Why I’ll never date another Male Feminist
And no, it’s not because I hate women
by Tiana Lowe
So you’re at a party or a park or some friend’s obligatory pre-game, and you meet a guy. You think to yourself, “he seems charming, maybe even cool.” Then he says, “I’m really progressive. I’m a Male Feminist.” Stop. Full stop. Do not be fooled. This is a trap.
Unlike other men who actually are feminist, the self-identified, self-absorbed and self-gratifying Male Feminist acts as a Trojan Horse or Manchurian Candidate of feminism, using virtue-signaling to coerce and shame women to fit a specific mold of an “acceptable” feminist. Just like how not all white women who believe in the equality of women and men are “White Feminists,” the same goes for Male Feminism. In fact, the reverse may be true.
Male Feminism is a social disease, a gross perversion of a feminist movement which has evolved from the philosophical to the political. Do not fall into the trap of believing that Male Feminism seeks to empower women, when it actually does just the opposite.
Why? Well, let me explain what I learned living under the yoke of Male Feminism while dating one.
The Male Feminist deems certain women ‘anti-women’
Simone de Beauvoir once said, “One is not born, but becomes a woman.” With the rise of a growing progressive stance on gender roles and the slow but steady maturity of the trans rights movement, I think we as a society have come to the correct conclusion that there’s no one way to be a woman. Most women are born with vaginas and complementary childbearing functions. Some are not. Some women choose to be full time moms. Some choose not to become moms at all.
Instead of understanding that powerful women, just like powerful men, come from a vast range of philosophical and professional backgrounds, the Male Feminist believes that you have to filter your Facebook profile picture with a Planned Parenthood logo and dye your hair blue in order to avoid becoming a “gender traitor.” Equity feminism is just humanism, reemphasized to compensate for generations of actual, legal oppression against women. In their attempts to approve and control women into behaving like the right kind of feminist, Male Feminists completely deny the central premise of feminism: women ought to be able to choose for themselves when they believe in and how they live their lives. You can personally disagree with a woman’s choices or opinions, but, to bring it back to de Beauvoir, it’s not up to you to try and impose your will onto the woman one becomes.
Prepare to have feminism mansplained to you all day, every day
Perhaps most obviously, the Male Feminist loves nothing more than to explain how you’re “doing feminism wrong.” There marks another reason to never date a Male Feminist: he just about gets off from telling women how to “perform” their gender.
Initially, this might feel like an attempt to be complimentary gone wrong: “I’m so glad that you’re so smart, not just a shallow sorority girl like Emily.” Then these judgements of women might devolve into the seemingly absurd. Once a Male Feminist told me that my friend, who paints professionally, wasn’t artsy. Why? “Her art doesn’t stand for any activism,” the Male Feminist says, while scrolling through VICE and Pitchfork in awe of the paragon of Real Art ™. If you’re assuming that you’ll then avoid the seemingly endless line of fire, you would be wrong.
For example, in a single conversation with a Male Feminist, I have been told — some would say chastised — that my love of capitalism and free market economics just comes from an internalized desire to be more like a man, encouraged — some would say coerced — to embrace my femininity and then finally yelled at when I break down in tears for being a “pussy.” Which brings me to my next point!
Prepare to be called, without a shred of irony, a ‘cunt’
Regardless of your political opinions (and if you’ve read anything by me ever, you know I’m a bleeding heart, anti-Hillary libertarian), it is not OK to call Hillary Clinton a “cunt.” Nor is it OK to try and emotionally terrorize me into renouncing my fiscal conservatism by yelling at me, “Do you want to wind up a dumb Republican cunt like Ann Coulter?”
First off, I’ve met Ann Coulter before, and she’s a surprisingly nice person. Second, Male Feminist, if you paid any attention at all, you would realize that while Coulter is pro-trade protectionism and pro-closed borders, I’m a free market capitalist and a proponent of sensible immigration reform. But you’re too myopic to look into the nuances of my opinions to realize that. But most importantly, someone who really believed in the equality of women and men would never, ever, ever use such bigoted language to describe someone who they hate. If you disagree with someone, that’s fine; call a spade a spade, not a woman a cunt.
You’ll be accused of body shaming for wanting to look good
It becomes, to use the Male Feminist’s favorite word, “problematic” to accuse me of body shaming when I try to be more health conscious. Contrary to the Male Feminist’s assertions, I’m not going to the gym to appease the “male gaze.” First and foremost, real feminism is about self-reliance and bodily, emotional and legal autonomy. Feminism protects my right to guiltily haul my butt to the elliptical after too many bowls of pasta, the same way it allows Jane to be a gym nut and Janet to never go.
In another vein of irony, the Male Feminist will lament so-called oppressive beauty standards, only to try and shame you into not following them. Other women might choose not to shave their legs to spite the patriarchy as they have every right to do, but I’m definitely never letting a Male Feminist guilt shame me into giving up basic beauty routines.
Here’s the deal, Male Feminists. My mom was a model, and my big sister and my friends are all genuine hotties, probably by those dreaded traditional beauty standards. So every once in a while I hear the Don Draper lifestyle catching up with me, and I go on a brief Kefir and kettle bell kick — say it with me, folks — because I want to!
Misandry + not trusting me does not equal feminism – it equals being a jealous, controlling asshole
“You don’t understand Tiana,” said the Male Feminist, once upon a time. “Men are terrible. They have no control.” Well, clearly Mr. Male Feminist didn’t, given how quickly he’d fly off the handle at the slightest affront to his self-proclaimed progressivism. But most of us, men and women alike, have reason and logic to manage our baser instincts. If you cannot control your physical instincts within the bounds of reason, that doesn’t make you a man; it probably means you’re a rapist, thief or other violent felon. That being said, the Male Feminist will blend his misandry and reductive analysis of all men with his lack of trust in women into an enraging product of jealousy and micro-managing.
Leave it to a Male Feminist to chalk up all relationships between men and women as purely predatory cases which require a “protective” — oh I’ll just say it straight — paternalistic, patronizing, pathetically controlling excuse of a boyfriend to protect a totally capable woman from the big bad world.
And finally — I’m not ‘trying to be a man’. I just like capitalism, hearty political debates and perhaps the occasional celebratory cigar
Once the Male Feminist finally realizes he can’t pigeonhole his significant other into the anti-woman role, he resorts to the most infuriating question of all.
“Tiana, sometimes do you think you just say that you like capitalism and pretend to like foreign policy discussions and stuff because that’s what men like, and you hate feminine stuff?”
In a crystallizing moment, I faced the facts that my worst fears had been realized. I could never satisfy the simultaneous demands of the Male Feminist to extort docile love for all women while stereotyping and judging them. I would never convince him that my strength not a product of embracing or rejecting my gender. The Male Feminist simply lived and died by too many labels under which I would never reduce myself.
At this moment, I turn my head with the most saccharine sweet, shit-eating Mona Lisa side smile I can muster, and say, “Actually babe, I think I like that stuff independent of my genitalia. But thanks for your concern.” You take a deep breath. You have self-control, but also self-respect. It’s time to end the relationship.
Men do not have a monopoly on rationality and prioritizing facts over feelings. Behaving like a logical adult is not “acting like a man.” It’s just acting like an adult.
In America, women have one of the greatest degrees of legal freedoms in the world. We cannot be arrested for our consensual sexual activity, nor does the law permit us to be forced into it. We’re finishing college in greater numbers than men, and we’re increasingly becoming agents of our own futures.
Luckily, many men support these trends. In fact, most men will appreciate your individualism and treat you like a genuine equal. Chances are, these men aren’t unsheathing their progressive credentials and flopping them out for you to inspect.
“I’m a Male Feminist”?! Like fuck you are.