If you’re going on a date with someone new this Valentine’s day, you may just be going out with a feminist.
Going out with a feminist might seem intimidating, but in reality, feminists are people who believe that women should have the same rights as men. Simple as that! There are some definite don’ts — and a few do’s — for dating one. Here are some tips for going out with a feminist this Valentine’s day.
1. DON’T be afraid or intimidated
Feminists aren’t scary, they’re people with strong beliefs just like all other people. Treat them as such.
2. DON’T say things about feminism that are rooted in stereotypes
Feminism is not a collective filled with man-hating, hairy, bra burning women. There isn’t a single type of feminist. It’s probably best not to potentially start a relationship with a feminist by bringing up these kinds of stereotypes about feminism.
3. DON’T assume that you deserve the other person’s time
You don’t get to decide if you’re deserving of someone’s time, they get to decide that. Just because they agreed to go out doesn’t mean this principle suddenly disappears. Be kind and appreciate that your date chose to spend time with you.
4. DON’T expect sex
This can include, but is not limited to sending unrequested nude pics, asking for sex outright whether it has not been part of your prior conversations or not, subtly steering the conversation toward sex or pressuring a person to have sex with you. Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed sex. If you both mutually agree to it, fine.
5. DON’T disrespect women
Calling other women thots, hoes or any other name or speaking about women negatively in any way is a very, very bad sign.
6. DON’T disrespect men
Same goes for men. Saying rude things about men is also not a good move.
7. DON’T disrespect any human being
It’s a bad sign if you don’t show respect for other humans and their choices. Whether you agree with them or not, it’s important to respect the fact they’re a human who gets to make their own choices.
8. DON’T make sweeping generalizations, particularly about any type of oppressed group
Sure, we all hold preconceived notions about certain groups, and sure, some stereotypes are rooted in truth. But during a date is probably not the time to bring them up.
9. DON’T start a sentence with “you’re pretty/sexy/hot/attractive for a…”
This one’s a biggie. There’s no way to justify this. It’s an underhanded compliment if that. Don’t do it — don’t even think about potentially allowing these words to come out of your mouth. Find a way to tell your date that they are beautiful, smart, intelligent, etc. in a way that genuinely compliments them.
10. DO put in effort
It’s Valentine’s day, for Pete’s sake! Be creative with the date location, bring a card or some flowers, say something nice — do something to show you put some thought into the date, even if you think it might be a one-time thing. No one deserves to have a bad Valentine’s Day.
11. DO ask about their interests
Again, like all people, feminists have wide-ranging and varied interests. Be sure to ask your date about their interests, including their love for feminism and beyond.
12. DO listen without interruption
If your date does choose to talk all about the awesomeness that is feminism, then listen! There’s nothing more annoying than passionately talking about something and having someone interrupt to steer the conversation elsewhere. If you aren’t interested, listen anyway — it’s just one date, it won’t kill you.
13. DO ask to them to explain something you’re unfamiliar with
If your date is discussing something you aren’t familiar with, ask them to explain. It’s offensive to assume you know something based on stereotypes or anecdotes, but it’s not offensive or rude to ask someone to explain a concept you don’t know.
14. DO be genuine, perhaps even brutally honest.
Be authentic and sincere about who you are and what you believe. If at the end of the date you felt it didn’t go well, that’s okay! Every person isn’t for everyone, and that’s just fine. Don’t pretend like you were into the date if you weren’t, though. It’s definitely misleading and can be hurtful.
These tips and tricks are essentially the same as the dos and don’ts of dating in general. Bottom line: feminists are another type of woke people who deserve the respect you would give any other person. Just like you shouldn’t make assumptions about people based on their race, religion, nationality, etc., you shouldn’t assume you know your date based on their label as a feminist.