Remember the days when feminism was seen as a dirty word? When, in interviews with major publications and on dates, you’d have to avoid answering if you consider yourself one. Chuckling nervously and muttering that while obviously you support equality for all sexes and genders, you like shaving your legs and think bras are too expensive to burn? Thank god those days are over—I mean, can you imagine being seen at your local coffee shop, brunch, or Women’s March without the big F word emblazoned across your chest? So awkward, people might think you haven’t even read Lean In. But thankfully we now live in the year 2021, a time period in which both our Vice President and God are women! Being a feminist is totally easy and cool!
Except for one small thing.
This is super uncomfortable, but this is a safe space, right?
It’s like, really hard to be a feminist in New York City. Specifically in the summer. Specifically, around the end of May or early June, when it becomes time to put my AC unit in the window. (Similarly, it’s almost just as hard to be a feminist in mid-October, when the AC has to come out.) Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that men are automatically stronger than women, or anything like that. And I’m not even trying to say that women are not as capable as men of doing certain tasks! In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that women can do anything men can do.
There’s something about the action of putting my AC unit into my window. It’s clunky, I guess? Heavy, and rather unwieldy. And you’ve got to line it up against the frame just right, or else it could fall out and kill someone. I don’t want that on my conscience, do you? But see, straight men do this kind of thing all the time, no problem—make risky choices that could potentially have negative consequences on the people around them. And they’re totally fine doing it! I mean, aren’t most serial killers men? I’m just saying.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe I’m a strong, independent, powerful #badassbitch who can do anything she sets her mind to… except this. Not to lean into the stereotype that women are nurturers or anything… but like… I just don’t want any innocent passerby to be injured. And I mean, isn’t that in and of itself just another iteration of the patriarchy, that women are punished for being too nice? So really, it’s sexist if I don’t ask the guy I’ve gone on two dates with over to my apartment simply so he can do some chores for me and then leave. Plus, if I try by myself (or like, with the help of my roommate) and fail, and I can’t blame my problem on a man, then what? Take personal responsibility? Do some introspection? No thanks.
And I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no. I can’t ask my dad for help because he lives too far away. My landlord won’t even fix our bathroom door that hasn’t locked since we moved in (Is that suspicious? Should I call someone?), let alone install an AC that I could theoretically do myself, were it not for my overwhelming concern for humanity. So what if I linger over by the weight racks at my local gyms for strong-looking men who are just lonely enough to perform light manual labor?
I mean, it’s hard enough to be a proud feminist and (please don’t tell anyone I told you this, it would ruin my brand) be attracted to men. I know, I know, they’re the worst! White men, amiright? If they could just stop white men-ing, the world would be such a better place. (Sometimes I masturbate to the very thought while browsing Pornhub.)
So maybe I don’t think men are completely useless. They put our AC units in, they take them out, they… well that’s about all I’ve got right now. I swear, the rest of the time, I’m totally like, full-on female power. Girlboss mug, the whole nine. I even have a membership to The Wing.