I had a conversation with one such guy who told me that as a feminist, I’d never find a boyfriend. Here are the reasons he gave me and why he’s a raging idiot.
- “Feminists always end up alone.” Right off the bat, he was assuming that a woman needs a boyfriend to be happy. I do not. I’ve been single most of my life and I’m all about it. Guess what social movement supports a woman’s choice to live independently and empowers women to not rely on a man for happiness or financial security? Yeah, buddy. As a feminist, the prospect of “ending up alone” doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Stop assuming that a woman’s life goal is to find a man. I’m more concerned with ending up happy, which can happen without a man’s input or presence. When I said that, however, he responded with…
- “But don’t you want kids someday?” That’s a weird thing to assume of someone. I’m currently riding with comfortable balance on the fence about motherhood. My plan to be happy can happen without a child. Men get to be carefree bachelors while women are stuck being lonely spinsters, and I don’t have time for these stupid double standards. The renting out of my uterus to a future human is none of anyone’s business. If you feel like asking about it, reread #1 until you either understand or until your eyes bleed.
- “Guys will think you’re a lesbian.” This is so stupid it doesn’t even deserve an explanation. I can’t believe it even needs to be said in 2018, but here we go: it’s not an insult to be mistaken for a lesbian. There’s nothing wrong with being homosexual. What’s there to be worried about? That a guy will hear that I support equal pay for women and he’ll run from my presumed lesbian witchcraft? Go away.
- “Guys will think you don’t shave your armpits.” I’m expected to shave my armpits, legs, and vagina while tending to the hair on my head with the perfect precision of an Edward Scissorhands hedgerow, then put on a faceful of chemicals to hide all emotions or signs of organic life, then finally stuff my body into a shape-shifting tight dress and shoes that make my ass pop and my calf muscles literally atrophy. Every time I hear an unshowered guy in cargo shorts and dirty Nikes call a woman lazy for not wearing makeup, I want to scream. Body hair is natural. Shaving is optional. Deal with it.
- “Guys will think you hate men.” Feminism does as much good for men as it does for women. It aims to break the stereotype that men can’t be sensitive, that men can’t be caregivers for children, that they can’t be vulnerable. Male rape cases are rarely taken seriously because rape would indicate weakness and toxic masculinity insists that men must always be powerful. Just look at the reactions to Terry Crews’ sexual assault allegations: Men’s Rights Activist Paul Elam was not alone in calling him weak or pathetic. Feminists around the country stood by his side. I care deeply about injustices against men because I want equal rights for men and women (and everyone in between). Isn’t that what all decent human beings want?
- “Men want to be the man in the relationship.” What in the actual hell does that even mean? Does it mean I stay home and don’t work? Does it mean that he opens jars and puts up shelves? Does it mean I should have fewer opinions? If you’ve read this far then you know that that’s out of the question. The whole assumption that masculinity relies on female subservience is some heteronormative, 1950s, pointy bra nonsense that I want nothing to do with.
- “Guys find it intimidating.” Good. If a guy thinks that a woman should be soft and delicate and weaker than him, then he is a misogynist, and I’m not going to soften myself just to make a misogynist more comfortable. Let me say it a little louder for the all the big strong men apparently cowering from feminists in the back: IF YOU ARE INTIMIDATED BY A STRONG WOMAN WITH OPINIONS AND A PASSION FOR EQUALITY, IT’S NOT BECAUSE SHE IS TOO STRONG, IT’S BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO WEAK. SHE DESERVES BETTER. HIT THE EMOTIONAL GYM AND TRY AGAIN.
- In conclusion: Telling me that being a feminist isn’t good for my dating life isn’t helping. Female empowerment is more important than my dating life, so even if all men in the world suddenly decide they won’t date a feminist, I will be unbothered. Besides, the only reason feminism would come up in a conversation with a new guy is if he was doing something sexist. I’m not going to be silent on that. I will always stand up for all woman. No threat of spinsterhood will change that.