Feminism and dating newspaper articles about online dating
Feminism has done a lot of good—for you, me, all the women you know and don’t know. Sure, we talked about them, but they were more like attractions than people I had relationships with. But there’s one area where feminism has not served me well. In the movies, TV shows, general cultural messages, men were by and large aggressive, incorrigible boors. I wore a uniform, no makeup, and had not an ounce of concern for boys, as they were not on my radar, and not deemed central to my life in any real way.One guy would tell me over and over again how much he supported my belief in feminism, but would never identify as one himself, no matter how many times I explained that a) you don’t have to be a girl to be a feminist and b) he’d already identified himself as one in everything but title.It all just comes down to how intimidating the title “feminist” is to some people.For example, are you willing to date someone that doesn’t have “the male gaze” in their lexicon (yet), but believes in a woman’s right to choose an abortion?At the same time, it’s not uncommon for this negotiation process to feel uncomfortable.I’d heard about how girls were cowed by the boys in public schools. For instance, we never mooned about waiting for someone to ask us to a school dance because when our school hosted one, it was on us to do the inviting. I took this as a promise not to let anything, or anyone, get in my way. (I’ve since google stalked him and was happy to find that he was working as a computer technician in San Jose.Girls who didn’t get a shot at leadership, or acted dumb. During our senior year, we were shown some horrible video about how to avoid being the unfortunate drunk girl who gets date raped at a frat party. Then the letters started–scrawled black ink on both sides of thin looseleaf, declarations of love and war, and even threatened suicide, which scared me, even if I knew they likely weren’t true. I’m sure he never thinks of it–at least I hope he doesn’t.) I can’t blame feminism for my piss-poor behavior of course, which I chalk up to fear, insecurity, and anything else that rules the mind and emotions of a 14-year-old girl.
Not because she can’t be one but because she respects him enough to allow him to be her leader? Most feminists are actually attracted by a hardworking man’s struggles.
The dating compromises that one makes along the way can feel deeply at odds with your personal feminist politics, like you’re betraying feminism if you date someone that isn’t a famous feminist author.
It goes without saying that dating as a feminist is no easy feat, but there are helpful ways to frame its challenges and check in with yourself that relieve the experience of some headache and heartache.
Many of us end up dating people that might not identify as feminists when we first meet them and that’s okay.
It’s important to remember that we didn’t always identify as feminists.