Terrified of the “F” Word: Dating and the Modern Day Feminist

holding-hands1Feminism is something that some men can be intimidated by; but also, many women. It is difficult to be young, a feminist, and in the dating world. One of the biggest misconceptions about feminists is that they hate all men. This stereotype is simply not true and at times can affect the start of new relationships. But there are ways to go about this intellectually without stepping down from feminist beliefs. Start with explaining your perspective; openly talk about your ideas and values within feminism. Then, open your mind. Try not to be so defensive. This isn’t a war, men against women. Feminism is about unity and respect for one another, not a competition between genders. And lastly, stand by your values of equality. If the man you are seeing does not respect them he is not the one for you.

Explaining your Principles:
You’d be surprised at how many people simple just don’t understand the concepts of feminism. Many of us are so wrapped around our everyday we neglect current issues and rarely think about our stances on certain issues. (This is of no fault of our own, but a societal outcome) This is why it is important to let the person you are dating know what it is you believe in. They could just simply not understand and that misunderstanding could be perceived as a disagreement. Open up your ideas to them. Maybe they will have an “ aha” moment, epiphany, realization. This does not have be a debate, but rather, an explanation of your values.

Open your mind:
Plain and simply, not all men are evil. Men in general are not evil. This is not a battle of the sexes. When out in the dating world do not be defensive because of the inequality women face in society. The fault is not due to men but society. Open your mind, be aware of this, and follow your heart.

Stand by your values:
If you still cannot find common ground after taking down the barriers, opening your mind, and explaining your values… he’s not the one for you. A strong feminist female needs a strong feminist male who is able to see through societal pressures of hypermasculinity and patriarchy. A man who sees you as an equal partner physically, emotionally, and mentally is the one you should be with.

You don’t need a man. You don’t have to date. But at times it is wonderful to have a partner. This does not make you less independent or any less of a feminist. If anything, it has the potential to broaden your understanding of what it means to have a more gender equal world. At times dating can be difficult for a feminist. It is hard to find a man who is willing to admit that you are an equal partner in the relationship; however, that does not mean that there are not men like that out there.

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