How To Date a Feminist.

Feminists are popping up everywhere. From Taylor Swift to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, every darn woman seems to be demanding gender equality.

So how does this affect you as a male navigating today’s realm of romance?

Should you still pay the bill? Will you be yelled at for holding the door for them? Who asks out who? Are they going to wear a bra to dinner? Don’t feminists hate men?

How does one date a feminist?!

You date a feminist the same way you date anyone; you treat them with respect and try to impress the crap out of them. As long as you support equal rights, you got a shot.

So if you want to be our partner in crime (nix the knight in shining armour), here are a few suggestions to help put you in the running:

  1. Against feminism? Walk away.

That’s right; leave. Stop reading. You think feminism is stupid? Equal rights just ain’t your thing? That’s pretty much a deal breaker for us. So let’s not waste either of our time.

  1. Ask her out.

Are you interested in her? Does she seem like a super awesome person? Then ask her out! Just like any other person who gives you butterflies. I promise you, no feminist will be offended or upset if you ask them out. (Flattered is normally how we feel.)

  1. Go ahead, hold the door for her.

What do you think we are, crazies? You hold the door for us and we will most certainly appreciate it. We hold the door for you and hope you’ll say thanks. It’s a door people, no big deal.

  1. Don’t challenge her about feminism on the first date.

Yeah, she’s a feminist. But she’s also a daughter, sister, student, lawyer, artist, ice cream aficionado, and House of Cards fan. Only once you’ve exhausted those topics should you dive into something a little more substantial. We don’t instantly drop some critical religious comment when you say you go to church. One step at a time.

  1. Be open-minded.

If you want to win over a feminist you need to have an open mind. Is your favourite TV show Modern Family? Well, you have to accept that it might actually be kind of sexist, and you need to be open to hearing an explanation as to why. If you want to date a feminist you must be willing to look at things from a different perspective.

  1. Admit ignorance.

If you don’t really ‘get’ feminism and/or have never really done any reading on the movement, that’s ok. If, and only if, you want to learn. Though it’s not our job to educate others, if you’re cute and we like you we might just take the time! So admit ignorance, ask thoughtful questions, and listen intently.

  1. Don’t overthink the bill.

How do you and your friends handle money? Do you pick up one meal, and your friend the next? Splitsies every time? Your manhood will not go up in flames if you let her pay, just as she won’t stab you with her staff of feminism if you pick up the bill. Equality is key, but it doesn’t have to be a sore spot.

  1. Do the dishes.

Let’s say you’re doing one of those cute ‘cook at home’ dates. If you can understand that one of you doing the cooking and one of you doing the dishes is awesome because you’re sharing the domestic labour load, then you’re miles ahead of the rest.

Gender roles are a big part of patriarchy; they shape our everyday lives more than we’d like and more than we notice. As feminists, we just want to occupy a role in a relationship that works for us, not one that’s dictated by traditional gender roles.

If you’re into the fact that gender roles are societal norms we just won’t follow, then we’ll be pretty into you.

Listen,

We aren’t searching for unicorns here, just some respectable gentleman callers. All we want is a partner who will give us the respect we deserve, and doesn’t make us feel like a stereotype.

Is it so hard, we ask, to find an ambitious engineer who tutors underprivileged kids, writes poetry on the side, and loves hiking? Where are all the emotionally available men who don’t mind making less money than their significant other?!

[Note: If you fit this description please contact me immediately.]

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11 comments

  1. So good Paula! Bri

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Oh my god I nearly snorted my cup of tea laughing at this! Can we rename this ‘how to be married to a feminist’ and I can maybe sort of subtly staple this to my husband’s forehead when he’s not looking? No?

    1. Haha – you have my full permission for reposting this in your home!

  3. Hi Paula — I stumbled across this post on Medium and really enjoyed it (along with several of your other pieces here, as evidenced by all the “liking” I’ve been doing). If you get more responses than you know what to do with from “ambitious engineers who tutor underprivileged kids, write poetry on the side, and love hiking” send some of ’em my way!
    Cara

    1. Hi Cara – Thanks so much for your comment and support! Unfortunately the responses have not been flowing like one would wish, but we can be our own significant others for now!

      1. Haha deal!

  4. Matthew Chiglinsky · · Reply

    You just said “equal rights”, and then right after you contradicted yourself by saying the guy should ask the girl out. If these girls really wanted equality, they would ask the guys out 50% of the time.

    Feminist don’t want equality. They’re just spoiled brats, and daddy needs to give them a spanking.

    1. Hi Matthew,
      Thanks for your comment.
      My apologies if I was not clear – I meant to say that if a man is interested in a woman, he should ask her out if he wants. Just as a women, if she is interested in someone, should ask them out. Feminism doe promote equal rights and equal opportunities for all, so in the realm of dating, that means either party of a relationship should feel comfortable to take that plunge! No one should ever have to do it 100% of the time if they don’t want.

  5. […] much as most men today are baffled by the idea of how to date a feminist, there are many women out there, self-identifying as feminists, who really don’t know how to […]

  6. ffemi nazi · · Reply

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