Would you stay in a relationship with someone after learning they had a toxic political belief?
You think you know someone pretty well when you spend years with them, but, as we've seen time and again, that's not always the case. And though many relationships don't get to a point where the producers of "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?" start calling every day just to chat, the reality is that sometimes partners will reveal shocking things even after you thought you'd been all shocked out.
That's the case for one woman whose Reddit thread has recently gone viral. The 25-year-old, who's been with her boyfriend for five years, took to a forum for relationship advice to ask if it was normal that her seemingly cool and loving boyfriend recently revealed women shouldn't have a fundamental right. (And no, it's not abortion — although there are a lot of "otherwise best ever boyfriends" out there who want to deny women the rights to bodily autonomy, too.)
The post opens with the anonymous woman expressing that she's feeling a lot of confusion before moving into the fact that her boyfriend has gone full Gilead on her:
"In the time I have known him, my boyfriend has always fell politically independent, or so I thought," she writes. "Politics was never an issue between us at all. However he just admitted to me that over the past year he's grown more and more extreme in his views, to the point that he believes women have ruined the country (we are American) and that they should not be allowed to vote... He says he did not feel comfortable telling me about this sooner because he thought he would lose me."
Of course, there's a caveat: The poster's boyfriend thinks she should have a right to vote. It's just all the other women that are bad. Okay. Cool. Got it.
Though some people might immediately scream "fake news," it's worth noting that men wanting to repeal women's right to vote isn't a new sentiment. In the run-up to the 2016 election, the hashtag #repealthe19th (first coined in 2011) trended with anti-women remarks and insults after FitveThirtyEight.com posted graphics showing Trump would win the election without contest if only men were allowed to vote.
But back to the Reddit post: After the anonymous woman laid out the glaring problem in her relationship, she asked whether her upset was an over-reaction. "Am I wrong to be questioning our relationship over his new beliefs? As his girlfriend am I supposed to be tolerant and respectful of his views even though I may (strongly) disagree?" she wrote.
Fortunately, other users were quick to point out it was her boyfriend that was the problem. Not just because of his views (which are gross and will likely lead to problems in the future), but because he's sexist and manipulative. Especially with that whole "Oh, honey, you can vote. You're fine. Just not your mother or sisters or aunts or friends or literally any other woman in America" business.
"My ex boyfriend who I dated for 3 years said the same thing to me. He believed women having the right to vote ruined the USA, and that he believed that women shouldn't have the right to vote (except me)," one user wrote.
"He ended up getting more misogynistic (or showing it more) as we dated and even publicly shamed me for not being able to wash dishes (I can btw, I'm Chinese and my parents didn't allow the use of dish washers so he was unnecessarily just being an asshole) when we were shopping at a supermarket and came upon a pair of gloves."
"I dated someone for 3 years who at the end of our relationship casually mentioned he didn't think the holocaust happened. I. WAS. SHOCKED," wrote another. "I too had the same feelings you are having and wasn't sure what to do. In the coming weeks though he became more and more open with his radical viewpoints and it became abundantly clear that we would never work out. It was so weird though to have someone I knew SO we'll become a stranger in a matter of weeks. If I could go back in time to when he first told me that I would have left him then and there. It would have been a lot less ugly in the long run that way."
Other users made it clear that this was about much more than just voting. "He doesn't feel that you deserve a vote in your country's elections. Doesn't seem like much of a leap to assume he doesn't think you deserve a say in much else. I'd be out of there so fast," wrote one commenter.
Another pointed out that while the original poster might have thought this came out of the blue, it probably wasn't: "It's sudden for you, but it's not sudden for him. He's been exploring these ideas, considering them. He was aware that you would not approve, so he waited until he was completely convinced," they wrote.
"Not to mention what other things he could be keeping secret right now as well in order to avoid her judgement/ending the relationship. Thoughts like this one are rarely isolated," someone added.
"He waited until he knew she was really on the hook and would have this debate about 'losing him' and not being able to imagine him not in her life," one more user pointed out.
In the end, the woman who posted the call for advice decided that she would confront her boyfriend about his new-found viewpoints, but it's disheartening to see that the views her man's spouting are so common. Here's hoping for the best for everyone who's experienced this — and a lot of growth and reflection for those who are trying to send us back into the dark ages of civil rights.