Last week, I was out with some friends and I noticed an attractive guy looking at me from across the room.
So of course, I try to play it cool and casual. A few minutes later he walked up to me to talk. I don’t usually like talking to guys while I’m out with my girls, but he was too fine to ignore. The attraction didn’t last long, however, because, within the first 5 minutes of conversation, the patriarchy came oozing out of his pores.
Needless to say, we didn’t exchange numbers.
When I told my friends about it, I was shocked to learn that they all had similar stories. Whether it’s Tinder, the club, or on the subway, we have all had those encounters with men that make us wonder if being a feminist is what’s holding our love life back.
Although the list can go on, these are the six most common problems feminists will run into while dating:
1. Your high standards come off as disinterest.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard “you’ll be single forever if you aren’t more approachable.” I’m sorry (not sorry) that I don’t like being harassed by strangers on my commute. There are respectful ways to get someone’s attention—following me around and grabbing hold of my arm isn’t one of them.
2. Intimidating men when you approach them.
Screw gender roles. If I’m interested, and you’re being timid, I’m going to make the first move. I’m not a girl that waits around for Prince Charming to save me.
Unfortunately, a lot of guys are shocked or even turned off by a woman with confidence.
3. He can only compliment you by pitting you against other women.
“You have gorgeous hair, not like those other bitches with a weave.” “You don’t post half-naked pictures like those other hoes.” If you can only see my value in comparison to other women who you deem less worthy, then this isn’t going to work.
4. That dreaded moment when the check comes.
You both stare at the bill and then he says “You’re paying right?”
There’s always a simple minded jerk who hears “feminist” and thinks they can treat you like one of the guys. Sure, we can split the bill or you can pay or maybe I will pay but don’t make assumptions. Now it’s awkward for both of us.
5. Having to explain what feminism is and why it’s important.
Who wants to spend their first date giving a lecture? Not me. But it often ends up that way when he asks “What are you, a feminazi?” Now you’re in the middle of Starbucks quoting bell hooks.
6. The guy who wants to control you.
“You’re wearing that out?” Yes, and you can’t tell me otherwise. I look good for me—not you or anyone else.
“Why is that guy talking to you?” Because it’s a free country. You don’t own my body or my time. I choose to share both with you but don’t think you have control over either. If you don’t get that, you’ll get dismissed.
Being a feminist and dating in a sexist world is hard as hell. When interacting with men, your values are hard to ignore. Luckily, not all guys are misogynistic chauvinists that disrespect women and in fact, I’ve had lots of great encounters with guys but they are rare. Nonetheless, a fulfilling dating and love life is possible as a feminist.
And oftentimes, your beliefs will help weed out the guys that aren’t worth your time. There may even be those priceless times that you come across a guy who is attractive, respects your agency, and treats you like their equal. I promise it’ll be worth the struggle through those misogynist scrubs.
Don’t give up on the dating game, ladies. There’s hope for us feminists too!