Feminism: modern movement or dating dread? It seems more and more women *and men* are quick to announce their feminist beliefs these days, but what does it actually mean to believe in feminism, and should men really fear dating someone who believes in it? When presented with the idea of dating a feminist, some men may have the mental image of handing their testicles over to a fresh-faced brunette who is laughing maniacally.
Before you can truly decide whether to fear feminism or not, you should probably know exactly what it is and isn’t all about.
Feminism: then and now
So, what is feminism all about? This topic can be a sticky subject for men and women alike, especially when comparing feminism as it was back when it started and feminism as it is in contemporary society. Are you picturing women with beehive hairstyles burning their bras? If so, I beg you to stop.
In reality, the 1960s and 70s feminist movement was all about a woman’s right to vote, to have a social voice, to attend college, to have wage and job equality, and to have a right to their husband’s earnings and property. Okay, okay, that last bit sounds bad. But how would you feel if, after 30 years of marriage, your mate kicked the bucket, and you had no legal right to any of their things, your home, or any of their remaining income? It was total BS–and you know it.
The women’s movement of the 1960s and the march of feminism in the 2000s are vastly different. While those back in the 60s were more apt to holding signs requesting the right to vote, extremist feminist women now crop up in Google image results holding signs declaring: “Proud Slut.” Indeed, the times, they are a-changing. [Read: 9 telltale signs you’re dating a radical feminist]
So what is feminism all about?
Modern-day feminism is neither about bra burning, nor a woman’s right to shag everything in sight. Instead of being singularly female-oriented, modern feminism is a call for economic, personal, social, and cultural equality among all sexes and orientations.
Ridiculous myths about dating a feminist
So what are the stereotypes of dating a feminist? Often pigeonholed as more of a headache than a lover, here are some of the main concerns the non-feminist populous has when it comes to these strong-minded femme fatales.
#1 She hates men. The stereotype following feminists and the joke they are totally sick of hearing is: “So, you hate men?” While some women do dislike their penis-packing counterparts, it likely has nothing to do with whether or not she is a feminist, but is directly related to her own personal experiences.
On the contrary, being a feminist does not mean you must hate men. There are many feminists who have been in loving relationships with men for many years. In fact, there are even feminist men! [Read: 9 reasons women reject men… but not because of feminism!]
#2 She hates sex. If you believe that a feminist is a woman who isn’t into sex, you haven’t done a Google search of feminists lately. Modern-day feminists are all about freedom with their bodies, and not being shamed about their sex lives *or lack thereof*. Feminists are lovers of sex–of satisfying, consensual sex, to be exact.
If your lady love feels her body is equally entitled to an orgasm every sexy session, you best believe she be lovin’ the sex! [Read: Why your long-time girlfriend refuses to have sex]
#3 She hates certain TYPES of sex. Another stereotype may be that as a feminist, your girlfriend will not perform kinky types of sex, or even oral. While some feminists do believe that certain sex acts promote the degradation and objectification of women, every feminist is different. Your girl doesn’t always have to abide by these beliefs, because her feminism doesn’t necessarily have to affect what she does and doesn’t like to do in bed.
If she thinks that you coming on her face is more of a degrading act than a loving one, she’ll definitely refuse! But if she’s into that, she’ll do it gladly… and with enthusiasm! [Read: 14 tips to get your girl to open up about sex]
#4 She doesn’t dress up or groom herself. When you picture a feminist, do you imagine a scraggly hipster who doesn’t care what she looks like? Don’t be ridiculous. While the modern woman may choose to defy social standards by refusing makeup and waxing, she may also pack her face so thoroughly with makeup and glitter that you hardly recognize her!
It’s a woman’s prerogative to dress up and knock your socks off or to walk around, bare-faced, in yoga pants… and still knock your socks off!
#5 She will never act like a “normal” girlfriend. Feminists get this rap that they hate chivalry and compliments, and that it’s evil to be attached to a man. So yeah, she may occasionally hold the door open for you, or pay for your meal, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you to return the favor occasionally.
The point is, she is an individual, not your possession, but that doesn’t mean that she won’t get excited to see you, text you during the day, or act cutesy when you’re around.
#6 She is a fighting machine. Do you feel like dating a feminist means your girlfriend will be inclined to argue about every contrary opinion you, your family, your friends, and Joe Blow have to offer? While your feminist lady love isn’t afraid to stand up for herself, not every conversation with you or your friends will result in her being a scary feminist gobble-monster. Just don’t be a chauvinist idiot, and you should be fine. [Read: 8 ways to avoid the awkward tension after an argument]
#7 You will never be able to have a normal date with her. Feminists are notoriously hard to take to the movies. This one is likely true. Due to overt sexism, female sexualization, and a lack of positive female leads in many mainstream films *read: women with no personalities who only exist to cater to the men*, it will probably be a little more difficult to take your girlfriend out on a movie date.
However, just because your gal is a feminist, doesn’t mean every outing or conversation will be dripping with double meanings and wrought with personal causes. Sometimes, she just wants to hang back and watch funny cat videos, eat pizza, and talk about nothing. [Read: 20 fun and unconventional date ideas to try with your girl]
Do you believe that both genders have equal rights? If so, you really should have no problem dating a modern feminist. Have you ever dated one? Tell us how it worked out for you in the comments below!
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Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that peo...
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