Dating a Feminist: 23 Myths, Benefits, Must-Knows & How to Read Her Mind

Dating a feminist might get a bad rep, but that’s simply because feminism is totally misunderstood. Arm yourself with the knowledge first and you’re good. 

Dating a Feminist

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 a feminist? 

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 woman 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. [Read: 26 qualities of a good woman every man should look for]

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, we beg you to stop.

In reality, the 1960s and 70s feminist movement was all about a woman’s right to vote, have a social voice, attend college, have wage and job equality, and the 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 about 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 are a-changing. [Read: 19 inspiring male feminist ideas from men around the world]

So, what is feminism all about?

Modern-day feminism is neither about bra-burning, nor a woman’s right to do anything in particular. Instead of being singularly female-oriented, modern feminism is a call for economic, personal, social, and cultural equality among all sexes and orientations.

It’s nothing to be fearful of, and really, everything to get on board with. [Read: High value woman – 20 traits that make men respect and be in awe of her]

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 ladies.

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 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: 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: 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! [Read: How to be yourself – 26 steps to unfake your life and love being you]

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, friends, and everyone else 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: 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]

What is a radical feminist?

Before we get down to whether or not your girl is a feminist, let’s look at what constitutes as a radical feminist. A radical feminist, by definition, is a person, not necessarily a female these days, that considers the long-standing superiority of men in society as a hindrance to women’s empowerment.

They firmly believe that men have been pulling the strings for a very long time and that it is time to change the system by putting more women into power. Many feminists agree with their core beliefs, but radical feminists are more aggressive when it comes to promoting their ideals.

They have jobs, but they spend a significant amount of time thinking about or acting on the ideals of their cause, which is to bring down the patriarchy in our society. It’s a little bit of “You go girl!” added with a touch of “Get down on your knees, you masculine scum.” [Read: The different types of gender and why you really need to know them]

How to know if you’re dating a radical feminist?

There are no physical signs that show that a woman is a radical feminist. But they’re not interested in registering you for the cause. They just want a nice and friendly date with an open-minded man.

Some of you may be interested in knowing how to behave around a radical feminist. If you believe the hype, then it’s possible that you’re a little scared and nervous about encountering one, right? Don’t be. They’re still girls. They just have a different way of viewing things.

Here are the signs. [Read: Feminism – what it is, different types, and how they differ from each other]

1. They will tell you

The basic premise of being a radical feminist is to let everyone know who they are, in order to promote a non-gender-biased environment that can be considered a small step for womankind.

Apart from that, they know that dating a feminist can be a lot on someone’s plate, and they’ll want you to know so they can cross you out if you don’t like that fact.

2. Conversation topics

It’s pretty easy to see who the feminists are once the conversation starts. They usually get to the point and directly ask about your views on a certain event that revolves around sexism or patriarchal offenses.

Some topics to watch out for are women in the workplace, female politicians, female celebrities, and your views on wages, to name a few.

They are testing your integrity and your willingness to accede that women should be treated as equals or as your superiors. [Read: Charming ways to impress her on the first date]

3. The check

There will always be a battle for the dinner bill, the cab fare, and possibly the flowers you bring. Radical feminists don’t reject thoughtfulness out of spite. They just have something to prove, and it’s easy to do that with money.

4. Emphasis on their sexuality

They are on a date with you. They’re not lesbians. You will know that. Understandably, they have to lay it out for you in case you’re wondering.

A lot of people misconstrue feminists as anti-men, which means that they’re only pro-women. The misfortunes of other fellow feminists have taught the present ones to make it clear, so there won’t be a misunderstanding or a misguided attempt at a threesome. [Read: Cock blocks you could bump into]

5. They feel the need to reassure you

They will always try to defend their stance as a feminist who dates. They can’t help it. They need to feel safe with you and to do that, they have to explain to you that being with them can be taxing, but they just want the same thing you do – a relationship.

6. A lot of the things you do will be sexist

Radical feminists are inherently defensive about their rights as a woman. An act of chivalry can be offensive. An offer to pay can be demeaning.

We can’t list all the things that might tick them off, but it helps if you ask them first before doing anything. You might get an earful once you do, but at least you managed to avoid offending them more than you apparently have. [Read: 25 biggest deal breakers for women]

7. She has to have the last word

A lot of feminists admit to being a little stubborn. Most of their arguments tend to end up with them having the last word. Some men can’t handle this, but it’s better for radical feminists to date someone who can go toe-to-toe with them during conversations, rather than someone willing to just shut up and go with the flow.

8. If you’re not a feminist, she won’t date you

Most feminists admit that they cannot stomach dating anyone who won’t agree with them. Depending on the type of person you’re dating, they might not be asking too much of you.

Every feminist just wants progress in the world for their fellow women. They just want equality, fair pay, and a chance for women to help make the world a better place. [Read: Reasons men get rejected by the women they want]

Things to know before dating a feminist

Because there are so many myths about dating a feminist, some people think it’s very difficult or almost impossible to do it. Sure, if you don’t understand the mindset of a feminist, then it will be tough for you. So, before you date a feminist, here are some things you should know.

1. If you believe in traditional gender roles, you’re probably not a good match

If you have traditional gender role ideas and are extremely conservative overall, then you should probably not date a feminist. Sometimes, conservatives have beliefs that are not well aligned with the feminist way of thinking.

So, if you want to keep the status quo, dating someone who wants to challenge them is not a good idea. If you do date a feminist, you might have endless arguments over a lot of different topics. [Read: What is masculinity? 19 really manly traits women hope to see in you]

2. They don’t want you to see them as weak 

A feminist really hates being treated as underprivileged. In other words, they believe that whatever a man can do, women can do it too – and sometimes even better.

Therefore, don’t try to be chivalrous or “help” a feminist in any way. You might think that you are just being nice and polite, but they will see it as you looking “down” on them because you think they are incapable of doing something themselves.

3. They are passionate about their beliefs

Because feminists feel so deeply about women’s rights and abilities, you should give them a lot of time to talk about them. So, you should be a good listener and allow them to discuss their views. They want you to have a deeper understanding of what they stand for and all of their ideologies. [Read: The opposite of feminist – a new generation of women?]

Be prepared to hear a lot about how unfairly the world treats women and has been throughout all of time. That is at the core of who they are. They are trying to change your view about gender and convince you that they are right.

4. You have to be intelligent and empathetic

Feminists tend to be well-informed and educated people. So, in order to keep up with their level of conversation, you need to be able to engage in a deep conversation. This doesn’t mean you should argue with them, however.

Instead, you have to have empathy. Even if you don’t agree with their beliefs, you have to try to see their point of view, especially if you are a man. You need to let them vent and give them affirmation that you feel their pain. [Read: How to show empathy and learn to understand someone else’s feelings]

5. Don’t stereotype them

Now that you know the myths about a feminist, you should stay away from stereotyping them. A lot of people think they are man-hating bra-burners, but that’s not true. Sure, some are. But they are the extremists.

Some feminists simply believe that men and women are equal and should have the same opportunities in life. The end. Period. So don’t let your preconceived ideas cloud your mind when you are dating a feminist.

6. They need to take charge

While a lot of women like it when a man takes her out on a date and pays for her meal, feminists don’t like that. They want to pay their own way because they feel like you are looking down on them and can’t afford to go out. [Read: Dominant girlfriend – the pros and cons of dating a woman in control and how to handle it]

She might even take charge and make the reservations or even order for you. She likes to be a person in charge and have the upper hand when it comes to the power dynamic in a relationship.

7. Be careful what you call her

A lot of people use words like “honey” or “sweetie” or “chick” when they talk to women *or even men*. But feminists hate that. They see these terms as derogatory toward them. 

Think about it. The word “chick” means a helpless baby chicken. And even referring to them as “girls” is insulting to them. That’s because a “girl” is powerless and needs to be taken care of. But a “woman” is strong and capable. [Read: What your pet name says about your relationship]

8. Be aware of other sexist language

When you are dating a feminist, you want to watch your language overall. You need to use gender-neutral words like “firefighter” instead of “fireman” or “server” instead of “waitress.” They see words like this as being discriminatory toward women.

They also are very sensitive about using terms like “Mrs.” and they prefer “Ms.” They also will be extremely unlikely to change their name when they get married. The reason for this is that they think that tradition implies ownership of the woman, which she is vehemently against.

Benefits of dating a feminist

You might think all these things to know before dating a feminist are overwhelming. And you might even be thinking, “Oh heck no! I’m not doing that!” [Read: Dating an independent woman – 28 expectations and other must-knows]

But there are a lot of benefits to dating a feminist. First, they are very intelligent so you can have deep conversations with them. You can look at the world through different eyes and become a better person.

Also, you could save money! That sounds like a joke, but it’s true. A feminist will want to pay for her half on a date and will always have a career. You won’t have to worry that she won’t pull her weight with the finances in the relationship. [Read: Sex-positive feminism – what it is and why we must embrace the movement]

What does a feminist relationship look like? 

Well, every relationship is different. And honestly, not all feminists are alike. But overall, being in a relationship with a feminist can be great. They are very independent, so if you like your space from your partner this is a great arrangement.

However, if you are very traditional and chivalrous, then you will be very frustrated dating a feminist. You won’t be able to take care of her or do anything for her. So, think about that before you commit to something serious.

[Read: How to make a woman happy – 28 simple things that matter most to her]

Do you believe that both genders have equal rights? If so, you 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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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...