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