Why 'dump him' is an empty statement for womxn

Evie Lake discusses how the phrase 'dump him' lacks real meaning as a feminist statement.

Evie Lake
15th February 2021

'Dump him’ has become somewhat emblematic over the past couple of years, namely from the empowerment it lends to a rage-induced, man-hating moment.

I’ve seen the effects of this first hand, I’ve even screamed it in the face of my friends whilst crammed into the single cubicle of a dingy pub. For a moment, those two words can remind someone of their own self-worth and realise that relationships should not be to the detriment of our own health and emotional wellbeing. However, it often lacks meaning. The temporality of this term is immediately recognisable minutes after sobering up from the anger (or alcohol.) ‘Dump him’ has proven to have an ability to undermine healthy relationships, and, more seriously, isn’t an option for a lot of women. Beyond surface level, and the surge of empowerment you get for screaming it in a mate’s face, it is intrinsically wrong. 

"Significantly, not everybody wants to dump their partner as soon as something pisses them off."

Doubt came to me around a year ago when I still followed Florence Given. She had opened up her inbox, asking fans to send her in questions. What followed was a bombardment of young womxn asking for relationship advice: questions and queries that varied between the tedious and the serious. To each and every question Given replied ‘dump him!’ and immediately I unfollowed her. With every reply, Given invalidated every person’s relationship and the issue that was troubling them. Significantly, not everybody wants to dump their partner as soon as something pisses them off. We may retreat to our group chats to ask how to handle a situation, what we expect is legitimate advice- if someone then replied ‘dump him’ you’d be affronted. ‘Dump him’ doesn’t fix everything, I’m not even sure it fixes anything.

Instagram @florencegiven

Humans are inherently selfish beings, we can’t help it. This means that, more often than not, we will prioritise ourselves over our partner, say something we don’t mean, or just get angry for no reason. Relationships are all about give and take: being able to bounce back from outbursts and pettiness, being able to talk through these moments and not jump ship.  This ‘movement’ does not understand this. If we were to carry the ‘dump him’ philosophy into every single relationship in our lives, romantic or not, you would be left with nobody and unable to conduct a healthy or even functioning relationship of any sort. 

"I know friends who value themselves higher knowing that they can prioritise themselves instead of hanging on to an immature and unworthy man."

Of course, I am not disregarding any womxn that have found the courage to leave abusive and manipulative partners since being confronted with these words, especially now they’ve reached such a scale. As well as this, I know friends who value themselves higher knowing that they can prioritise themselves instead of hanging on to an immature and unworthy man. However, in order to help more womxn, more information, support and advice need to be provided. At times like these, shouting ‘dump him’ is like trying to stick a soggy plaster on a wound - it just won’t stick. 

It would be wrong to say that I don’t support the statement, there is a myriad of circumstances in which ‘dump him’ must be induced. Some instances where I even encourage it. This, however, is not my point. The truth stands that ‘dump him’ is a flimsy privilege and one that is, for the most part, limited to those in teenage or young relationships. It holds no regard for how financially entwined two people can become in a relationship, nor does it recognise the vast reasons womxn might be trapped in a relationship. The empowered sentiment of ‘dump him’ must be expanded to include support and legitimate advice before it can be championed again.

Featured image made with Canva.

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