Dear MRAs: We Wouldn’t Date You Anyway
Pardon my reduced professionalism in this post. This post is meant to be more colloquial and does not reflect the views of anyone other than the author.
Recently the Feminist Majority Foundation (an organization where, incidentally, I intern) hosted its annual National Young Feminist Leadership Conference. Then, on Thursday, I saw that a blog called The Other McCain (I’ll let you process that name) published a post called “Feminist College Girls Go…well, Ok, Not ‘Wild’ Exactly, but My Point Is…”. And I read it, even though I knew that it would make me angry, and to be honest, it did.
This post contained every mean idea and misconception that men’s rights activists hold about feminists. The author mocked the concerns that young feminists expressed about a lack of queer representation at the conference, and poked fun of the issues that were discussed, including environmentalism and combating rape on college campuses. He mentioned these problems dismissively, as if the absolute epidemic that is sexual assault on college campuses were a joke, a massive conspiracy by feminists. And of course, he mocked the feminists themselves, saying we were at best “moderately attractive”, if you “like the Chubby Nerd Girl look”, and saying that we were all man-hating lesbians who would grow up to own a lot of cats.
Thanks, bro. I can see why you’re having trouble in the dating market. Don’t worry-~-like you, I am here to help.
Ladies and gentlemen who identify as feminists, I sometimes do get upset by people like the author of The Other McCain. But that needs to end, because my getting upset is exactly what people like this author want. They want a reaction, because the world is starting to question whether or not white, straight cis men should just be given our attention simply for being white, straight cis men. It’s for this reason that I haven’t linked his original post to my blog (though I trust you could find it if you wanted to).
The truth is, no one should be worried that calling themselves a feminist will limit their options in the dating market. It’s true that some guys will be turned off by that label, but I’m not convinced that anyone who identifies with feminism truly wants to date a guy who will treat her like she’s less worthy of consideration than he is, who does not think her ideas are valid or worth hearing, or who judges women solely on how they look. Feminists come in all shapes and sizes, and I’m not really concerned about men who assume that all women must be what they consider to be unattractive-~-that is, anyone without a tiny waist, big boobs, and perfect hair-~-to be unworthy of his time or to be less valuable, which is how he clearly views the women at the conference.
There have been men on this blog who have told me that finding the kind of man whom I have said I as a feminist would want to date is impossible, that those men do not exist. They are wrong. I refuse to capitulate to the idea that to be a man is to be arrogant, dismissive and disrespectful of women, narcissistic, and unwilling to have meaningful discussions. I refuse to accept that masculinity is fundamentally mutually exclusive with respect, sensitivity, caring, and honesty. There are many men who embody those traits; there are even men who identify as feminists. They exist (I know, I found one, and for all the angry MRAs who came on this blog to tell me I’d die alone surrounded by cats…the joke’s on you) and women should refuse to settle for anything less than a partner who will actually treat her as an equal, not a subordinate. If the dating market is self-selecting (and to some extent it is) then the reality is not that feminists will end up alone, it’s that we will end up with men who respect us for who we are as people and for the values we espouse…and they’ll be better men than the one whining behind the front of The Other McCain.
So when The Other McCain says that the recipe for being a feminist is to get an abortion, become a lesbian, vote Democrat, and adopt a lot of cats, what he’s really saying is that he has no idea what feminism is about, and he doesn’t care to understand, because he knows that it threatens his status and privilege in society. Obviously not all feminists get abortions, we just support a woman’s right to make medical decisions only with her doctor; and we’re not ALL lesbians, though some of us are; and we’re not even all Democrats (though some of us are); and we’re not all cat people; and we definitely won’t all end up alone.
As for The Other McCain…I wish him well in his quest to find a woman who has no interests other than maintaining her looks and being devoted to him, since I get the sense that I’ve just described his ideal mate (though I hope not-~-I hope he’ll realize that women have so much more to offer than he seems to give credit for). I’d advise him to get off his high horse and start treating women as people instead of objects to be evaluated and/or admired, as it tends to make men appear more suitable as partners. But I’m not threatened, or even all that upset, by the way he talked about feminism. After all, if people are feeling threatened by the advances your social movement is making, it means you’re making advances…and hey, that was our goal all along.