How to Lose a Feminist in Ten Days - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
How to Lose a Feminist in Ten Days

If you’ve been clamoring for just the right way to ask out that Women’s Studies major you’ve had your eye on recently, Lisa Bonos of the Washington Post has penned a do-it-yourself guide to how to snag yourself a feminist. Or, at least, how to snag yourself a feminist boyfriend. 

For males, the article is supposed to serve as an outline of character traits and ideological touch-points you can embrace in order to guarantee you’ll spend the rest of your life with someone who is keeping score of your manliness, lest you unwittingly join the Patriarchy by insisting on upgrading your washing machine or ordering takeout from a non-minority-owned non-vegan restaurant with an app designed by a company that has repeatedly failed to attain LEED certification on its headquarters. If you think I’m kidding, it’s clear you haven’t clicked over to the article yet. From the start, Bonos defines a “feminist boyfriend” as someone who might take a woman’s last name in a marriage, won’t slap your behind with a kitchen towel after washing the dinner dishes, and could request a complete oath-giving ceremony on a copy of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet before leaning in for a peck on the cheek (so hot).

You’re probably not interested, and I don’t blame you. It seems like having a feminist girlfriend involves a lot of negotiations that you eventually lose, and an equality that is, if nothing else, conveniently skewed towards the female: she may want to ask you out, share the housework, and insist that you ascribe to Marxism, but until that pesky matter of income inequality is solved, you’ll still need to pick up the check. So how can guys avoid the Bonoses of the world, out there trolling for someone with whom to watch Lifetime movies? What can we learn from Ms. Bonos about how not to date a feminist? It turns out quite a lot.

1. Read the Article

First, the fact that the article even exists is anti-feminist. Seeking out a partnership that results in any kind of lasting relationship is, by definition, a paean to the Patriarchy. I know this after reading excerpts from Lena Dunham’s book, which instructed in the joys of unrestricted pleasure-seeking and exhibitionism. The bonds of marriage are suffocating and immense, and any woman who would willingly subjugate herself to the archaic institution is merely contributing to its longevity. After the first line of Bonos’s article, any self-respecting feminist worth her Margaret Atwood novel collection should have immediately taken off her bra and burned it, then filmed an angry reaction for her Tumblr page.

2. Be a Dude

But, since modern feminism lacks a set of concrete doctrinal positions, you’re not out of the woods. It is still entirely possible that a certain segment of the feminist population may try to date you. Fortunately, just like a woman, Bonos is incapable of making up her mind, so her cardinal advice to potential female suitors — define what you want and ask for it — lacks the kind of intellectual gravitas that typically accompanies your average Tinder profile. To attract a feminist on the prowl, you need not be actively involved in social justice pursuits, willing to pursue an egalitarian home life, or for that matter, be an object of sexual attraction for the feminist in question. You simply have to detest sexism, which Bonos is also loath to define, and condescendingly flatter your date’s quixotic crusades and pointless passions. In a glowing example of exactly what I mean, Bonos lists this particular pickup line as a real winner: “I find it really attractive how successful you are.” The subtext, of course, is: “I find it really attractive how successful you are at checking your privilege and tearing down outmoded heteronormative and patriarchal institutions.” If you’d like to avoid ending your date snuggling on a hemp blanket and falling asleep under the stars listening to the neighboring drum circle, not making this kind of first move should be fairly simple.

3. Be Interesting

Your best shot at deterring the affections of a feminist, however, may be hidden in Bonos’s simplest advice to her permanence-seeking peers. Among potential topics of conversation with a feminist boyfriend are the historical ramifications of sexism, the impact of gender inequality on economics, and postmodern feminist literature, all of which, while noble pursuits for career academics mired in the welfare state of the university system, don’t exactly make for fascinating pillow talk.  It seems you should be able to avoid any serious relationships with feminists by the simple act of being interesting — or at least, more interesting than your average drying can of Dutch Boy.

4. Be Normal

In short, you can probably avoid all of Bonos’s suggested advances just by being, well, normal, which is the real tragedy at the core of her outline. Sure, there are some guys who are insufferable jerks, but the fact is, the vast majority of people — including the vast majority of men — are nice people trying to do the best they can with what they have. Ultimately where Bonos and her feminist brethren fail is in not recognizing that the transgressions of the past, and the sins of the few, don’t determine the course of the future, or color the lives of the many. 

Worse still, marking boxes on a dating checklist won’t weed out the bad apples, it’ll just ensure you waste more time sorting through the bad apples you agree with politically. Just like those who sold the “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” T-shirts hid their women-only sweatshop-driven manufacturing process behind the guise of a nonprofit, a spotless Democratic voting record and a recently acquired respect for Emma Watson can still hide a wealth of incompatibility. It’s best, perhaps, to just relax and take people as they come, with an open heart and an open mind.

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