Why You Should Date a Feminist


Now don't tell me you wouldn't date Obama.

Men, this post is for you.

I’ve been told by trusted sources that potential suitors may read my blog and find themselves intimidated by my feminist ideas. I would never want to discourage a potential suitor until I discover him to be deplorable, so I’m offering up this post as an olive branch of sorts.

So, here’s why you should date feminist girls like me.*

  1. We split the check. Now, I’m not gonna lie–I don’t speak for all feminists, but I personally appreciate when a guy offers to pay for me. Sometimes I even accept. However, that doesn’t mean I expect it. Hell, sometimes I even pay for the guy.
  2. We won’t use you as a free plumber/computer technician/mover. I can unclog my own toilet, fix my own computer, and–usually–schlep my own shit up the stairs. Why? Because rather than sitting around looking pretty and helpless, I’ve enjoyed figuring out how to do that stuff myself. (Case in point: I once ran Linux (Ubuntu, if you’re interested) on my laptop for an entire year just for the hell of it.)
  3. We’re great in bed. Most–though of course not all–feminists refuse to buy in to the idea that a woman is only sexy if she’s either a shy, girlish virgin or a porn star. We recognize that sexiness is an attitude, not a set of genetically inherited traits. We understand that there’s nothing shameful or dirty about sex.
  4. We don’t expect you to be rich. I’ve dated (or at least crushed on) guys who’ve majored (or worked) in anything from business, economics, biology, and pre-med to philosophy, history, English, and psychology. I’ve been into guys whose parents are lawyers and guys whose parents barely make ends meet. Because I don’t see dating as a way to become financially secure. I can do that for myself.
  5. We will never subject you to monologues about our physical flaws. (Or, at least, we’ll do so very rarely.) After many years, I’ve finally stopped thinking I’m fat. But it’s not because I got any thinner or got an expensive therapist. It’s because I’ve finally realized that even if I were fat, that would in no way diminish my worth as a human being–and that’s an idea I can thank feminism for. Once I realized that, I finally stopped pinching my stomach and analyzing my thighs, and got to work thinking about the stuff that matters.
  6. We don’t buy into the whole Valentine’s Day shebang. Every February, I discover magazine advice columns full of letters from men terrified that they won’t be able to provide the “perfect” Valentine’s Day experience for their girlfriends, fiancées, or wives. Well, gentlemen, you don’t have to worry with me. I appreciate Valentine’s Day gifts and usually give them myself, but I have no special expectations for that day aside from a hug and a kiss.
  7. We don’t need you to be super ripped and athletic. Most feminists recognize that there are soooo many interesting things a person could do with his/her life aside from trying to look good. I like to date people who are passionate about something. If they’re passionate about sports, cool. If they’re passionate about something totally different and don’t have much time for sports, still cool.
  8. We care about things. Now, I realize that for some men, this is a dealbreaker. But I truly believe that most guys like it when a girl actually cares about things that happen in the world and has plenty of interests. I have lots of flaws, but one word that’s never been used to describe me is “boring.”
Of course, no discussion about dating feminists would be complete without an examination of the stereotypes associated with them. Many people unfortunately think that feminists are rude, uncaring, etc. Obviously, I don’t think that’s true. But a better argument is this–don’t you also know non-feminists who are rude and uncaring?

Not every feminist woman will be right for you. That much, I hope, is obvious. I’m not arguing that you should date women just because they’re feminists. Rather, I’m arguing that you shouldn’t write them off just for that reason.

So, give it a try. Don’t let my mom be terrified for my romantic future. You wouldn’t do that to her, would you?

~~~

*Disclaimer: I don’t claim to speak for all feminists. However, this list is applicable to most feminists that I’ve personally met and/or read the writing of. If you’re a feminist and some of this doesn’t apply to you, that’s perfectly fine. I still consider you a feminist. Don’t worry.

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for this! I just wanted to add my two cents about the whole paying issue. My own idea is that the person that does the asking is the one that should *plan* on doing the paying. That doesn’t mean that I would consider it rude for the other person to say, “Hey, we should go dutch on this,” but I do think it’s rude to say, “Do you want to go to dinner with me? Oh and if you say yes, you need to pay half.”

    Otherwise, I totally agree with you! I know you say you don’t speak for all feminists, but your ideas are definitely close to mine :).

    • says

      Oh, I actually agree with your views on the paying thing. For some reason I was only thinking about it in the context of relationships, where it’s not always the case that one person asked the other. :)

      • says

        Haha, no big deal :). I actually hold to that ideal in my marriage as well. Unfortunately, it’s mostly because I almost never have any money (make less than my husband). However, I am optimistic that someday I’ll actually make a decent amount of money and we can do stuff that I’m super excited about too, haha.

      • says

        Doesn’t this present a problem, though, in that our society has a clear and standing expectation that men will be the ones to initially ask someone out? I mean, if that was 50/50 it’d be one thing, but as far as I’ve seen very few even feminist women are willing to actually ask a man out unless they’re already involved somehow. As long as the expectation of “the person who asks, pays” is still in place, men still end up paying anyways.

        The problem is that in the absence of other egalitarian behavior it just keeps the same problem while making it *look* marginally more equitable.

        I guess as far as I’m concerned I just make a very clear distinction between “going to dinner *with* someone” and “*taking* someone out to dinner”. The latter happens on birthdays and when I owe someone something and the former happens when I’m interested enough in what someone has to say to want to find out over a conveniently-placed meal, regardless if that’s a project proposal, job offer or romantic interest.

  2. says

    I agree with you on the never being called “boring” thing. I am in a relationship, and one of the things which attracted my significant other was my feminism, for many of the reasons stated above and more.

    • says

      That’s awesome. I’m also quite certain I’ll be able to find a partner who appreciates my opinions rather than merely tolerating them. :)

  3. says

    What I have always found annoying with the few feminist women I have dated was that they never talked about something else. Don’t get me wrong, I like having a discussion about society/gender/feminism, but there is a point were it goes ad nauseam. And having to see and discuss every single thing/person/event gets really annoying. And I am not talking about big stuff, I am talking about the color of trash cans or that the postal service in my hometown is riding “male” bikes instead of “female” bikes, despite there being female postal workers.

    • says

      That’s a fair point. I do think, though, that talking endlessly about shit that you don’t care about isn’t a “feminist” thing, it’s a people thing. I once dated a decidedly non-feminist person who would not shut up about every single thing he did with his friends and every single restaurant they tried and every single trip they ever went on and every funny thing that happened. Some people–both feminist and non-feminist–don’t know how to hold a conversation that includes the other person and his/her interests, too.

      • says

        You are right about this being a people thing. There is, however a difference between talking about something or geeking out and analyzing or deconstructing everything. What I mean is when someone starts looking for a deeper (and feminist) meaning in every single interhuman encounter.

        • says

          Well, it sounds like the problem with the people you dated isn’t that they overanalyze everything, but that they won’t stop TALKING about what they’re overanalyzing. I do a similar thing, but I know better than to bore the shit out of everyone I talk to with it. I’m assuming you don’t have an intrinsic dislike for people who overanalyze things; you just understandably don’t want to hear about it 24/7.

          • Laura says

            Perhaps the woman you dated had a gender identity disorder. That’s what I have but maybe she hasn’t admitted it to herself. I hate my woman body and I wish I was a man. So I often end up over-analysing every single gender-related thing because it’s always on my mind.

            Could be a possibility.

            Also, it’s easy to not notice your male privelage. I almost never notice my white privelage.

  4. I am a bicycle! says

    I have had experiences with feminist women that contradict each and every one of your points. So, what’s the point of this article?

    And anyway, why would we date women who don’t want to have anything to do with us? I thought you were strong and independent, and didn’t need any men?

    A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, right ladies?

    • Steven says

      I have had experiences with feminist women that contradict each and every one of your points. So, what’s the point of this article?
      —-> [*Disclaimer: I don’t claim to speak for all feminists.] WHAT IS READING
      I HAVE HAD EXPERIENCES WITH TOOLS ON INTERNET LIKE YOU BUT DOES THAT MEAN EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET IS A TOOL? NO NOT AT ALL YOU RETARD

      And anyway, why would we date women who don’t want to have anything to do with us? I thought you were strong and independent, and didn’t need any men?
      —-> I HAD NO IDEA STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMEN DID NOT KNOW WHAT LOVE IS
      WHAT IS LOVE?
      DO INDEPENDENT MEN NOT NEED WOMEN EITHER PLEASE TEACH ME THE WISE WAYS OF THE TOOL

      A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, right ladies?
      —-> WHAT IS OBVIOUS TROLL AND FAULTY LOGIC

      [ would never want to discourage a potential suitor until I discover him to be deplorable, ] WHAT IS READING MR.ILLITERATE

      obvious troll is obvious 0/10 qq try again

      PRIMITIVE COUNTER TROLL IS ALL YOU DESERVE

      • I am a bicycle! says

        My point is that the OP should have just written a blog that said “Date me” and then listed the reasons why men should date her.

        Saying that “her and all her feminist friends” act this way is what we call selection bias. And only really meaningful to men who know the OP or one of her friends.

        And it also isn’t wrong for me to point out that many feminists (not all) have a tendency to berate men and manhood, and then wonder “where have all the good men gone?”

        • Steven says

          I’m sitting here wondering whether or not you get the point of opinions, blogging and whether or not you see your hypocrisy and narrow-minded generalizations and how they make you seem even MORE of a tool when you’re not trying to troll (badly).

          what is opinion

          what is blogging

          also even if you don’t see yourself as “wrong” to say that, it doesn’t make you any less of an idiot

        • says

          Selection bias? I’m sorry, I didn’t realize my blog is now an academic journal subject to peer review!

          Go back to Reddit. It’s the only place where your arguments don’t fail.

    • says

      I specifically said in the post that I don’t claim to speak for all feminists. This is how I’ve interpreted feminism and not everybody interprets it this way.

      • says

        Ok Miriam

        Then why not say this is why you should date me? Afterall if Feminism isnt a monolith then what you are presenting are just the good aspects of your being, rather than what all feminists possess. I will give you this, if these are your qualities then you sure would be a great addition to anyone’s life. :)

        • says

          As I also said, most feminists I know fit these descriptions, and I know a lot of feminists. There’s a gray area between “ALL feminists are like this” and “Only I am like this.” This post falls into that grey area.

          And no, this isn’t “just the good aspects of my being;” these are aspects of my being that I specifically derive from feminism. I have other good traits, such as emotional sensitivity and eloquence, that I was simply born with or developed elsewhere.

          I trust that you’re able to see both of these distinctions.

          • says

            Again, if feminism isnt a monolith then those traits you have acquired could easily have been drawn from many different areas. Maybe egalitarianism would be just as likely. ;)
            I know its emotionally rewarding to belong to a group, but if your group cant be defined absolutely, then what is the point?

    • says

      Haha, I would’ve thought that’d be a no-brainer! Many of the guys I’ve crushed on/dated recently identify as feminists. I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)

      • says

        I would’ve thought so too but in my experience a lot of women aren’t feminist themselves and do not value that quality in others, particularly men.

        • says

          That’s true. My mom, for instance, often tells me I need to find a “strong man” to take care of me. I know some men like that. I was nearly raped by such a man once. So, no thanks.

  5. says

    So *this* is why guys in my present region are always trying to fix my car / computer / etc. when they don’t know how and when it would be so much easier and faster if they’d let me just hire an expert, which I can afford. But if I’m seeing anyone and they find out I’m going to do something guy-like, or hire something guy-like done, they show up and try to take over even if they are not actually any help or they are an impediment to progress. Now I see – it’s part of their being non feminist; if it’s a “guy thing” they have to run it.

  6. Kurtis says

    I can’t date a feminists, not comfortable working my ass off for a women who doesn’t care for me.

    • says

      Can you read? If so, did you actually read this post? I have the sneaking suspicion that you didn’t, since almost everything I wrote is about how feminist women are LESS demanding than non-feminist women.

      Anyway, please come back when you’ve become literate. Good night.

      • Laura says

        Exactly. People don’t even understand what the word “feminism” even means. It means equality and freedom. What on earth is so terrible about that? If it was called “Masculinism” then I bet everyone on earth would jump on the bandwagon. It’s just a word it’s meaning has been warped by the ignorance of society.

  7. Laura says

    I’m a feminist and I went out with a guy on a date a while ago and he was taken aback and pleasantly surprised at how ‘chilled’ I was about everything. It didn’t take much to convince him that I can pay for half of the cheque, as I’m a working, independent woman.

    Feminists: 1 Sexists: 0

  8. crayven says

    You’re not a feminist. You’re a confused woman who has “lost her sense” and needs to be “re-educated” by the “real feminists” in order to hate men again.

    Can your nearest feminist hatred dispenser center immediatly – FREE !

    • says

      No. First of all, I’m very active in social justice-y circles both online and IRL and I have never, ever met a self-identified feminist of any gender who is also pro-life.

      Second, I would not date a man who would take any issue with me getting an abortion if I accidentally got pregnant.

      Third, the pro-life perspective necessarily implies imposing your own viewpoints on the rest of society (i.e. “abortion should be illegal because I personally believe that life begins at conception”). I don’t like people who do that.

  9. Bob says

    I disagree Miriam, but I guess it depends on how you define a feminist. My definition would be someone who believes in equal rights for women. Such as equal pay for equal work, and I don’t see how being pro life interferes with that. By the way I am pro life and I base that off the fact that the unborn child has a heart beat, brain activity, and can feel pain. These are facts not opinions. My reasoning for being pro life has nothing to do with taking away the choice of the mother, but protecting the unborn child. Nowadays though it is difficult to become ” accidentally” pregnant because of birth control and contraception. Like you, I consider myself active in promoting social justice through volunteer work that I do. What I am trying to say is that I believe one can be feminist and still pro life.

    • says

      Those are not facts, actually. There’s no scientific consensus on this at all. And, furthermore, many people lack access to birth control and to the education that they need to use it.

      • Bob says

        You do make a good point on the birth control. It is however a fact that the unborn child’s heart is beating. That is shown in ultra sounds. Now what causes the unborn child’s heart to beat that is the brain. Therefore there is brain activity. Then with brain activity there is the ability to feel pain. Btw do you agree with my definition of a feminist from the previous comment because I feel I meet the definition.

        • says

          That’s part of my personal definition, yes, but not all of it.

          And again, not everybody defines life the same way you do, and most scientists agree that fetuses cannot feel pain until relatively late in their development. You’re free to personally believe that abortion is wrong for you (or rather, your family), but it’s not for you to say what the rest of us should do with our bodies.

          I also support assisted suicide and euthanasia, because I believe that at the point at which people might choose those options, they are no longer really living. Everyone defines life differently. Since 99.9% of people probably agree that killing a person who has already been born but who is not terminally ill or in a vegetative state is murder, we as a society have agreed to call that act “murder” and to place criminal penalties upon it. But outside of that framework, we each have our own religion, philosophy, or morality that we use to define life.

        • says

          Actually, no. The heart is self-regulating, and will beat so long as it has a supply of oxygen and nutrients. If a heart is removed from the chest, it’ll continue beating for a short period of time even though it’s disconnected from the brain, and studies have shown that if it’s adequately supplied this can continue indefinitely. Heart tissue grown in a petri dish will exhibit a heart beat, all the brain does is exercise some control over the heart to speed it or slow it according to the body’s needs.

          Secondly, brain activity most definitely does not establish the ability to feel pain, ask anyone with congenital analgesia. More importantly, higher brain functions (including pain perception) are controlled by completely different parts of the brain than unconscious body management functions.

          Thirdly, bilaterally synchronous brain function as measured by EEG, generally considered to be the be-all, end-all determiner of “life” or “not” (it’s how we test if someone is dead if there’s any question about it) doesn’t begin until at least 6.5 months into pregnancy. This is long after any reputable medical provider (for safety reasons) would perform an elective abortion, meaning it’s a completely moot point. The science is extremely clear that by our current definition of “living human being” fetuses at the point where they can be aborted don’t qualify, and that *is* in fact a scientific consensus. While there might be other arguments made (the argument to capacity being one) there is no debate to be had over whether a fetus is medically alive: it’s not.

  10. Bob says

    My problem with assisted suicide is that I fear that some old people might be taken advantage for their money and this would be used as a tool. Also, a little unrelated, but out of curiosity I wonder what your view is on gay marriage. I feel I have a rather unique view on it. I think the government needs to recognize everyone equally in terms of the benefits that a gay or straight couple would receive. I also believe that a private business that would have a moral objection should be allowed to follow their conscience if a gay couple would not fit their definition of a marriage. I left this out in the begining, I just think the government should get out of the marriage business. Sorry, for going a little off the topic of the blog

    • says

      Assisted suicide would only be allowed–in my view–under the supervision of a team of doctors and psychologists who meet with the person in question and with his/her family to make sure as much as possible that nothing nefarious is going on.

      In any case, forbidding people in terrible and unstoppable pain from peacefully taking their own lives in order to prevent minutely possible and extremely unlikely abuse is heartless, in my opinion.

      I also think the government should get out of the marriage business. However, I also think that it’s nobody else’s business what a person does in their bedroom. Therefore, under no circumstances should a private business discriminate on that basis.

      Also, I’m sorry, but I really have other things to do today and I can’t keep debating with you. I’ve written about most of these things elsewhere on my blog and you’re welcome to go read that.

  11. Dave says

    Great article, I am going on a first date with a woman who who is feminist. Normally, I have dated more traditional women and have always picked up the tab; do you have any advice for me?

    • says

      Good for you! In terms of picking up the tab, you should do whatever you’re comfortable with. If you’d really like to do it, bring it up with her before asking for the check (something like, “Hey, I’d really like to pick up the tab. Is that ok?”). Any woman worth a second date will either agree or politely tell you that she’d prefer to pay for herself.

      Note that if she flips out on you for that, it’s not because she’s a feminist–it’s because she’s a rude and immature person who also happens to be a feminist. Hopefully that won’t happen. :)

      Personally, I tend to allow guys to pay for me if they actually like, take out their wallet and insist, but otherwise I assume that we’re splitting the check and plan accordingly. I obviously can’t speak for everyone though.

      In any case, good luck on your date and have fun!

  12. Libra says

    The problem with feminists is lack of femininity. They see it as a mold or a shell, a set of rules on behavior and not as something innate and internal. It clashes with the ideology of the cult of sexist equality. Feminists actually despise femininity. Apparently being feminine is being dumb and weak. I’ve never experienced such contempt for female kind before. None of them know what men want and what’s ironic they are surprised that men only see them only as sexual objects! If you act like a man, men will not see a woman in you.
    Feminism is a oxymoron. A Marxist dogma can not survive within capitalist society. It’s failure is apparent.
    Miriam, do your self a favor and flash feminist brainwashing out of your system. It will not help you in personal relationships. Reclaim your femininity. Internalize it and men will trip over them selfs to date you.

    • says

      Oh, please. I do not need a random internet commenter giving me dating advice. Something tells me you spend little time around actual women. Run along now.

  13. bill says

    I used to date a feminist. She seemed very close minded to me. One day she was complaining woman pay more for health insurance than man, and that they should pay the same. I responded men pay more for car insurance; should it be required both genders pay the same? Also, one time she said women only make 70 percent of what men make. I laughed and said if this were true all businesses would fire all their male employees and pay the women 70 percent and pocket the other 30. Let’s just say she didn’t appreciate my input on a lot of topics.

  14. Patrick says

    I know you posted this quite awhile ago, but I had to add my two cents. I could only ever date feminists–in fact, my current primary partner of 23 years is avowedly so. I found your article to be fun, witty and quite honestly non-controversial. I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m a bit surprised at some of the knee-jerk, reactionary responses.

    • says

      Thanks! Not being a feminist is a dealbreaker for me, too (and I could write a whole other post on the mistaken stereotypes about feminist men). As for the reaction in this comment thread, it’s because this post got submitted to the Men’s Rights reddit (not by me, obviously), and they just couldn’t leave it alone. :)

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