Despite the rhetoric of the “sexual revolution” that insists women and men are now equal, we have seen women say here that subtle but extremely painful (and powerful) forms of discrimination are still built into the very structure of relationships, lodged in the smallest wedges of daily interaction. This puts women in the position of having continually to fight for their rights, or try to ignore these subtle cues, discount their reality—”he doesn’t mean it,” “he doesn’t realize what he is saying or what it implies,” etc.
78 percent of women say ruefully that still, all too often in love relationships they have to fight for their rights and respect:
Sexual Revolution, After Twenty Years of the Women`s Movement, Do Women Feel They Are Seen as Equals in Their Relationships?
“He feels superior to me even though I’m sure he’d deny it. But little things tell me he thinks he’s pretty damn good and I ain’t shit.”
“In language I’m equal. In actuality, he often does things to demonstrate that I am inferior. For instance, promises made to me are not as binding as promises made to men. And there are times when I am simply left out of decisions, decisions that will impact on my life.”
“We say we see each other as equal, but sometimes my husband will say to me, ‘Some things are hard to explain to a woman.’ He says we can’t grasp things the same as a man.”
“I don’t honestly think any middle-aged man, brought up typically in the thirties and forties, considers women as complete equals. Perhaps they have come to it intellectually, but it’s still a ‘man’s world,’ imprinted on them subtly.”
“He thinks he treats me as an equal and is surprised when I point out ways that he patronizes me. The burden of proof is always on me.”
“Usually he treats me equal. But when it comes to my car, all of a sudden I’m a ‘dumb blonde.’ I know very little about cars, but I’m very anxious to learn about mine. He always decides where car repairs are to be done on my car. I often remind him it’s my car and I’ll do what I want with it.”
“He gives lip service to consulting me about decisions but really has already thought through the problem and decided by himself.”
“I never was an equal. No money, no clout. Even when I was handling the checking account and doing a damn fine job, he swept in one day and took it back. As for major decisions, I knew of them and discussed them, but we both knew he would do as he pleased.”
“I love the way he treats me during lovemaking. But otherwise he is a bit of a MCP.”
47 percent of women say, “He acts superior—but I know he doesn‘t really mean it, “denying the reality of these parts of their lovers’ and husbands’ behavior:
“He doesn’t always treat me as an equal—but he doesn’t mean it—it’s not serious, he knows better.”
“Sometimes he kiss me and says, ‘The only mistake women make is thinking they’re real people.’ I know it’s only a joke, so I’m good-natured about it. If I thought he was serious, I’d really be pissed.”
“My husband does see me as an equal, yet there are times when he seems to treat me as an inferior and act superior. I don’t think he would mean to, though—it’s just when he’s tense about other things and overworked.”
And as always, others offer psychological explanations, so that they can deny
the reality of their lovers’ attitudes—and what they may mean about the status of women:
“We are about equally dependent on each other, sexual revolution. but he puts on a bigger show of independence. He had a very strong mother and three sisters and has a need to assert his independence from time to time or he feels female-dominated.”
“I think in my case there has been schizoid perception by the men. On the one hand they see me as lesser as a woman, but on the other, they know I am not their inferior—in fact, I think one of my difficulties has been being involved with men who are not my equal and that the men recognized this before I did.” One man, as.
26 percent of women‘s partners, is making an important effort to buck the trend:
Please visit the original survey for the Shere Hite report