There have been times in my life when I have doubted, are there really liberated guys out there who want to date liberated women? Sometimes, when you are swiping on Tinder, you lose faith. (Perhaps Tinder is not the best place to look for feminist men!)
Now, after the historic Women’s Marches, now being called the largest demonstrations in U.S. history, with more than 3.3 million attending more marches in more than 500 cities across the country, I can say with more confidence that you are out there. To all the feminist men at the Women’s Marches, whether you came out to join us or you were home watching the kids so your partners could come. We see you. We heart you. We want you. Men supporting female quality is hot!
The Women’s Marches on January 21 showed that when women lead, they bring out the soul of a country.
But it wasn’t just women at the Women’s Marches. There were also lots of men at the march in DC–of all ages, races, and sexualities. (As well as trans people.) A lot of men watched kids so women could go.
The Women’s March was a great reminder that millions of people believe in female equality, but also that there are lots of feminist men out there.
So for a moment, I want to pay tribute to the men. The men who support nasty women!
We don’t need male approval but it’s great to have male allies. We feminist women need you feminist men now more than ever now that we have a pussy-grabbing president until we don’t.
At one point, I was meandering through the crowd in the Women’s March in DC with my friends and I overheard a guy use the words “male privilege.” Where in my life did I ever hear men talk about their male privilege? I didn’t hear the context of what he was talking about, but I could imagine the privilege to negotiate more bluntly at work without fear of being viewed as a bitch, to be single without being called a spinster, to go out at night without fear.
Here’s a guy who acknowledges male privilege and speaks of it. Right on.
I whispered to my friend Sara, “There are so many cute feminist boys here. Awwww.”
A few minutes later I saw a guy with a sign “END LOCKER ROOM TALK.” Again, awesome. A man who wants to challenge the idea that pussy-grabbing without consent is a joke. Swoon again.
For those of us who are single, the feminist men at the march are a great reminder that there are liberated men who want to date a strong woman. I definitely was not thinking of the Women’s March in DC as a place to pick up a guy but by the end of the march, I was thinking, wow, the world is full of way more feminist men than I knew.
The next morning I held a quirkybrunch for single women who had attended the march. We discussed the men at the march and agreed they were awesome. “I want to meet a man like that,” one of the women said.
I told them, “I’m going to put a new picture on my online dating profile: a photo of myself in my pink pussyhat. With the caption, at the Women’s March in DC.” (I can’t let them think it’s a fashion statement devoid of feminist context!)
For my male readers, I’m not telling you to call yourself as a feminist as a come-on. But if you do support women openly and embody feminism you are going to win with great women. Wouldn’t any self-respecting heterosexual or bisexual woman want a woman-supporting man in her bed?
For married women the feminist men at the Women’s Marches are a reminder of all the men out there who want equal relationships.
I was talking with my friend’s husband who stayed home with their two kids, young boys under the age of 6 so she could come out and not spend all her time tracking down the kids. He said, “A lot of it doesn’t affect me personally as a white guy, but I think expecting that people are treated fairly with compassion and dignity is what we all expect. There’s this American idea of fairness. The American dream is about fairness, even if it’s not true we should strive for it.”
At the end of the day, we got our tired selves home to my friend’s neighborhood on the metro. Crowds were streaming off the metro into Takoma Park just outside DC and when we emerged onto the plaza by the metro entrance we passed a sweet, nerdy-looking guy in his thirties with a baby stroller. He was holding a sign scrawled on 8.5 x 11 paper written in blue-ball-point pen that simply said, “THANK YOU.” He must have been there to wait for his wife as she came home and to thank all the others who had gone to the Women’s March.
We said, “Thank you!” to him as we walked by. Really moved by him.
He said, “This is what a feminist looks like,” pointing to the baby inside the stroller. I couldn’t tell if the baby was a girl or a boy.
My friend Sara said, “You too.”
Here are some more of the men from the marches in DC and NY. NY photos supplied by my hottie feminist male friend in Brooklyn.
While I can assure you that I think it is great that you are publicly applauding men who stand up for women, when it is done so in the context of wanting to date them I want to scream “we’ve been around for decades!!! Were you overlooking us?!?” I can only speak from my and my friend’s experiences but I can tell you that, often, pro-feminist men can find them selves considered “outside the dating pool” precisely because we are behaving differently then most men and in return we are relegated to being the “I feel so safe with you, you’re like a brother to me” type friend or the “you’re so easy to talk to, you’re like one of the girls” type friend. I just find it perplexing that in 2017 (given the countless evolved men I know and have known for 35 years) you find it surprising that we exist in large numbers. I just wonder if you are passing us over and would suggest you take a closer look at some of the men you know who are clearly feminist and see if you can find a way to see them as dateable, as sexy. Also, (Ugh, I almost regret typing this because I am typically not a PC nazi, but I feel obligated to point it out) it seems incongruent in the context of praising feminist men, to sexualize them – I’m speaking mainly about the title of this piece (I know, I know, it’s just in fun) – all I thought of was Steve Martin’s innocent and loving tweet concerning Carrie Fisher’s passing and how much furor was cast his way (google it if you don’t know what I am referencing). If a man wrote an article, no matter how well meaning, about hottie feminist women I’m pretty sure he would be pounced on. It’s ironic that you set out to praise the visibility this type of man and somehow I ended up feeling more invisible. Who knows… that may have more to do with my own baggage than anything else, but I just wanted to share what my experience was. I know we’re all struggling together towards the same end… we just need to keep talking to each other!
Hey there, Thanks for writing this comment. I think it’s brave to do so and it’s an important conversation to have.
I can really only speak for myself and that’s all I do here.
If I look at my past, I think it’s probably true that in my twenties I overlooked some “nice guys” in favor of “bad boys” — not always but sometimes. In my thirties I became conscious of a whole cluster of patterns that were ultimately not helpful, and now that I am older I value niceness, caring and the desire to be in a relationship much more. I definitely want a truly feminist guy and that involves caringness.
As I have gotten older I have seen how entrenched sexism is. How ingrained sexism is. For men and women. None or very few of us are free of it.
The Women’s March was a whole new scale so I think it was just an outpouring of feminist-minded men supporting kick-ass women, and that was great to see.
So it’s a good question to ask, have you always been there? Have we not seen you or overlooked you? Have I? I even asked myself that question during the march if you want to know the truth.
Also, what does it really mean to be a feminist guy?
When I see my female friends with male partners who truly support them to be their fullest selves I think that’s amazing. I also note there is a lot of de-selfing of women that goes on in relationships. There’s a lot of unconscious sexism that goes in on both men and women.
As far as the last piece about objectification, I wavered on that myself. It was a joke to call the feminist men hotties for fun and because I thought they were but I know what you mean. I hate it when people call me a hottie and don’t see the totality of who I am. Ha, admitting people call me a hottie but they do!
I know about that Steve Martin comment. Certainly it’s more dangerous and objectionable when a man jokingly talks about a woman being a hottie as her most important trait because that’s what we do to women and girls all the time–make their looks the most important thing. And a qualifier to getting hired, getting on TV, getting dances in tango, getting a role, and on and on.
It’s funny when we women talk about men as hotties because it’s a role reversal–but you’re right, it’s the same thing. It’s objectification.
Ultimately I care about men as human beings just as I care about women as human beings.
I agree, let’s keep the conversation going!