Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 07/13/2009
feminism and dating
I get why guys are afraid of feminists. I do. Many of us just get so worked up about the issues we may be perceived as…well, bitchy. Of course we’re not, we just care deeply about protecting and promoting our rights as women. Well, some of us are bitches, but we’re bitches that get shit done, that’s for sure.
But you’d think, if you were dating a guy that knows you’re a feminist, supports your feminism, agrees with your feminism, that he’d be a feminist too, right? How could he not be?
Jessica Wakeman at The Frisky posed the question: could you date a guy that doesn’t call himself a feminist?
To which I would respond: I’m friends with girls who support my feminism, believe in feminist issues and don’t call themselves feminists (yet…). And I have dated guys who didn’t consider themselves feminist. One guy would tell me over and over again how much he supported my belief in feminism, but would never identify as one himself, no matter how many times I explained that
a) you don’t have to be a girl to be a feminist
b) he’d already identified himself as one in everything but title.
It all just comes down to how intimidating the title “feminist” is to some people. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard “I’m not a feminist, but of course I support a woman’s right to choose/of course I believe media sets ridiculous standards for women/of course women should be paid the same as men/etc.”
News flash: that’s what being a feminist is. There is not some club you join or ritual initiation. There is no ring or other charm you must wear. There are no secret handshakes or passwords. It is just about believing in women’s rights to equality.
For me, I don’t choose friends based on their feminist status, and boyfriends go the same way. It takes people longer than others to see the light, or be secure enough with themselves to use a word that makes so many others uncomfortable. I can only help by teaching them about feminism and sharing my experiences. Maybe one day they’ll identify as feminists, then again, maybe they won’t.
As a feminist, I’m all about choice.
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