So, a couple of weeks ago, when Twitter was making me lose my will to live, I bought a fairly heinous and possibly offensive protest shirt because dude. I was a seething ball of inarticulate rage, and if something violently pink that equates the current administration with one of the worst American disasters of all time gets me out of bed, well, uh, I’ll buy it.
So two weeks ago, when I was getting ready for Squish’s soccer game, that was the T-shirt on top.
I threw it on and got ready for the game, and Mate came home from the first game he coached that day, with coffee for me (he hates the stuff), saw my shirt and winced.
Some things you should know about this situation before I go any further:
* Mate is still a member of the soccer board. He coaches three teams, and he knows that some of his parents are supporters of the current administration.
* I talk to all the parents on the team. It’s what I do.
* Everybody knows I’m coach’s wife and Squish’s mom.
* He takes his responsibility as a community member very seriously–he’s done a lot of work and is rightfully proud.
Bearing this in mind, he took one look at that violently pink, possibly offensive shirt and winced.
And said, “Uh, I really hate that shirt.”
And that’s all.
These are the things he didn’t say:
* You’re making me look bad.
* If you loved me you’d take that off.
* You could make my life really unpleasant if some of my parents see that.
* You’ll embarrass me.
* God, please, no.
* Jesus, Amy, can we just forget about politics for a minute?
* How selfish can you be?
So I changed my shirt.
* He brought my coffee
* He didn’t contest my right to wear the shirt
* He didn’t make the shirt about him
* He respected my opinion
* He respected my right to wear whatever the hell I wanted
* The shirt would have made him really uncomfortable, and he was honest about that
* It’s not all about me–it’s our kid’s soccer game, and he had a point
So today, I started talking about feminism–
And he said, “I’m sorry. I’m not a feminist.”
And I said, “Yes, honey. Yes you are.”
Because he respected everything about me in that moment. I could have worn the shirt and he would have been uncomfortable but he would have still loved me. And I took it off, and he was appreciative, and still, never doubted my right to wear whatever I damned well pleased.
And this is the thing that NON feminists don’t get.
I don’t need my way all the time. I don’t need to be shrill. My husband doesn’t need to be a tool. He doesn’t need to be abusive. Neither of us needs to be right all the time.
And we can have a good time together, enjoy our time in each other’s company, because being right is not as important as respecting each other’s right to be who we are.
And accommodating our differences.
He brought me coffee. He hates coffee.
I took off the damned shirt.
Because making each other happy was more important than the alternative.
And because the other person didn’t demand that we change a damned thing.