeed.
While these discussions are never easy, how your partner reacts to these problematic topics will tell you everything you need to know about their character. It is vital to the success of your relationship, and your mental health that you’re able to negotiate mutual respect and understanding with your partner.
Are you in a relationship and having trouble communicating with your partner? Call my office today to set up a time to talk.