Nowadays, it has become more difficult for many people, especially men, to identify themselves as feminists.
Through the last year the movement of feminism has received a lot of support and is growing in numbers of supporters. That started happening mainly after Beyonce’s performance at the 2014 VMA’s where she performed in front of a gigantic label, all-caps which spelled out ‘’FEMINIST’’. The buzz feed was enormous and the media attention even greater. Compared to a decade ago more and more people are now openly supporting feminism as label.
Although there is a great history behind the movement of feminism, misconceptions come and go. Men in particular are not exactly sure what feminism means and what it involves therefore they tend to be a bit suspicious of the label and the women that support it. However, nowadays, if you are a straight man and dating chances are that you are going to find yourself sitting on a table across a woman who supports the movement’s ideas and believe its ideals. The following five tips will give you an idea on how to get through a date with a feminist:
Talk to her and let her talk back. One of the most important things you should do when on a date is to make sure you have made a very good start. Talking and listening means that you learn about each others interests and values. Through that you will know if you are a match with that person. But most importantly you will show her that you take her opinion to be important. Most women and especially feminists know that, unlike men, women’s opinion sometimes tends to be sidelined.
Make sure she knows that you care and understand her. Your date, like you, knows that due to the evolution of the dating section in different places and situations, the male gender has been centered and the female gender is often treated as a price won and not as an individual that wants to be heard. Impress your date by not falling into that trap. Listen to her and respect her opinion. Do not be judgmental. It will ruin the date from the start.
A really good starting point is to show a healthy curiosity about her and her interests. Do not be shocked or judgmental if she does not have the traditional girly interests and instead she likes rap or football. Same goes for the fact that she might actually have those traditional feminine interests like fashion or baking. You must remember that she has self-esteem. Having a weird behavior because of her interests will not be well received and the date will end up in disaster.
Don’t be pointlessly argumentative. Try to find common interests with your date and focus on them. This is not a dispute it’s a date. Interrupting her all the time when she talks or steamrolling her opinion whenever she expresses it is not a good idea. And despite anything you might have heard in the past from other men, a sincere and on-point compliment will get you a long way with your date. Women, feminists or not, do appreciate a good, honest compliment from a proper gentleman.
2. Do not talk to other women or about them
This is a ‘’must not do’’ tip whether you are on a date with a feminist or not. The date is the one opportunity you have to get to know the person and realize what she likes and what are her preferences when it comes to men. Same goes for you. On the first date the woman will try to understand exactly what types of women you like. But a feminist will take it a step further and will focus in order to try and understand the way you treat women in a relationship or in general. Make sure you give the right signals when you to other women or about them. And here is something extra. Talking about your crazy ex-girlfriend will not do you any good!
Ex-girlfriends will never make a good topic for the first date. But especially a feminist will side-eye a man who refers to his ex as crazy or insane. For many women this translates to ‘’She had emotional need and she wanted me to meet them as her boyfriend but I failed completely and I do not really care about it.’’ It’s even worse if you insist that all your exes had the same problem. Yet another red flag. The woman will probably think that this is a very curious coincidence. So probably they were not the ones with the problem but you were. If you believe that all your exes were crazy that says a lot to a woman about your attitude towards them, than them towards you.
The way you treat women in front of your date will also give her clues about who you really are. You must not be rude to the waitress if she accidentally brought you the wrong order. Do not yell at the female driver in front of you on the street. And under no circumstances, do not tell your date that you left your mother’s birthday or you sister’s promotion party to go on a date with her. This will only show to your date that you will only be interested in her for a small period of time. And when the courting phase is over the proper behavior with quickly fade.
3. Bill time
For feminist women it is very important to be given the free choice to decide whether they want to play the old time, traditional gender role or not. On good thing that can come out of it is that your date will not automatically assume that you are going to pay the bill simply because you are the man.
On the other hand though if you do realize that your date is not into the traditional roles and you try to make yourself as compatible with her as possible, by respecting her choices and therefore do not offer to pay the bill at all….you might come out as a tiny bit stingy. You can always tell if your date expects you to pay the bill. But even if you can’t you should offer at least once. Think of it as a romantic gesture. After all feminists do enjoy a bit of a romantic behavior every now and then.
If you think about it you were the one you invited her on the date so offering to cover the bill is the mature thing to do. If she insists on splitting it then so be it. But if she does let you pay the bill do not automatically assume that that will earn you a kiss, a place on her bed or a second date.
4. Follow up
It is the end of the night. And the end of the date. Regardless of whether the date went as planned or not there are some base-level rules that ought to be kept. Ensuring for example that she gets home safely. Offering to walk her to her car or apartment is a very gentle thing to do but if she refuses it accept it and back away. Do not push it.
If the date didn’t go that well for you then you must reject her but do it in a settle and honest way. Tell her that it was nice meeting her and that you had a good time but there was no connection. If the date went wrong from her perspective then accept her right to tell you the same thing and respect her opinion. You don’t have to make a list of pros and cons. Just be polite and take your separate ways.
If the date however did go great for both of you, and there is a real possibility for a second one, always remember, the wrong behavior can ruin the vibe at the last minute. Do not adopt a jerky communication style. Be yourself like when she met you. Do what feels natural for you. Show her your enthusiasm and the fact that you did like her. If she is put of by that then she is not the person for you.
5. She is also a human
If you are reading this then that means that you read all of the above. If you are thinking, ‘’ that is how everyone wants to be treated not just feminists’’ then congratulations. You just realized that feminists are not from another planet. They are women just like everyone else. They want to be treated as fully humans as well. Stereotypes are not a thing of the past, but your date will be at least expecting you to be respectful and treat her the way she should be treated and not based on a generic idea.
The above tips don’t just show you how to date a feminist but how to date any woman in general. It doesn’t require a complicated or unique way with the help of a huge book of rules. Just be decent and respectful and the rest will come along!