Would you stay in a relationship with someone after learning they had a toxic political belief?
Photo by T. Chick McClure on Unsplash.

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."

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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."

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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.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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