Being a feminist and dating
But I hope that by sharing five common traits feminists look for in a man, I can save some of the younger folks out there some of the heartache I experienced.
Men and women both have a right to ask for these things from your partner. You need to treat all women like we are human beings, because we are.
I know, as part of Ellevate my biggest focus is giving tips on leveraging your network to reach your goals, and to share the limited, yet hard-earned, knowledge I’ve compiled from this community of amazing women. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get to embrace it and own it. He told me he appreciated traditional gender roles, he was looking for a woman who would “cook and clean and cater to him” and the idea of stay at home dads was just weird.
But as part of our #Take Back Feminism campaign I’ve been doing a lot of thinking of the many reasons why I’m a feminist and why I think it’s important that we embrace the label and fight for equality, and I realized that I have never really shared (except for a short mention in our Ellevate Podcast) an experiment I’ve been doing in my personal life: dating while feminist. And I’m at that time in my life when my friends are all married or getting there, and many of them are starting families and “have other things to worry about.” Many of them don’t consider themselves feminists, many don’t think gender inequality still exists. I work for a mission-driven company, I’ve been a feminist for as long as I can remember, and I’ve recently decided that I would be very outspoken about it (but that’s a topic for another time). But as I know all too well from my friends and family (some of who still believe I am “an event planner”) explaining what I do quickly, via text, and to someone who doesn’t care or know anything about you just yet, is not easy. What I’ve found is that those men who don’t have a strong reaction to my “professional feminist” statement are usually the ones who are just oblivious to the problem, not because they are misogynistic or mean or bad... Yeah, no, we were never going to be a match, but I thought of it as the perfect opportunity to engage in a conversation with someone who I fundamentally disagreed with about an issue that he just accepted and never bothered to think about.
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In my case, my expertise is feminism in business, so that’s what I can speak to, but there are so many different issues within the feminist agenda that we need to voice our concern for: reproductive rights, women in politics, women in leadership, women in STEM…
No, I’m not even kidding, and now that I’m thinking about it that message was not just sexist but racist. There are a lot of men who want to engage in the conversation.