Feminism and women’s rights seem to be everywhere we look. And yes (surprise, surprise) I think that’s amazing. I think it’s important to talk about how we treat women, how we can make the world better for future generations, and how ultimately our lives are impacted by laws and legislature. OBVIOUSLY I’m jazzed about the fact that feminism is no longer a super foreign word and probably trends on Twitter once a day.
But what is it? What at the very basic definition is feminism?
According to Merriam Webster, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”
Seriously. That’s it.
So if all feminism is is the belief that men and women should be treated and respected in the exact same way, why and HOW am I still being hit on and asked out by people who do not think of themselves as feminists?
And more importantly, why did/have I continued to date them?
I don’t really know the logic behind this. I’ve dated all sorts of people. Honestly, it kind of sounds like a Dr. Seuss book. Some have been tall, some have been small. Some have been wild, one had a child. I have dated men from bars, I have gotten frisky in their cars. Really it’s been a little all over the place.
But outside of the whimsical rhyming I wrote mostly for my own amusement, there have been a handful of men (I can only speak to men because I haven’t dated any women like this) who somehow, did not consider themselves a feminist. They called the feminist agenda stupid and rolled their eyes at sentences that included things like “Title IX” and “equal rights” when they came up. Somehow, in the age of when a woman will likely be a front runner for President, I still managed to find men who did not believe I was their equal.
And you know what? Never a-fucking-gain.
Because you know what someone who dates me who doesn’t identify as a feminist is really saying?
They’re saying that at the base level, at the core of what they fundamentally believe, that they do not respect me simply because I’m a woman.
By dating someone who does not believe in feminism, I would be dating someone who thinks of me as less than, or as incapable, simply because I was born with XX chromosomes and a vagina. I’d be dating someone who inherently looks at us, looks at me, and only sees what I can’t do, rather than focusing on what I can. It’d be dating someone who doesn’t think about things in the terms of progression or moving forward, but dating someone who admittedly thinks backwards.
I would be dating someone who doesn’t allow for, or really even WANT change or growth.
By dating someone who does not believe in feminism, I would be dating someone who if we ever had a daughter, wouldn’t raise her to be the empowered, self-actualized woman I would want to raise. I’d be dating someone who would raise a daughter to think there are things she cannot do, things she cannot be. I would not be dating someone who I would honestly be able to look at and think, “That’s a good parent. That’s someone I’m proud to have a child with.”
By dating someone who does not believe in feminism, I’d really be saying that my own beliefs are not as important as theirs. By dating someone who does not believe in feminism, it would be putting their needs ahead of my own. By dating someone who does not believe in feminism, I would be lessening my own stance and would really, not be behaving like a feminist. Because we would not be equals, it wouldn’t be a level playing field.
So you know what? I’m done. D-O-N-E done with anyone who does not openly identify as a feminist. I’m done having arguments where all I’m saying is, “I’d like to be treated exactly like you,” and that’s seen as ~*ridiculous*~. I’m done staying quiet about things that are important to me like closing the wage gap, making sure sexual assaults on college campuses are handled better, and protecting a woman’s access to reproductive care.
Because the fact of the matter is that while yes, everyone is entitled to their beliefs, if in 2016 you seriously don’t think you’re a feminist – you’re just wrong. If you can’t just say, “Yes everyone is equal,” you’re not someone I want to (or will) waste time on.
So no. If you’re not a feminist, I don’t want to date you. I may have just let it roll off my back before, but I’m done with that. I’m standing up for myself, for my fellow women, and saying that this is important to me, and it should be to the person I date as well. No matter how tall, small, childless or carless they may be.
If you’re not a feminist you can keep your drinks and your compliments, because I don’t want anything you have to offer anyway.