If you’re lucky enough to live in blissful ignorance and don’t know what a men’s rights activist is, allow me to explain: they’re dudes who whine about feminists and truly believe that men are being oppressed in society. They generally have a terrible view of women and would be happy living in a world full of horny sex robots who are good at baking—and I accidentally dated one of them.
- It started like many beautiful relationships: on Tinder. I probably should have known better, but whatever. We talked for a while and he didn’t say anything sexually inappropriate, and when we moved to WhatsApp he didn’t send a picture of his junk, so I thought he probably wasn’t a weirdo. We decided to meet in a cafe in the center of town the next day.
- We bonded over food. Not eating it, just talking about it. He was so passionate about meatball subs that it was weirdly sexy. I would have eaten meatballs off his naked body at that point. He had a great beard too, and I love a good beard. We talked about our favorite pizza toppings and the best place in town to get coffee. It seemed to be going well.
- I asked about his job but he said he didn’t have one. I asked him how he liked to spend his time when he wasn’t eating meatball subs. He said reading about politics online and hanging out on Reddit. Uh oh. I wanted to know where his money came from but I thought it might be rude to ask. I asked him anyway. He told me he had an inheritance and he hadn’t had to work for the last two years, so he’d spent most of his time playing the guitar in his dressing gown and playing video games.
- I soon realized we only had two things in common: food and Tinder. I asked him if he’d met many people on Tinder. Big mistake. He went on and on for an hour talking about how the women he matches to never respond to his messages, or they start chatting and then ghost him, and every date he’d ever been on was terrible, and women were awful and it was so unfair… blah, blah, blah.
- I started to be majorly turned off the more he talked. Funny how somebody ranting for an hour can make them totally unattractive. He just kept whining about how hard it was for men to get girls when they clearly all deserve sex. Alarm bells started ringing. Women never message first, he complained. I told him that I often message first, I also get ignored, and I experience many of the same problems as him. He just dismissed it and kept talking about himself. He complained that men always had to message first and said that if women really want equality, we should do all the work. I tried to stifle a laugh and told him that’s not really what equality was about. Then he insisted that women are equal now anyway; if anything, we have more power than men. I think I hid my internal screaming pretty well.
- Women who can’t get laid blame themselves; men who can’t get laid blame women. When I couldn’t get any dates, I blamed myself for being too fat, too ugly or too weird. This guy had a terrible attitude; he was angry and bitter, but he clearly couldn’t see that. He said he regularly chatted to other guys about dating troubles on Reddit and a lot of them felt the same way. Oh man. He insisted it shouldn’t be so hard because they’re all nice guys and it wasn’t fair that women who were only 5s should be able to get guys who are 9s. I told him maybe the issue was that he was scoring women out of 10, but he jokingly replied that he doesn’t tell women their scores to their faces.
- Apparently, women are the gatekeepers of sex and we’re ruining all the fun for men. Apparently, we are the evil keepers of vaginas and have all the control when it comes to sex. He said we withhold sex to play mind games just to hurt men. But then there’s also the women who trick men into getting us pregnant, and the ones that falsely accuse them of rape. I pointed out that most rape accusations are actually true, which he refuted by talking about how many men get raped all the time. I could tell I was wasting my time.
- I excused myself to the bathroom to hatch an escape plan. As a feminist, I felt like I should challenge his views, but I also wanted to protect myself and just leave. I considered if I should just take one for the team and have sex with him—maybe he’d finally stop whining about not getting laid!—but even the thought of it made me feel a bit nauseous. I knew whatever I did, when I left, I would just be another of his bad dates and he would prove himself right again. I wouldn’t be able to make him realize that it was his own behavior causing all of his problems, and it wasn’t my job to try.
- We parted with the quickest goodbye ever. Literally, we both muttered the word “bye” and walked off briskly in opposite directions. I thought to myself, “Good luck to you, man, ‘cos even that beard can’t save you.”