Justice

This Argument for Never Dating a Feminist Is Off-Base

September 8th 2016

By:
Tricia Tongco

Today, an essay titled "Why I'll Never Date a Feminist" by columnist Dave Hon was roasted on social media hours after being published online.

People on Twitter swiftly dismantled the crux of Hon's argument, which is that feminists would want to date him in the first place, but there are more assumptions to call out and disprove. After listing and denying the existence of various ways women are systematically oppressed, he details his thought process (and it all sounds pretty theoretical) in arriving at his kibosh on dating feminists.

"I used to think dating across the political aisle was not only possible, but practical. Hell, if James Carville and Mary Matalin can get along, I can date someone who thinks my genitals automatically give me privileges that they don’t have, right?

Wrong.

People who are more loyal to their gender and not their significant other don’t make good partners. They will always look at you as inherently more fortunate than them. They’ve bought into the 'battle of the sexes' mentality and it often pervades their perceptions of romance. Romance turns into a power struggle rather than a partnership."

To begin with, these statements illustrate Hon doesn't know what feminism is.

He is basing his definition on an archaic notion that being a feminist means hating or diminishing men in order to empower women. With that flawed mentality, it's easy to see why he fails to recognize how feminism is not mutually exclusive to being in a healthy relationship with a man.

As feminist scholar Gloria Steinem said, "a feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men."

Based on that definition, a feminist is the ideal partner – a person who also recognizes the humanity in all people, regardless of gender. Additionally, recognizing and fighting against the systematic oppression of your gender (and yes, it does exist) does not inhibit a woman from loving, respecting, and valuing an individual who is a man.

Hon's essay also ignores the idea that men benefit from feminism. too. In an article for The Huffington Post, Jessica Samakow posits that "gender equality means doing away with society’s rigid ideas about what it means to be a woman. That also means getting rid of the limitations that surround what it means to be a man." She adds, "studies have shown that gender equality is good for the economy, your sex life, and your general happiness.

So while Hon bemoans that "[p]olitical issues have been creeping into the bedroom," perhaps that's something to welcome and strive for if it means getting closer to gender equality. As feminist author Shulamith Firestone wrote, "[A] revolutionary in every bedroom cannot fail to shake up the status quo."