The past few days have been really tough for me. Not to get into overshare territory or anything, but I finally bit the bullet and tried Internet dating — and met a really great guy (he looks a little like Australian actor David Wenham) who I just started dating. I thought it was only fair that he know that his girlfriend is a feminist blogger, so I included the link to this site so there would be no confusion down the road. He was a bit overwhelmed by the whole enterprise, and said that, while he really liked me, he didn’t feel he could date someone who contributed to a culture of man-hating. After a very, very long discussion about misogyny vs. misandry, I’ve come to realize that what I’m doing here is counterproductive. If even intelligent, politically aware men like my boyfriend are upset by the kind of inflammatory rhetoric we sling around so casually here, I fail to see how constantly talking about the Patriarchy (TM) will advance any kind of women’s agenda.
Therefore, I am resigning my post as a Harpy. This was not an easy decision, and I am eternally grateful that my fellow harpies have allowed me to write this final post and openly discuss why I have such qualms about continuing to write for this blog.
1. I don’t want men to think I hate them
I have never shied away from my desire to marry and have children. In fact, I was engaged as recently as last November. And I was also very recently pregnant, although I lost my son in stillbirth seven weeks ago. I mention this only because I know I was happiest when I was filling the roles of (prospective) wife and mother, and I think that, at age 27, I don’t want to waste time living in my apartment alone with only some dustbunnies and Lord of the Rings DVDs keeping me company. But writing long screeds about the societal expectations of female domesticity makes it really difficult for people to understand why I would want to carve out a niche within that domestic sphere.
2. I’m tired of explaining myself
I’m sure a lot of you can relate to this. There are only so many times that I can say, “No, feminists don’t kill puppies and set nuns on fire.” There are only so many internet debates that I have the energy for. There are only so many misogynist trolls that I have the willpower to cut down. Labeling myself a Feminist with a capital “F” is something that keeps a lot of people from understanding or accepting me, especially when I scream it from the internet mountaintops on this site. It’s a little disingenuous for me to spend my days railing against the male-dominated culture and then spend my nights wondering why no men want to date me.
3. I have to figure some stuff out for myself
I talked about the “gay for play” phenomenon a few days ago, but perhaps the harpy doth protest too much. When I was asked by my new boyfriend about why I felt the need to share that I was bisexual in a public (if semi-anonymous) forum, I just didn’t have an answer. I similarly could not answer his question as to whether I am really bisexual or was just dated girls because I was really lonely and at a women’s college. The bottom line is that it’s not fair for me to continue to label myself bisexual anymore, especially when we could have LGBT readers who might be relating to that part of my self-professed identity only to realize that it could possibly be a falsehood.
4. My view on a key issue has changed.
This may have been the breaking point for me. After a very difficult internal debate, I have come to believe that abortion is morally, ethically, and legally wrong. I cannot believe that it is part of the natural order of things. I resent the anti-choice label, because I am not about to start picketing Planned Parenthood or sending threats to the head of NARAL. I also do not subscribe to the pro-life label, because I’m not sure that fully encapsulates my position either. However, I am not pro-choice. These are potential lives, and I do not believe they should be snuffed out (I would, of course, make the customary rape/incest exception).
So, this is the end of my personal Harpyness. I cannot thank you all enough for all of the comments, the debate, the one-liners, and the time that you have spent reading what I have written for this site. I remain so indebted to my friends and (now ex-)fellow harpies for understanding my decision. I will continue to read this site and also hope to comment on posts.
Finally, I’d like to leave you all with a message from my beloved pup Lola, whose birthday is today: