A basic building block for my attraction to another person is feminism. They need to understand and embody the concept in order for me to want to be with them, to the point that I literally wrote “I only date feminists” in my dating profile. The results have been interesting, to say the least.
It weeds out people I don’t want. That’s probably the best part of this whole thing—I get to skip interacting with these people at all and avoided wasting my time (and vice versa). They just swipe left on my profile because they aren’t feminists. Of course, this isn’t totally foolproof, but it’s a damn good filter. I get to narrow my matches down to mostly people I actually want to interact with and who share many of the same values as me.
It inevitably attracts some haters. Sometimes I’ll match with someone and they’re a huge jerk. They’ll converse with me just to be trolls and they make obnoxious comments. I’ve had people say stupid things like that I “reek of toxic masculinity,” using the feminist movement’s own words against me. It’s ridiculous, but I know that it’s inevitable. I just generally don’t engage and instead unmatch with them immediately.
I stick to my values. Some people bend and hide their values in order to be liked. They feel like they’re too much or not enough of something. I don’t do this. I speak my values loud and proud. This helps me to keep it real and as a result, I attract others who are also keeping it real. I don’t have to compromise who I am to please anyone else.
I make men think about their stance on feminism. Many men never think about feminism. When they find me cute and cool, however, they want to try and meet me at my level so they start to ask themselves questions about feminism. I just find it really cool that I can make people think about the topic. It’s great that men begin to broach the topic within themselves even if we don’t end up dating.
Some men lie about it. I’ve had some men try to say that they’re feminists, but when we get down to the nitty-gritty, they can’t back up their statements. I can tell who’s lying pretty quickly because they just don’t have the basic feminist vocabulary. I guess they’re lying in an attempt to get in my pants, but it doesn’t work.
I’ve found there are different shades of feminism. Sure, some men might say that they identify as feminists, but they only know a few terms. I want a man (or woman) who totally embodies feminism. They live it in their everyday life. This is harder to come by than those who just know what feminism is.
I’m extra enticing to those who are just like me. I’ve gotten quite a few Super Likes from people who are also feminists. They’re psyched to see it on my profile and they’re excited about matching with me. Those who share my values are extra pumped to be interacting with me. I know this because people have told me. Just as I’m psyched to see another feminist, so are they. It’s pretty encouraging.
I get to remind myself who I am. Writing up a dating profile is reminding myself of who I am. I’m bringing in all the different traits that make me who I am and I’m showcasing them. This helps to remind me of all the awesome aspects of myself since I’m putting my best foot forward. I get to remember that I’m a kickass feminist and anyone would be lucky to have me.
I’m challenged by others to think about my feminism. People will ask me what being an intersectional feminist looks like for me. It makes me reflect on how I got to where I am and why I stand for what I do. It also forces me to look at the ways in which I am (or am not) being a good activist. I like being challenged in this way because it helps to broaden my perspective as well as shake up some old ideas.
It’s pretty easy with women. There are only a small handful of women who have a problem with feminism. Otherwise, they’re generally feminists themselves or they’re cool with it. It makes things a lot easier. Men are where I find the trouble.
I don’t have to settle for less. It would be a huge bummer for me to be with someone who didn’t identify as a feminist. I’d be super unhappy and it’d be a blow to my self-esteem. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about this. I just get to stick to my guns and be with someone who shares what I believe in. No settling for less for this lady.
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