I prefer going out on a date with a guy who’s read my blog than one who hasn’t.
When a man hasn’t visited this site, at some point during the date something like this happens:
Guy: You mentioned that you’re doing an MA at SOAS. What’s your area of study?
Me: (clears throat, prepares): Gender studies.
Guy: What studies?
Me: Gender. You know, male, female, penis, vagina, that whole concept.
Guy (smirking): Ohhhhh, so you’re one of those women.
Guy raises right fist towards the roof, confusing the black power gesture with feminism, probably thanks to Angela Davis.
If I like the guy, I may in a somewhat “unfeminist” attempt to reassure him that I don’t suffer of penis envy, consequential man-loathing or any other negative (read: unfeminine) trait associated with my beliefs, mention that I am specializing in the precolonial history of women in Africa. It is the truth, but I admit that I make a point to mention my area of study as I’ve noticed that it makes brothers relax, a pan-African woman seems less intimidating than one who is pro-woman.
I’m not angry about the situation women face in Africa, or elsewhere, I go on to explain. The world is what it is, and we can only understand and appreciate life if we know how to detach ourselves from our beliefs. Otherwise we can all find one thing or another to be angry about for the rest of our lives and to be honest even I can’t stand “the angry feminist”, and oh yes she exists. Yet that said, gender inequality kills more people than war and illness and that’s a fact, not an emotion so how do you wanna tackle it?
Anyway, dating while feminist is a challenge. Which is why you have so many women who are feminist through and through but don’t call themselves that. They have sexual IQ. Does that term exist? It should. For us suckers that missed that module, or rather, who have the balls (ovaries?) to be feminist regardless of loosing sexual IQ points, I’m thinking when the time is good to throw it in. Maybe when a guy mentions that he has five young children who all furthermore suffer from ADHD, or that he’s never had a serious relationship? Any suggestions, when is a good time to share “handicaps” on a date? 😉 Feminists, when do you tell a man about your ideological beliefs? Non-feminists, do mens’ reaction to feminism prevent you from identifying feminist?
Hi! I’m Minna Salami. I’m a writer, blogger, columnist, lecturer and speaker and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism to contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. I’ve been listed alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie as one of “twelve women changing the world” by ELLE and my work has been used as a resource and case study at universities around the world. Like what you just read? Sign up above to receive new posts directly in your inbox.