8 Things To Know About Dating A Feminist

How many of you have ever written a dating profile where you explicitly said I am a feminist ? If you self-identify as a feminist and are currently looking to date, sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming to figure out when is the right time to introduce your political beliefs into a conversation with a new person or potential love interest. But if you believe in gender justice and want to find like-minded partners to connect with, maybe it’s time to put your truth into print.

Samhita Mukhopadhyay is a popular feminist writer, speaker and technologist. Her 2011 seminal book on feminism and dating,Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life, has greatly influenced the way many of us now see intersections of the political and personal in feminist relationships. “Romance, dating, and love have long been co-opted by corporate and political interest, and we have to fight back, to push for authentic relationships that aren’t defined by power, money and status,” writes Mukhopadhyay. “For me, love is at the heart of feminism… I’m not just talking about a basic love for humanity and a desire for justice, but also about loving myself in the face of an often-unloving world, about loving the people in my life despite the pain and difficult of oppression… Love is more than just a chemical or emotional feeling; it is a social and cultural force.”

So, what do you need to know if you’re dating a feminist? Here is some of the best advice to consider when making your move:

1. Respect boundaries

"Uh, don't be a douche? Probably too broad and would rule out too many people. Don't disrespect or ignore my boundaries." - Jillian

2. Feminism means different things to different people

"There is no monolith category of 'feminists' - lots of different people of lots of different backgrounds and ethnicities and genders and dating preferences value gender justice." - Rachel

3. My experiences and political perspectives matter

"We may use other terms as our identity — respect them and don't derogatorily or demandingly tell us we are feminists. Care about our critiques around gender justice AND feminism as a movement. Don't be dismissive of our experiences or try to tell us how to define, express or feel about them." - Aaminah

4. Mansplainers need not apply

"Don't ever freaking mansplain to me or suggest that I am being hysterical when you are losing an argument." - Renee

5. Don't say things like "It must be that time of the month"

"Using my period to explain away my behavior is taking the easy way out of understanding." - Leila

6. Men AND women can be feminists

"A feminist can be a man or a woman. I only date men who would consider themselves feminists, since it's about equal rights." - Maria

7. Listen to me

"Assume that I know what I want in terms of goals and desires. E.g., if I say I am asexual and will not have children, do not presume to think that I will change my mind after you sweep me off my feet sufficiently to awaken my inner sex goddess and Earth mother (hint: THEY DON'T EXIST)." - Bree

8. Be a source of comfort from sexism

"Be prepared to be supportive when the ignorant and threatened-by-female-competence males out in the world say/do stupid things which require correction." - Ada

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