I have been putting off writing this post since I came across the video “15 Reasons to Thank Your Boyfriend.” My reasoning for procrastinating writing about gender equality, particularly in romantic relationships is simply this: It’s exhausting to explain just how backwards-thinking this video is. Adding my two cents seemed daunting, but every time I’ve gone back to this video, I feel just as grossed out by it, so it’s time to talk.
Below, you’ll find my response to each of the 15 reasons why I supposedly should be worshipping at my boyfriend’s feet. Click the photo to the left to watch the video.
1. For pretending to be interested when you’re ranting about some girl.
Listening to someone when they are speaking is just the decent human thing to do, folks. My family members and friends have definitely feigned interest while I’m talking, but I don’t thank them for it. Maybe I should be though? And maybe I should be thanking my professor for pretending to be interested when I ask a question they’ve heard a million times before in class even though it’s their profession. Hell, maybe they should be thanking me for pretending to be interested in every single lecture they give.
2. For cheering you up when you’re in a bad mood.
Well, I’d sure hope that your significant other wouldn’t kick you while you’re down.
3. For always telling you you’re beautiful.
Generally, if someone gives you a compliment, you should thank them.
4. For not thinking you’re gross when you don’t shave your legs for a week.
Here we go; buckle in.
I should thank my boyfriend for not thinking (or at least not voicing) that I am GROSS because I chose to not remove hair from my body for ONE WHOLE WEEK? That’s laughable. Let’s get a few things straight: Body hair or lack thereof is not gender specific. I know men who choose to shave various parts of their bodies and women who let hairy freedom ring on various parts of their bodies. In neither case is the person gross or any less masculine/feminine. If your significant other’s gag reflex is acting up when they look at your hairy legs, don’t ever shave them. Instead, find someone who cares about equality.
5. For saying you’re prettier than some other girl when you ask.
Ladies, we are constantly told that other women are our competition. We already spend too much of our own time fighting the instinct to compare ourselves to one another. Do we really need our significant others indulging us in that vicious instinct? We all seek validation from the people that are most important in our lives. We can’t help it. But we do NOT need to drag others down to have our own beauty validated.
6. For putting up with you when you’re crying about anything.
I am a crier. I’m someone who cries out of happiness, frustration, sadness, confusion etc. And trust me when I say that my boyfriend has seen all of that and can confirm that I am the queen of waterworks. I just feel a lot of things, okay? If you’re significant other feels inconvenienced by your tears, the real problem is that they haven’t had a good enough cry themselves.
That being said, I’ve definitely apologized to my boyfriend mid-cry for the unprovoked sniffle fest and thanked him for laughing with me when it’s over. But ultimately, it goes without saying that a significant other should be nonjudgmental and patient with your tears.
7. For shopping with you and attempting to give his opinion.
The one and only time I can recall asking my boyfriend’s opinion on a purchase was when I held up two identical dresses, one in cream and the other burgundy and he responded “white gets stained easier.” Done, I bought the burgundy. I’d rather leave my S.O behind for shopping trips because I take it very seriously, but if he chooses to tag along, that’s totally on him.
8. For being cool with your hair being all over his house.
My hair is EVERYWHERE. If we’re getting really gracious, I should be thanking everyone I’ve ever crossed paths with because they’ve all ended up with a strand of my DNA on them. So thanks!
9. For watching girlie movies with you.
There’s that stereotyping again. But seriously, what’s a girlie movie? And why am I thanking my boyfriend for watching a movie with me? I forget. I guess I can only retain information found in a 90 minute chick flick.
10. For not hating you when you’re PMSing.
Stop. Go to womenshealth.gov and please read about Premenstrual Syndrome. Not all women experience monthly PMS symptoms. Some women experience very serious symptoms that are physically and emotionally painful. No decent human would hate someone simply because they are in pain and are acting out because of it. And another thing — stop dismissing women’s outward frustration and passion as PMS. PMS is not an adjective.
11. For waiting to watch a new episode of a show together.
If you and another person are committed to a show together, don’t watch that show without them. Respect your vows, don’t be an asshole.
12. For taking 20 pictures because you look bad in the first 19.
13. For getting along with your family.
Thanks for being respectful to the people who literally created me. It’s pretty great of you considering we’re in a relationship and that’s because I am alive and I am alive because of my family . . . yeah, thanks.
14. For making you feel perfect when you know you’re not.
See responses to numbers 2 and 3.
15. For making you wonder how you lived your entire life without him.
This is important to me. Feeling helplessly dependent upon your S.O is not “relationship goals.” In my opinion, a healthy and ideal relationship is knowing you would be just fine living without them, but not WANTING to live without them.
As I said in the initial Facebook post, this video kept surfacing on my newsfeed with only positive responses to it. I saw things like, “So true. Love you [Insert S.O’s name here]!” I was shocked to see that no one had commented on the glaringly problematic content.
As a woman in a healthy and happy relationship, I found this whole list to be laughable. I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on it —whether you agree with me or not.