Daily Life

Why I’m wary of men who call themselves feminists

There was the guy I dated briefly who told me, when we met, that it was so cool I was a feminist – that he’d never date a girl who wasn’t. After it ended, he bitterly spat, “I felt like I could never be myself around you because I had to watch what I said about race or gender.” Dudebro translation: “How dare you stop me from being racist and sexist!”

There was the boyfriend who charmed me on our first date with his extensive knowledge of riot grrl bands and told me some of his best friends were feminists. As our relationship continued, though, it became littered with gaslighting and contrarian arguments on feminism, gender and race. He would bait me, wind me up until I exploded, and then accuse me of misrepresenting his opinions and overreacting.

There was my friend’s ex, who proclaimed that he was no longer a feminist when accused of mansplaining.

The more feminist friends I asked, the more similar stories I heard.

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