15 Eye-Opening Realities of Dating a Feminist that You Probably Never Thought About

Navigating the world of dating is hard enough as it is, but adding the added social pressures of being politically correct can be overwhelming. If you’re nervous about dating a feminist, don’t be. They’re people just like you; they just have certain views and opinions on social issues that you may not yet be aware of.

Fear not; this list will help you navigate the world of feminism and educate on a few of the things you need to know before dating a feminist.

Ask Questions

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No one expects you to know everything, and asking questions shows you have a genuine interest and care for their perspective. 

Feminism can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding gender studies or concepts like intersectionality, so don’t be afraid to ask. They’ll always be happy to explain. 

Do Your Research

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If you’re planning on dating a feminist make sure you do your research, unless, of course, you’re looking for a lecture. 

Don’t Ask Them If They Hate Men

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They will have heard this one way too many times. Being a feminist is not synonymous with hating men, and if you’re planning on dating one, you should probably get that in your head early on.

Know What Feminism Is

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This should be pretty obvious. Feminism is not the dogmatic belief that men are inferior to women and belong in the gutters.

Do your research, and you’ll realize that feminism is, in fact, the social, political, and economic equality of all the sexes and advocates for fair and equal opportunities for all and an end to any form of prejudice. 

Don’t Try And Argue That Men Have it Worse

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You’re both suffering under the same system. Men’s liberation is just as important as women’s, but it’s not a competition. 

Men have benefitted for centuries from a patriarchal system, but they’ve also suffered from similarly unobtainable expectations as women. 

The Patriarchy Is Damaging For Everyone

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The patriarchy traps men just as much as women. Feminism isn’t the problem; the patriarchy is. The male loneliness epidemic, pressures to be hyper-masculine, poor paternity leave, and non-existent resources for male mental health are all the result of a patriarchal system. 

The issue is that the romanticization of this system by the likes of Andrew Tate, which has been made and kept alive by men, doesn’t liberate them; it traps them into a toxic idea of what masculinity should be. 

Be Open To Debate

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Be open to debate and be prepared to have your ideas and beliefs challenged. After all, the best way to learn is to be open to criticism and willing to understand someone else’s perspective.

Argue

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Don’t just debate, argue and be prepared for them to argue with strangers. Most feminists value open dialogue and welcome diverse perspectives that enrich the conversation, so long as you remain open-minded. They love to have heated debates with strangers, so be prepared to hang around for some time if they feel the need to get their point across. 

Be Empathetic

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Empathy is essential to understanding someone else’s perspective. Unless you’re a woman, you’ll never know what it truly is to be one. Being open to listening and empathizing with her experiences of womanhood will help you understand her perspective on life.

You Can Still Be A Gentleman

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Just because she’s a feminist, it doesn’t mean you need to make the point of being rude or unchivalrous. You are allowed to hold the door for them or even pay for the date from time to time. Feminism is about balance and equality, not rejecting your manners. 

Be Prepared To Analyze Everything

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If you’re dating a feminist, you should be prepared to analyze everything. From books to TV to your favorite artists’ work, get ready to learn all about the female and male gaze, the fetishization of the female form, and so on…

Get Ready To Read

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Dating a feminist will surely provide you with an endlessly long reading list. From Simone De Beauvoir to Judith Butler and Susan Sontag, you’re sure to be kept up to date and expected to have a full anthology of all the most important feminist and gender studies theorists out there. 

Listen

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One of the best things you can do is listen. Listening seems to be a skill few people have, but it’s the fastest way to learn and understand another person. Feminism may not be for you, but unless you’ve ever actually taken the time to listen and digest the argument for it, then how would you know?

Check Your Privilege

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No one likes to be reminded of their privilege, but it’s important to know that we all have it to some degree. Male privilege is a big one, although it may not feel like a leg up until you realize what it’s like not to have it.

For example (and there are many), being able to walk home at night without the fear of having to carry pepper spray, or not having to strategize an outfit for a night so that you can get to your destination without being harassed en route, to name just a few. 

Check Your Jokes

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Depending on how well you know them should dictate the kinds of jokes you can make. Just be respectful of the language and tone you use, and beware that some topics, such as sexual abuse, homophobic and racist slurs, are probably off limits. 

The ‘F’ Word

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It’s important to know from the outset that, despite what some media representations may say, feminism isn’t a dirty word. Ultimately, feminism benefits all of society and is something we should all embrace. 

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