Why I Date A Feminist
Recently, Dave Hon wrote an article wherein he loudly declared why he will never date a feminist. That article is easily Googled, so I won’t link it here. While I can’t speak for any of them, many of the responses online were quite dismissive of the author and assured him that they wouldn’t date him anyway.
I have a response, too. I am in the complete opposite camp from Mr. Hon. I am dating a feminist and here is why:
- She’s aware that being a feminist makes her a target in online spaces, and rather than hide she bravely plants that label on herself and preaches the benefits of feminism—not just for women, but whatever someone’s gender identity may be. This makes her braver than I ever have been, and I was an infantry soldier.
- She speaks plainly about things that many people find “icky” (like menstruation) to help destigmatize them and make them regular topics of conversation. This plain speaking makes it easier for me to understand what she goes through, and to be more understanding and empathetic which makes me a better person.
- She points out when I mansplain. I appreciate this because I don’t want to be “that guy.” I get my water from a filtration system in my house, not a “well actually.”
- I can be emotionally vulnerable around her without fear of judgment on my masculinity. This is the big one. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more expressive when it comes to my emotions. I cry reading books, watching movies, playing video games, and sometimes even when I’m overwhelmed with joy. These are all things that are not considered typical masculine behaviour and, in a group of other men, I would likely be mocked for it. Not so with my feminist girlfriend. She allows me to feel, to express, and to explore my feelings without judgement. If it wasn’t for that, I would probably need even more therapy than I already do.
- If I’m not in a sexual mood I’m not shamed for it. I suppose this ties in with number 4, but I think it deserves its own point. Men are expected to want sex all the time, and when one doesn’t accept sex when offered several things are usually assumed: Either there is something wrong with them, their sexual orientation gets questioned, or their partner thinks there is something wrong with themselves. My feminist girlfriend knows how much I love her, understands that I, like her, will not always be in a mood for sex and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that or her.
- When I have a problem, I can turn to her and not feel ashamed. It can be difficult enough as a man asking for help; asking a woman is even more difficult because again, it goes against that toxic masculine persona that is expected of us. By not internalizing my problems and expressing them to her, not only do I lift some of the burden of the problem of my shoulders, but also I often get advice and help I wouldn’t have considered. She has had different life experiences that give her a perspective different from mine, and often she thinks of a solution I wouldn’t have considered.
- If she wants something, she asks for it. This isn’t something that is exclusive to feminists but I’m sure it helps. If she needs something, be it money, time alone, me to do something for her, or me to do something I should have done already, she asks and she isn’t worried that this could make her look like an assertive woman or, like many men would say, a “nag” or a “bitch.” That’s just the way it is and if it were a man making those demands no one would bat an eye.
I think I’ve made my point. My partner is my equal; she enables me to be myself, to grow, and to learn without condemnation when I make a mistake. I hope I do the same for her. I date a feminist and I wouldn’t have it any other way.