real life

Single Aussie men aren't as scared by feminism as you might assume.

I talked to a bunch of guys. Then I told them I was a feminist… and here are their reactions.

Ever started seeing a bloke, shared a couple of lovely meals, then casually dropped the word ‘feminism’ into conversation — only to see your date’s legs start involuntarily twitching as he aches to hotfoot it closer to someone with fewer pesky opinions?

Something like that happened to me once, when I said the phrase “pay equality” to a boyfriend and he responded with: “I don’t like it when you get angry. Let’s talk about martial arts some more.”

My girl Miranda.

It got me thinking: is there really something about the word ‘feminist’ that scares some men? Aren’t guys — and indeed, isn’t society in general — beyond those old stereotypes yet (don’t make me type bra-burning, don’t make me type bra-burning, don’t make me type bra-burning… Oh, dammit.)

Can’t we all just agree men and women deserve equal rights, that there’s nothing so very scary about that proposition?

In an attempt to answer those questions, I arranged an (admittedly very unscientific) social experiment. I signed up to dating app Tinder for 24 hours — strictly for work purposes, people– and started a bunch of conversations. Then, with the help of some friends with better flirting game than myself, I dropped in some references to feminism and sat back, waiting for each and every guy I met to smokebomb.

And… only one of them did.

The others they told me they were feminists too. Or in a couple of cases, opened the door for a debate about feminist politics.

Or at the very least, responded with a “so what?” and resumed their original purpose of trying to arrange a sexy, sexy hook-up (which is fair enough really. This is Tinder, remember.)

Sure, not everyone was on board with feminism — but they weren’t mean about it, either:

While some were just plain confused:

Here are the other responses I got:

I even had some feminist banter:

And when I signed off at the end of my brief stint, they were gracious as I went my separate ways.

Hardly groundbreaking stuff — and arguably, when it comes to dating sites, some people will say whatever they think you want to hear. But it’s an improvement on my feminist-fearing ex-boyfriend, I guess.

Turns out #notallmen are scared of dating feminists.

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Are the men in your life ‘feminists’? Why are some men uncomfortable with the term?