Feminism is one of the more controversial social movements, and in part because it doesn’t have a universal definition, and different people have a very different understanding of what feminist movement is about and what it stands for. This is not surprising beause there are so many different kinds of feminists out there, whose message is very different from each other and who often can’t even agree on the fundamental goals of the movement.
Many, if not most, guys react to any conversation about feminism with a smirk, suggesting that they want to stay away from a conversation that has anything to do with it, in part because they are not big fans of feminism and also because it has been such a sensitive subject.
Feminism is an important phenomenon in the dating world, especially in the western dating world. Generally, it has a negative connotation in a typical guy’s mind. When a woman says she is a feminist, in a guy’s head it’s a red flag, suggesting that that woman is likely to be argumentative or even combative, less affectionate, less feminine, less giving and is harder to get along with. This is even if it’s completely not true.
It appears to me that among all kinds of feminism out there, there are two major movements. The mild version of feminism is the one that calls for equality – equal rights, equal access to jobs, schools, justice, etc. The more extreme kind of feminism is that one that calls for women to try to be just like men. To hold the same jobs as men, to act like men, to talk like men, and to have the same hobbies and interests as man, or otherwise dedicate a major part of their life to proving that they can be everything a man can be and more.
The former kind of feminism is a great thing to have. It’s a sign of a civilized, balanced society. This kind of feminism doesn’t make a woman less attractive as a potential dating and relationship partner. In fact, it’s likely to make her more desirable.
On the other hand, the latter kind of feminism is repugnant to many guys, as they are simply not looking to be with a woman who is trying to be a guy. One of the major reasons they want a woman is because of what makes her different from men – physically, physiologically, mentally, psychologically, and otherwise. These men have no problem dating an ambitious, accomplished woman, but they have a problem with a woman who has the same “in-yo-face” attitude as a bad boss. They want a woman who can make decisions, but they don’t want someone who argues and challenges their dating partner just for the sake of proving that she can or that she cannot be controlled by anyone. As one of my good friends pointed out once – “I don’t want to date a woman whose penis is bigger than mine.” Even though it’s kind of graphic, it pretty much sums it up what kind of feminism guys want to avoid.
As a woman, you should candidly assess your behavior and ask yourself whether you are a feminist and if so, which category of feminists you belong to. As a general rule, regardless of what kind of feminism you stand for, because of what so many guys associate that term with, you are better off not describing yourself with that specific word when you meet a guy you might be interested in, or during your first few dates. Instead, you can talk about what you support, what you like, and what you stand against specifically. In other words, saying: “I support equal rights” sounds so much better to the guy you are talking to, than “I am a feminist” even though the two might be the same thing in your mind.