Here I am, sitting in the room I share with my partner, avoiding the house guest my roommate invited to stay with us for the next few weeks. Currently it’s only me and the house guest in the apartment. The first 2 days we resided in my apartment alone I managed not to make contact, I dodged the “oh gosh it’s so great to meet you” bullet, I hid my fake smile in my room. But today I knew I had to make my dinner at a reasonable hour.
I walked out of my room, tiptoeing to not disturb the house guest, I entered the kitchen and poured a glass of water. Suddenly my roommates door opened, fear filled my heart. I knew I had to speak, I knew it was my social obligation. She greeted me with a loud hello, I swear I’ll never forget that high pitched demon voice, and I said hello back. I felt like a saint, standing there in my kitchen greeting this rando I had been forced to live with, I SAID HELLO. My own person social obligation was over, but she decided we were going to continue to talk. Her first question, was “Are you the girl friend?”. Shocked that another female could possibly call me ‘the girl friend’, I responded “Yes, I’m the girl friend but my name is Natasha.” I couldn’t believe her lack of respect, her lack of acknowledgment for another woman, and her lack of feminist values. I didn’t confront her about her offense.
My house guest was worse than I thought she could have been. I have no right to say she isn’t a feminist, but she made me feel like I wasn’t an individual, as if my only purpose was to live in the house as my partners girl friend. For me, a semi – privileged, mixed (Irish and Lebanese), female my experience with oppression has only ever been represented through my ethnicity. Being a woman has always empowered me, and as a female I have always felt encouraged. I’ll never let anyone break through me like she was at that moment.
I won’t be avoiding this house guest anymore, but I will be creating more space within our relationship to converse about topics I am passionate about and hopefully topics she is passionate about.