Dating in a patriarchal world as a feminist
First of all, I am no longer single so I cannot take my typical impartial aloofness to dating and the annoying inevitable nuances of dating. I’m happily involved now but I am still taken aback by how men make it so difficult to date when you are a feminist with feminist ideals. Men think it’s charming when they approach you and continue to badger you for attention after you explicitly make it clear that you would rather go without knowing them. It’s a minefield out there and the person who does not take “no” for an answer will always take the blame for making people run the other direction.
Men seem to have convinced themselves that women intend to make their dating experience difficult by having autonomous needs and basic need for respect of that autonamy. It shouldn’t be difficult to respect a woman’s desire to have her decisions mean something. It should be respected; it should be honoured and taken to heart. There is something intrinsically wrong with someone who insists that their virility is more important than someone’s human right to govern what happens to/with their body, so important that when faced with choosing one over the other, they choose one at the expense of the other.
It’s been said enough times that men are entitled but let’s also take into account how that entitlement makes dating men difficult. For one harassing me does not mean approaching me, cat calling me is not trying to get my attention and insisting to be in my personal space after I say “Leave me alone” is not being persuasive, its harassment and threatening. The difficult part is when you do meet someone who is not harassing you or threatening your personal space and find out deep into the relationship they show their deeply hidden conflicts of interest with feminist ideals. It’ll come out in little covert nuances like him wanting you to do things that ‘women do’ and use it as a means to put you down when you exercise you’re right to say ‘no’.
Teaching anyone anything about the equality of the sexes is difficult, I know this struggled with it too. I have since learned that this is due to not knowing that I had to unlearn just about everything I had been taught about men and women in order to learn the truth about men and women, the truth that allows me to call myself a rookie feminist, at best. It can get frustrating teaching a man how to treat and not treat women in his personal space and in general but I find that I am most patient with the man I am with. As such I am encouraged to continue teaching him because no matter how small that effort might be in the grand scheme of things I do feel I am affecting my world when I teach at least the person I want to keep what it means to be an autonomous, equal, valid woman.
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