This interview was done via email and was slightly edited for clarity. The interviewee chose to remain anonymous for work safety reasons. He is 30 and lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro with his wife and son.
Questions from Amara Hartman.
“Now that I’m a father, and I converse with other fathers, I don’t know any father who does not want the best for his daughter.”
What did you think about girls when you were young?
When I was younger, I believed women should have been able to do whatever they wanted and have the same pay. I think I was naive that women got paid less than men.
As far as dating was concerned, my Christian high school made me think I was going to only go out with one woman, and then we would be married. This made it very stressful for me in high school and college. I thought highly of women, and was looking for the best wife I could find.
Was there a mom in your life or a woman who was in some position of authority? Do you have a sister?
My mom is in my life, and I have two sisters.
What did you think about that person and what is your relationship like now?
I would always get into arguments/fights with my little sister, but now we get along just fine. We go out for dinner or hang out from time to time.
What do you think when you hear words like sexism or misogyny?
When I picture sexism, I think of a preppy businessman driving a BMW, dressed up, and playing tennis at Harvard. Misogyny is a prejudice against women. I think of the church and old-school thinking–people who believe woman should live like it’s 1950, working in the kitchen and raising children.
What do you think about the current culture around feminism?
I think it is more favorable than it ever has been. I think of it in two ways: one, feminism is so popular that more women marched in the recent women’s march around the world than any other event I’ve heard of–it was certainly more popular than the presidential inauguration.
Two, now that I’m a father, and I converse with other fathers, I don’t know any father who does not want the best for his daughter. Meaning, they want them to be very successful in whatever they do. I think years ago, more daughters would be expected to get married and have children, etc.
“My impression of women has changed a lot […] I value my wife every day. She has a lot of street smarts and intelligence.”
What do you think of women now that you’re a man?
Now that I have grown up and matured, my impression of women has changed a lot. Growing up, I probably believed there were jobs only men could do. I was wrong, I have seen a lot of tough jobs that were considered “manly” done by women.
Do you have any women in your life who you value? Why?
I value my wife every day. She has a lot of street smarts and intelligence. It’s impressive to watch her do her work from home as both a clothing stylist and in marketing. I also value my mother who, from time to time, was a single mom with four children. My almost 99-year-old grandma also took care of me. I also have who sisters who I value, and enjoy watching how they become more successful everyday in their career and life.
Do you follow any kind of religion? What does your religion teach you about women?
I am a member of a Lutheran church, but I consider myself to be agnostic right now. You could say my religion does not teach good things about women’s rights. Taken in context, the Bible was written over 2,000 years ago when women didn’t have many rights. I find it outrageous when people say they take [the Bible] literally because it is a historical book. Obviously, it’s not for women’s rights. However, basic principles of the Bible could be used to help further women’s rights such as Jesus’ teachings about loving one another, etc.
Do you feel like any less of a man when the women in your life succeed or pursue independent projects?
I don’t. If it’s my wife or in the family, I feel good knowing she’s going to be more successful. I see myself staying at home all day if If I had to.