The hardest moment to be a feminist for me is when I am dating a man.
I found this to be true when I found myself falling deeply in love for someone who just never saw me in that way. My heart hurt a lot and I decided I would go through the reasons that I was being rejected. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t as funny or I was more awkward or I wasn’t as good socially as she was. Maybe I was weird. Maybe I wasn’t as funny as I thought I was. Maybe I was just a joke and I wasn’t aware of it.
Then, the thought popped into my head that perhaps it was because I was a feminist.
One time, when eating lunch with this individual I was shown a weird and offensive paper that had been given as a handout in school. I just laughed at it. Surely it couldn't be serious. I moved on after that, but the thought kept floating in my head that perhaps a more outlandish reaction was expecting of me. I really didn't have one. In all truthfulness, I had only skimmed the words on the paper and not truly read them. Some of the most offensive quotes were highlights and I mostly just read those.
I am a bisexual woman. Dating women has always been a little easier and more comfortable for me. However, I always found myself in a really weird situation when I was interested in pursuing a man. The words "dyke" and "feminazi" are perhaps the favorite two words for men to sling at women who identify as feminists.
I read many an article about how deranged feminists were and how you couldn’t help biology.
Toxic masculinity wasn’t a thing and it was just a woman’s way of shaming a man for his gender.
These things are quite obviously not true and failure to see that really showed me that some people can’t see things differently than their own current perspective.
It sort of seemed like a game men and women alike often played. It was a “piss off the feminist” game in which they said the most offensive thing they could fathom for a reaction. I just decided that my energy was best spent elsewhere and never gave them the satisfaction of any sort of reaction.
However, feminism is something that often seems to cause men to flee.
The minute they find out who they’re interested in is a feminist they run for the hills. I wondered if perhaps that was why I was not being romantically pursued by a boy I thought day and night about. Maybe he assumed women who didn’t define as such to be more his cup of tea, more level-headed. Maybe he wanted a woman who would submit more or he thought to be less high strung.
Truly, I had never really had such thoughts before. I had never thought of my feminism to be anything but beneficial until I find myself falling quite hard for someone who did not identify as such. I felt like my heart was in my feet and I also found myself deciding if equality was even worth it. I had no proof that he didn’t want me due to my positions of social rights. I obviously had not asked him and really did not have much evidence at all for when I was being rejected for someone else, however, since I did not have any conclusions, I was forced to come to my own.
I kind of assumed that many men flee from feminist and this was the reasoning behind my rejection. I was not the stereotypical southern submissive woman. I never thought myself to be less attractive or less worthy of the affections of someone I was interested in, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get creative with feeling inferior. Perhaps I was just too much of a feminist. Maybe I was annoying, indignant, high strung, or flaky. Maybe I corrected people too much. Maybe I wasn’t as easy going as I should be. The thoughts and reasons flew through my head at an incredibly rapid speed. However, the one that I felt I could really settle on was my stance as a feminist.
Maybe feminism had gone too far if it was costing me potential relationships.
Maybe I should cool it down some if it meant I could have the one boy I wanted more than anyone else. These were all lies of course like a little devil whispering poor decisions into my ear. I knew that equal rights shouldn’t be cast aside for a person in my life that was temporary. However, my heart yearned for the one thing I was unable to have. I wanted him and him only and to be honest, even though I knew it was a bad idea and would never work, my heart still wanted what it wanted.
Women often want to be viewed as attraction and this means even ditching political views if it serves a repellent to the ones they desire to be with. I know this because I fell victim to the exact same thing. I was almost tempted to ditch what I had worked towards for years for a boy that I thought of night and day. He was my friend and someone I felt I could confide in, but as we spent time together the potential to be so much more forever lingered in my mind. I compared myself to the girl he actually liked which again is an ultimate no-no for women who desire to be equal.
But I did so, breaking all the feminist rules.
I wondered what she had and why I didn’t have it. I compared myself to her in almost every aspect of my life whether it be looks, personality, tolerance, or political views. I simply wondered why I was being cast aside when we had the potential to be compatible.
Dating as a feminist can be really hard.
It can be hard because the intimidation of a woman who is very firm in who she is, what she wants, and will compromise under no costs can be a lot to stomach at times. I feel like I view myself and my relationships view differently than most might. I hold myself to a bit of a higher standard whereas I truly believe some settle and compensate for their happiness and in love. I truly want to be in love, but that love cannot come with a compromise on who I am, what I believe, and what I want to be in the future. Comparison truly is the thief of joy.
This is a statement that is exceedingly applicable to all genders and people.
Comparison is something I don’t preach against as a feminist, but as a human who is aware of happiness and how it can be easily destroyed. Comparing yourself to someone isn’t something that I believe to be anti-feminist, but something I believe to be detrimental to health and happiness of an individual. I work hard as a feminist to hold myself to a bit of a higher standard, but I also work hard to be certain that I do not allow myself to fall victim to the scary ways of thinking that we so often entertain. I am not inferior to any woman nor is any woman even remotely inferior to me no matter what the reasoning may be. Anti-feminists, feminists, or neutralist are all equal in every way.
Me ever thinking myself to be less likely to be chosen by a man due to my political views was ridiculous and I should have realized this long before now.
I am worthy despite my views, opinions, looks, or personality. I truly believe that there is someone for everyone and there is someone for this thoughtful, confused, driven, hard-working, wild, outspoken, insecure, confident, artistic, creative, emotional, all-feeling, sensitive and proud feminist.