There are certain myths and misconceptions out there about feminists. It’s important to clear the air, especially if you’re thinking of dating a feminist. Before jumping to common misconceptions, read on for seven things you should know.
1. You might have to re-think your world view
If you’re dating a feminist, you might find out that you will see the world differently than you used to. When you watch movies, TV shows, or anything else, you might see things in a different light than before. For example, you might find out that one of your favorite movies was really sexist. That’s fine in itself, but be open-minded to hearing your partner explain her perspective and why it may be questionable. According to Joanne Fields, a lifestyle blogger at Study demic and Ukwritings, “You should also think about whether you identify as a feminist. If you don’t, is it simply because you don’t understand the definition of a feminist?”
2. Don’t tread on eggshells
Don’t worry about offending her because you paid for her tea. Most feminists won’t be offended by that, because we realize that you’re doing a nice thing because you want to, and it can just as easily go the other way. Who wouldn’t want someone to do a nice gesture for them? Since we’re on the topic, you can definitely hold the door open for her without offending her. At the same time, don’t be shocked if she holds it open for you out of politeness.
3. Understand the feminist movement
By the same token, you should try to understand basic women’s history; like knowing a couple of the key figures in the feminist movement. If not, you should at least be open to hearing about it. You should also realize that feminists have heard “do you hate men?” as a response thousands of times, and it’s less funny each time. It’s not the 1960s, and even if it was, it still wouldn’t be funny.
4. Be open to debating
You should know that your feminist partner might debate someone she meets that says they aren’t a feminist or says something anti-feminist. Whether it’s your friend or some random guy at a bar, be prepared for this to happen. It doesn’t mean she’s out to pick fights, but she’s also not afraid of telling someone if they’re being bigoted or misogynistic.
At the same time, be prepared to be challenged on any of your thoughts and beliefs that you might have about feminism. Although she would prefer if you were interested in feminism on your own, she will also call you out if you say something anti-feminist intentionally or not. If she does, you should thank her for raising your awareness.
5. Understand male privilege
One of the first things you should be aware of is male privilege and that you have it. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn about feminism and be an ally, but it does mean you come from a place where you have not had the same struggles. At no point should you argue that men are discriminated against, too. That is not the point of feminism, and it’s not a competition.
6. Don’t say feminism is unnecessary
As per Tabitha Saul, a relationships writer at Academized and Bigassignments, “If you believe that feminism is not necessary because everyone is already equal, you probably need a long lesson in history. By reading any news story, it’s easy to see that there are still major issues in the world in the case of equality.”
7. Feminism is about equality for all
Odds are, if your partner is a feminist, then she deeply believes in equality for all. And this doesn’t stop at equality of gender; she probably believes in equality for all races, sexual orientations, religions–the list goes on. The majority of feminists are actually amazing people that just want to see everyone in the world prosper on even footing.
Hopefully these tips will prepare you for dating a feminist, because the odds are good that most women you will ever date are feminists, whether they’re outspoken about it or not.
If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out Juicy Campus Queen