In the midst of DH and I bantering back and forth with each other at his parents' house, I had a head-scratching moment. DH was teasing me while getting drinks for everyone for dinner. I told him, before he had actually asked me, that I thought I would like a Coke with my meal. Pretending to be put upon by my anticipatory answer, he declared that he wouldn't want to get it for me and risk offending my feminist ideals by implying that I needed a man to get my drink for me.
I laughed and sarcastically thanked him for being so thoughtful and respectful of my intrinsic equality with men.
His mother asked querulously,"Oh...are you a women's libber?", with an obvious tone of disapproval.
Stifling a giggle at the archaic term, I asked, "Why do you ask?"
DH strode the fence and jumped in, "I doubt she would fit into a specific box, or label."
Trying to answer my mother-in-law, I declared,"I would probably call myself a mild feminist. I don't know if I would fall in line with everything that stereotypical feminists promote, but I believe in the absolute equality of women with men and don't think there should be any barriers preventing women from participating in any realm of our society."
"Oh, I don't think so either," said my mother-in-law quickly, seemingly worried that she might have offended me. She talked for a few minutes about a friend and her daughter's radical feminism with a knowing smile meant to acknowledge how ridiculous the daughter was being. Then, after communicating the subtle dislike of feminism, she shocked me by saying:
"Actually, I think women are stronger than men anyway. Things that would crush a man are handled all the time by women."
I let out a snort of laughter and teased her. "So what you're saying is that women are not equal to men...they are superior! We shouldn't be fighting for equality, but instead should be focusing on domination of the world by the properly superior sex!"
We all laughed together.
People are funny.