Tag Archives: Dating

How to Date a Feminist

29 Jan

DATING A FEMINIST

How to Date a Feminist in 6 Easy Steps


My boyfriend Ryan and I have had countless very loud and heated feminist-related discussions/arguments. I’ve called him out on male privilege, he’s claimed I’m a separatist, and we’ve had intriguing debates on Juicy J’s Twerk Scholarship, #Solidarityisforwhitewomen, #Blackpowerisforblackmen, and cultural appropriation. After disagreeing on Grand Theft Auto’s need for playable female characters, we had to reconsider whether or not this relationship was going to work out.  

Needless to say, my black feminist politics has impacted our relationship, bringing us closer together, while at the same time, fostering lots of disagreement. But somehow, we’ve managed to survive. So here’s our 6-step plan to dating a feminist (by feminist, we mean feminist of any gender).

Step 1: If you’re considering dating a feminist, DON’T. Plain and simple. If you can avoid dating a feminist, by all means, do so. Otherwise, you might end up in a relationship with a partner who, if they practice what they preach, treats you like a human being, brings up interesting topics at dinner, cares about other people in the world, and maybe even helps you pay the check every now and then. God forbid it!

Instead, run and hide.

RUN AND HIDE

However, if find yourself in a situation where a feminist happens to be the object of your affection, we’ll try to help you traverse the waters that are feminism in your relationship.

Step 2: Know the definition of Feminism (the real one).  Feminism is not just for women.  If your significant others thinks feminism is only about women’s issues, they’re wrong. Feminism also addresses the human condition, and is more than simply a woman’s ideology.

RULES OF FEM GIF

Step 3: Think about the ways in which you expect your partner to obey certain gender norms…then get rid of those expectations. That’s kiddie crap. Gender norms are for old school Disney characters; you are dating a real person.

Step 4: Be ready to defend your beliefs and prepare to be wrong. If you are dating a passionate feminist, they will call you out on your sexist/racist/homophobic/privileged ways. So have well-thought-out answers and questions.

Step 5: Do not pacify discussion. If your partner happens to be on a feminist rant (or a light discussion, depending on their temperament), listen up. You might actually learn something new about yourself or about something pretty freaking cool. It won’t benefit either of you to end the conversation with “Okay, you’re right.” Instead, when you feel your partner is blatantly wrong or isn’t making sense, call them on it. Discussion only helps you better understand.

Step 6: Accept that feminist ideology will creep into your thoughts and make you a better person…you’re welcome.

YOURE WELCOME GIF

3 Things My Boyfriend Taught Me About Feminism

9 Jul

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My boyfriend is not a feminist. He will probably never claim feminism, he hated his Women’s Studies course in college, and no matter how much I point it out he cannot recognize his male privilege. Yet, some of my most crucial lessons on feminism are from him. Since the day I came out to him as a feminist, he has taught me these three things:

1. The Matter of Paying the Check

One day my boyfriend, Ryan,  had the nerve (the nerve!) to ask me, “How can you be a feminist and always expect me to pay the check?” At first I was quick to dismiss the subject with a quick “that’s the way it is,” but I thought about it and realized that he had raised an interesting point. Men are expected to pay the check partially because they are expected to handle the finances. Some women argue that in a push for gender equality, women must demand to be treated equal financially, and paying the check is included in that equality. They suggest going Dutch or taking turns paying. Others suggest that the one who makes the most money should pay (and since my bf and I are both drowning in student loans, we should probably stay our butts at home).

Honestly, I get that whole gender equality argument for women paying. Power to the women who pay! But I won’t be reaching for the check. I won’t even pretend to. Being wined and dined makes me feel appreciated. I’m happy as long as the guy isn’t expecting anything physical in return (I know some guys do—but those are the guys you let pay and then toss to the reject pile).

2. The Importance of Car Maintenance.

Car maintenance is a feminist issue! My bf didn’t say those exact words of course, but he showed me that women need to put more effort on learning about their cars.

When my car got a flat, the first thing I did was call AAA. Ryan got irritated, saying that I need to learn to change a tire on my own.

I wasn’t convinced.  “Well then what the heck do I have AAA for?” I said.

Then he presented me with a scenario: what if you get a flat and your phone is dead?

He then explained that I also need to learn the basics about my car so I don’t get ripped off by mechanics. According to Ryan and the Better Business Bureau (I looked it up), a mechanic is more likely to pad a bill when the customer is a woman.

Often times, young girls are not taught about cars like young guys are because our society doesn’t expect or demand girls to know about anything that involves getting our hands a little dirty.  As a result, we run the risk of getting ripped off by mechanics and auto repair shops.

I know this isn’t the biggest issue facing women, but if you want to save money on costly repairs and feel empowered, here are my suggestions:

~Call up a friend who knows something about cars and have them give you a lesson on the basics. You should at least know how to:

  • Check the oil and add more when needed
  • Check the water (also called coolant)
  • Change a tire
  • Change the windshield wipers
  • Learn the basic terminology so you can understand what a mechanic is saying

~Google and Youtube whatever you don’t know

~Read the manual (I know it’s boring but it has some information about the car that can save you a bit of money)

3. The REAL definition of feminism

When I told Ryan I was a feminist, he then asked, “Okay, so what’s feminism.” Having already taken a class, he knew the definition—but he likes challenging people’s ideas. I fell right into his trap.

“Feminism,” I told him, feeling all proud that I was going to instruct him on something (I didn’t know he had taken the class), “is believing in and fighting for equal rights for women.”

“No it’s not,” he told me. “It’s not just about women.” He explained that a lot of people get that definition wrong and don’t understand that the real definition of feminism is believing in equality for all people.

Now, I don’t like being wrong, and I certainly don’t like being corrected. So I fought him on  it, explaining that women are the ones who are not treated equally in society. I went on about sexism and double-standards and all that—but in the end, he was right (well, we were both right—he was just more right).

Feminism does focus on women’s issues, but it is about equality for all, social justice, and human rights. It touches on issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, and political influence.

There Won’t be a 2nd Date if…

3 Jul

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I recently came across an article about dating turn-offs and I didn’t love it. So I thought I’d do my own list. Feel free to add on to my list—and let me know what your dating no-no’s are. Here are mine:

  • The only reading he does is the track list of the Yeezus album (By the way, Born Sinner was better and I don’t support Kanye). Here’s the thing: I’m an avid reader. Reading is sexy. I don’t date guys that don’t read!
  • Video games are his only form of exercise. Sorry, playing NBA 2K13 on your XBOX does not count as a sport. He doesn’t have to have abs like David Beckham, but I will not date a couch potato.
  • He doesn’t know how to express himself without dropping an F bomb every few seconds.

Some guys have the most triflin ways try and get a woman’s number and attention. So…

There Won’t Even be a 1st Date if…

  • He doesn’t understand the concept of personal space. I have issues when guys  touch me when we first meet. You may disagree with me on this one, but I have a thing for personal space. If I don’t know you don’t touch me! Don’t put your arm around me. Don’t hug me. Keep your hands to yourself.
  • He says “Aye” or “Come here” (or something along the lines of the dog in the 1st picture) to get my attention. That is so rude! I don’t respond well to commands or shouts from strange men on the streets. If you want to talk to me—move your ass over to where I’m standing.
  • He makes comments about my body before he knows my name. Some guys seem to think it’s a turn on to comment on body parts to get a woman’s attention. But really it shows exactly what’s on their minds. Also, if someone comments on a part of my body as an opening line, it feels as if they are not seeing me as a whole person.  
  • He comes to the door with his pants sagging. Seriously? Grow the hell up! I’m not 100% sure when this trend became popular, but I remember my friends sagging their pants in 5th grade. It’s not cool anymore (I’m not sure it ever was).  Let that trend die please.
  • He’s old enough to be my father. The audacity of some older men! I am in my early 20’s and prefer not to date too much older than myself. I know some women prefer to date older, but if you can remember the Korean War—back up.
  • He doesn’t know the definition of NO.
    Can I have it? Can I have it?

    Can I have it? Can I have it?

    For some odd reason, some guys seem to think that if they ask for my number several times in other ways, I will give it to them. It’s like, you asking again and stressing your desire to have it is not going to make me change my mind.

Am I forgetting any major 1st/2nd date turn offs? What are your major deal breakers?

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