What happened when I asked the men in my life if they would consider themselves a feminist

I get that apparently men can be feminist, but for me, unless you've lived the tiring experience of being the mythical "difficult woman", you can't begin to understand what women go through. For me, the best a man can do is empathise, fight for women's rights and issues, and be allies of the movement for lack of a better word.


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The reality is that the men who identify with the feminist movement get celebrated as the cream of the crop — meanwhile, the women get butchered for it. Being a feminist as a man is a nice-to-have; for me it's a necessity. Being a feminist man most likely doesn't drastically affect your dating life as much as it does for women in the same position.

Feminist men don't get accused of being men haters, but we do. Nobody accuses them of trying to be women just by virtue of standing up for women's rights, but feminist women are called out all the time for "trying to be a man".

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This is what some men call it when you refuse to be silenced and rendered invisible. So I imagine a feminist man's dating experience is quite different to mine, but I could be wrong. Dating for me feels like a challenge I haven't yet found my way around, and I will be the first to admit that I am an acquired taste — and that's okay. I generally don't feel inclined to be seen as nice or likable, so I have very few friends. I am set in my feminist ways, so I can't be changed or "tamed".

I am done arguing and explaining to men who have no desire to hear, nor understand, where I come from. I am blunt, a little rough around the edges, with a very strong, occasionally petty personality, when the occasion requires it. I am very loud, a tad dramatic when a moment calls for diva tactics, and comfortable with my sexuality. I don't care for gender roles, and I am not afraid to call you out when you're being a prick, because I have no patience for your ego.

I am very ambitious and don't care about being liked, so I wouldn't do things to impress someone.

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I've been single long enough to be comfortable with my own company, so I am not too worried about being seen as "undatable". I have the makings of a perfect cat lady. Although like everyone else I have a desire for companionship, it needs to make sense in the context of the life that I live. I refuse to settle just because I am afraid of being lonely — the reality is, people get lonely even in relationships, so my "sacrifice" will be worth nothing.

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I care very little for relationships that force me into a position in which I am expected to compromise myself. But all of this is only in theory. So, I asked my best friends, colleagues, college friends, high school friends, and some acquaintances… people that I have contact with on a regular ish basis. Not only have we established a certain level of trust, I also know that no matter what, we care about each other enough to be honest without feeling offended, or like we are offending each other.

Would you consider yourself to be a feminist? These are the different ways that I classify feminism as a theory, in increasing levels of complexity:. U nsurprisingly, the men who exemplified theory 1 most were those with whom I matched on Bumble.

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The nuances of power inherent in inequality by gender is at play here. Put it simply, feminism lite is surface-level feminism. Proponents of feminism lite acknowledge that there is a problem, yet do not seek to rectify it. Cue Chimamandan feminism 3.


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They can define feminism. They claim the word and use it. They acknowledge the injustices. They can conceptualize the inequality.

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They might even be able to pinpoint personal experience with it, because they understand that feminism affects all sexes. Hell, they might even wear it on a t-shirt like Benedict Cumberbatch if I ask force them to. This one moves beyond theory, beyond conceptualization. It takes an immense amount of awareness within and outside of oneself.

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Those who actively seek to dismantle the system of inequality, perhaps by means of finance or power, are grouped within theory 5. That I choose Anthony Bourdain as an exemplar is no surprise. In his book Medium Raw , Anthony pointed out the way home economics classes perpetuated the gender divide in the kitchen. Most of us are either starting a career or still in school pursuing an advanced degree.

So, what might this might look like for me and my friends? So, this is the place where we go beyond classic definitions. Some with a more nuanced knowledge of the subject matter, some with more nuanced… opinions. I have a few of friends who prompted me further, asking whether I was asking for specific definitions of feminism. Totally valid, since there are different waves of feminism, all different in what they sought to accomplish. I explained to them that I intentionally kept the question as simple and broad as possible so that they can interpret the question as they wish.

And how they answer the question would reveal their own definition of feminism. What does dignity and respect look like? How does it look like to respect a woman in light of our patriarchal society? Does dignity and respect look the same for both sexes, or does it differ given the different experiences of a woman vs.

A couple of individuals made the distinction between what they deem as feminism for them and the kind of radical feminism that has been popularized recently. At this point, I admittedly grew quite frustrated. How does one even begin to respond to these? I told him that being a woman is not necessary to be a feminist.