Ok, so part of the fun of online dating (when there is fun) is browsing profiles. Sometimes you read really interesting and funny things that make you message the person. Sometimes you read profiles that are so ridiculous you have to share them with friends just to laugh over them (years ago I read one that was just entirely made up of maudlin poetry about the darkness of the person’s soul. To each their own, I guess, but not quite my thing).
And sometimes you read a profile that’s perfect except for that one red flag that makes you go, “Oh, wait just a minute – there’s something wrong here.” You know what I’m talking about. They seem funny and cool, but they have something like, “Don’t message me if you’re not looking for a nice guy because I’M A NICE GUY AND NO WOMEN SEEM TO GET THIS!” Or, “I’m really into music but if you own a Demi Lovato album DO NOT MESSAGE ME!” The first example is pretty common on OKC and usually means the person is the Opposite Of A Nice Guy. The second is just weirdly specific and makes me think this person does not have an appreciation of the finer things in life, OF WHICH DEMI LOVATO’S MUSIC IS DEFINITELY ONE.
Lately, though, I’ve noticed a more disturbing trend in profiles – the “I’m into feminists…but,” caveat.
I was browsing last night and saw it three separate times, all in profiles that seemed otherwise very appealing. One guy said: “Message me if you know the difference between a feminist and a misandrist.” Another guy said: “Message me if you’re a feminist who doesn’t want to try convincing her date why misogyny is bad.” Another guy said: “Message me if you’re a feminist but chill.”
Anyone else see this as a little off-putting? Is it just me?
On the one hand, if your first date is ONLY someone lecturing you nonstop without taking a breath about how feminism is good and misogyny is bad (which would go without saying, but whatever), that would be annoying. Spending an entire date lecturing the other person nonstop about ANYTHING is obnoxious (I know; I’ve been on the receiving end of that a few times). But when I see guys saying they want to date feminists but they want those feminists to be, specifically, “chill,” it seems to me like what they’re really saying is, “I’m superficially down with the equality stuff but I don’t really want to hear about it. I don’t want you to get mad or discuss it in our relationship because it might make me feel bad.” And to me, that means you don’t really want a self-identified feminist.
Like, can you imagine these profiles saying, “I want someone who supports #BlackLivesMatter but don’t want them to spend the date discussing institutionalized racism”? Like, what’s the point of being a self-identified feminist or LGBT ally or #BlackLivesMatter supporter if you never talk about it?
Obviously, I’m a feminist. And I talk about it. I can get impassioned, even angry about the state of things. I get impassioned and angry, however, about MANY issues, including but not limited to: institutionalized racism, general and LGBT-focused bigots (Kim Davis, looking at you), income inequality, police brutality, and gross vegan protein substitutes. But in years of profile surfing I’ve never seen otherwise self-identified “liberal” guys say they don’t want to hear about these topics – it always seems to be feminism that gets the bad rap, and that’s a turn-off for me.
Now, I know there are tons of guys out there who want to date women who are outspoken and passionate about many issues, and I’m (moderately?) sure that eventually I’ll find and end up in a LTR with one of those guys. But for now, if your profile contains the caveat, “I want to date a feminist…but,” I’m pretty sure I’m out 🙂
P.S. I am sort of half-expecting to get a lot of angry replies to this on FB and stuff. I hope I don’t, because I’m not angry at these guys for saying this in their profiles – I just find it off-putting on a personal level and, sadly, indicative of the stigma that is still attached to the word “feminism.” I JUST WANT SOMEONE TO WATCH STAR TREK WITH ME AND CUDDLE IS THAT SO HARD? Lol.