I've said it before and I'll say it again: Feminism is a non-negotiable requirement when it comes to my suitors (of which there are many, OK? Stop asking about it!). But seriously, I could not care less about a guy's height, college major, or taste in wine — but uh, not supporting equal rights? Yeah, I'd say that's a dealbreaker. So I've become a bit of a pro at unearthing signs that he is a feminist by date two, at the latest.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Any modern gentleman will happily proclaim that he's an unabashed feminist and full supporter of the movement, right? One would hope. But as I've learned over time, not all guys are up to date on what the word feminist means, and are therefore a little hesitant to sport the title with pride.
In case you need a refresher, feminism (the 2017 word of the year, according to Merriam-Webster!) holds two definitions. The first is "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes," and the second's "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests." One more time for the cheap seats? Being a feminist means you support equal rights — plain and simple.
A couple of months ago, I was out with a guy and asked if he was a feminist. He cocked his head. "I wouldn't say that, no," was his reply.
"Oh! So, you don't think you and I are... equals?" I asked, accidentally knocking over his beer in the process (I think it was accidental, at least).
"I didn't say that." Except he had — he just hadn't realized it. I then dove into what can only be described as an aggressive soliloquy about what feminism truly meant, its importance, and the meaning of intersectionality (the cumulative ways in different identities, such as gender, race, and class, overlap).
"Wow, OK. I mean, I believe in those things," was his eventual (and probably fearful?) retort.
Now, if you'd rather skip the lecture — because honestly, if people want to learn about feminism, they can Google it and do the hard work themselves — but you're still curious to learn what your date's views might be, I get it. And the list below might help you.
Here are 10 questions you can work into a conversation to figure out whether or not the guy you're dating is really, truly a feminist. And if he's not? Boy bye.
1. "Do you have any sisters? What's your relationship like with them?"
2. "Have you participated in any of the marches recently?"
3. "What would you do if Oprah ran for president?"
(For reference: There are tons of incredible female candidates of color who I think we should all be supporting right now instead of making Oprah 20/20 shirts. But his answer to this question will definitely be telling!)
4. "Did you see Lady Bird? I still can't believe Greta Gerwig didn't get a Golden Globe nomination."
5. "Who's your favorite fictional, female character?"
6. "Who did you vote for in 2016?"
7. "Do you like Beyoncé?"
(There is only one right answer, y'all.)
9. "Any books you're looking forward to reading? I can't wait to get my hands on Michelle Obama's."
10. "Did you know that women couldn't get their own credit cards without a man's signature until 1974? Isn't that crazy?"
If he answers these questions with care, consideration, and a clear sense of the importance of equality — congrats! You've found yourself a feminist.
Just remember: If he's got a slightly different (but equally respectful) perspective on feminism, that's something to be celebrated, not judged. As Roxane Gay so brilliantly put it in Bad Feminist, “We don’t all have to believe in the same feminism. Feminism can be pluralistic so long as we respect the different feminisms we carry with us, so long as we give enough of a damn to try to minimize the fractures among us.”
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!