Column: Dealing with Marriage in the Age of Women Empowerment
A Strong, Supportive Man Will Not Feel Threatened!
By Susana Marquez, Mommy In Los Angeles Magazine Wellness Columnist, MFT & Founder, Me Myself N Mommy
The Women’s March took place last weekend. The movement brought women together from all walks of life. It encompassed the pureness of standing up for ourselves, other women, speaking our truths, fighting for our rights and not allowing the patriarchy and masochism this country has been built on, keep us down.
Yet, what does that mean for us who have husbands, partners, or boyfriends? Do they support our empowerment and equality movement? Are we turning on them in order to fight for our rights and is this changing how things are handled at home?
In my Latino culture, expectations are defined by gender roles, yet my parents, especially my father, always encouraged me to speak out, pursue a higher education and never let a man, or anyone stop me from following my dreams.
I loved it because I became outspoken at a very young age, stood up for what I wanted and if I ever questioned myself, my dad would pep talk me and make sure I was digging deep within myself to keep pushing forward.
My husband met a strong, determined, go-getter when he met me.
When we got married, we discussed not having children right away because I was still in graduate school. His parents didn't like that idea. They couldn't understand why I kept advancing my degrees instead of giving them a grandchild. It was not always easy for my husband to be supportive, given his upbringing. He grew up in a traditional Latino family as well. But in his case, his mom stayed home with the kids while his dad worked.
I knew my work was cut out for me to have him understand what he was getting into when he married me, while changing the stereotypes he had grown up with. Now that we've been married for nearly a decade, my role in the women’s movement doesn't surprise him. As a matter of fact, he is very supportive of what I stand for and he encourages me to speak out and work towards a better future for me and our son.
He asks questions about things he doesn't understand and we engage in dialogue on what we want for our son. Not all men are supportive, I know. Many continue to be closed-minded, ignorant and cruel with their words about what I stand for and what I'm teaching my son.
My recommendation is to dig deep, Mamas.
What does this movement mean to you? Is it about liberating yourself after years of suffering? Speaking out after years of silence? or simply standing up and saying me too or times up in solidarity with victims of injustice?
These are all valid reasons to stand up and fight for what feels right to YOU.
Educate your spouse, partner or boyfriend; Don't fear letting him know who you are and who you want to be. If a man loves you, he'll be happy that you're a strong, outspoken and empowered woman. If he does not appreciate or understand that, think about their value in your life.
Do not be afraid to share what you want out of this feminist movement with your husband or partner.
Set goals for yourself, share them with others, provide education for those who need it, but regardless of what their opinion is based on your role to empower yourself in the movement, don’t stop doing what sets your soul on fire.
Should we care about who we are pissing off? I don’t and neither should you!
By standing up for ourselves in our marriage or relationships, were not turning against our husbands or partners, we are simply defining ourselves as our own person– strong, passionate, intelligent and powerful.
A strong and supportive man will not be threatened by you or what you want want from this feminist movement.
He will fight with you not against you.
He will help you raise children who advocate for themselves, stand up for what is wrong and continue to fight the good fight.
I hope this movement gets you up, gets you moving and motivated to create change.
Whether it’s at home, for your children, for a sister, mother, friend, or most importantly, for yourself, do it and continue to speak out.
Feel Empowered. Feel Strong. Feel Validated Mamas.