I'm saving coitus for marriage, but not for religious reasons, although I do identify as Christian.
I'm head-over-heels in love with my boyfriend.
|At my dear friend's wedding, May 2012.|
I'm a feminist.
I'm obsessed with France.
What do these tidbits have to do with each other? Nothing. And everything.
My particular brand of feminism is a cross between choice feminism and radical feminism, with an emphasis on Christian feminism and sexual ethics.
Yeah, I know. It's complicated. This is why I have a blog. And twitter.
Let me break all that down.
Choice Feminism: I vehemently support a woman's right to make the best choice for her own life, whether that be her major in college, where she lives, the car she drives, her parenting choices, etc.
Radical Feminism: I question why women make certain choices. Choices don't happen in a vacuum. I look at socialization and power structures and legal systems, and I wonder how freely women make their choices. And if your choices include keeping other women from autonomy, then I revoke my support for your freedom of choice.
Christian Feminism: I know that the history of Christianity is pretty patriarchal and oppressive. I know that most of my choices are influenced by my faith, which is influenced by patriarchy. But I believe in God, and I believe in Jesus, and I can't just un-believe that.
Sexual Ethics: The Church* teaches several mixed lessons on sex, and the world teaches several other mixed lessons on sex. According to the Church, premarital sex is a sin, but sex within marriage is teh BESTEST ever snowflakes!!!! According to the world, sex sex sex sex all that matters is sexy sexy times. And I'm just here in the middle talking about consent in any sexual relationship, married or otherwise. As Sarah so eloquently explained in her three-part series, people can have sexual ethics outside of the standard Christian narrative.
So. Back to those four points. Are you keeping track? Virginity, boyfriend, feminism, France.
One day, I plan on marrying Beau. I'm pretty excited about it. We get to live together, and snuggle every night, and have coitus whenever we both mutually agree upon it, and cook together, and eventually have kids, and all sorts of awesome stuff.
Plus I get to be on his health insurance! So I won't have to work two jobs!
We won't share a last name, but I'm pretty sure keeping our own last names won't prevent us from having a kickass marriage.
But is marrying Beau a feminist choice?
This Unpopular Opinion over at xoJane thinks not.
Meghan insists that marriage can never be a feminist choice, because it's rooted in patriarchy. Although she never states so explicitly, she implies rather heavily that marriage is an anti-feminist choice.
I beg to differ.
Choice feminism resonates so strongly with me because I believe women are independent, autonomous human beings who are capable of deciding how to live their own lives.
Isn't the pursuit of happiness a vital aspect of living your own life?
Choosing Beau over France might not have been the most feminist choice I ever made, but I don't think putting my happiness first is thus intrinsically anti-feminist.
Holding onto a heteronormative sexual concept isn't exactly feminist, but I think shaming someone for NOT having sex is even more anti-feminist.
Marrying Beau won't be the most feminist choice either, but again, I don't think it's thus anti-feminist.
Every choice I make won't Further the Feminist Fight.
Sometimes our choices are just neutral.
And that's okay.
I'm writing more about choice feminism over at Betsy's blog for her series Wedding Wednesdays! Find out exactly why I don't plan on taking Beau's last name when we get married.
*Oversimplification of the Christian viewpoint on sex, since not only am I a Christian who doesn't believe premarital sex is a sin, but I frequently cite and link to other Christian writers who agree with me.