Before I got into my current relationship, I made a habit of asking potential partners “Would you say you’re a feminist?” This simple question offered me a quick source of valuable insight into their beliefs and values. My little game is called “Uninformed, Good to Go, or Horrible,” also affectionately referred to as UGH, because most of the time that’s my reaction to their response.
Allow me to introduce you to UGH’s categories.
Upon hearing the question, this type of person typically gets a “deer in the headlights” look and begins to stumble over their words. Generally, they manage to blurt some half-baked idea about how they believe in gender equality but they aren’t a feminist. For me, this typically results in explaining how gender equality is literally the definition of feminism, and why being a feminist doesn’t mean you hate men or think women are superior. It was kind of fun to help someone learn the first time it happened, but it gets old fast. If you find yourself stuck on a date with an Uninformed, don’t feel obliged to educate them—it’s nice to do, but not your responsibility.
Good to Go
After posing the question, my personal favourite response to hear is a single, nonchalant, but confident yes. They get it! What a relief! Of course, they could be lying through their teeth, but not shying away from the label is enough of a first step for me. Plus, it’s an invitation to continue the conversation to see how much they truly grasp the concept. Do they just know enough to play it safe with you in conversation or do they actually care about equality? Time to find out.
This individual evokes the guttural “UGHHHHH.” They don’t try to hide their sexism. When you press further, they attempt to explain it away with statements like “I just think women aren’t meant for ____” or “I don’t really think there’s any inequality anymore so I just don’t see the point.” Once I discover this, I just hope they’re “traditional” enough to foot the bill. At least the date wouldn’t be completely for nothing then, right?
I’m sending you my best vibes to get out there and get dating in 2019. Just remember UGH! Safe to say you’ll likely remember by accident if your date’s a dud because, well, ugh.
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