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To: Dave. From: A Feminist.

Yesterday News-PressNow.com published an article by columnist Dave Hon titled, “Why I’ll never date a feminist.” In it Hon argues that feminists hate men, that he doesn’t believe there’s a wage gap or a culture of rape on college campuses, and that “People who are more loyal to their gender and not their significant other don’t make good partners.” Now, Dave, I’m about to tear your article apart, but let’s be clear: I’m a feminist so I’m definitely doing this because I hate you for having a penis. It’s for sure not because you’re flat out wrong and need to be called out for your ignorance. Nope, it’s definitely the me-hating-you-because-you’re-a-man thing.

Let’s start with your belief that feminists inherently hate men. Stereotype much? It’s pretty easy to write feminism off if it’s just a movement made up of a bunch of man-haters, right, Dave? The truth is that feminism is a multi-faceted movement that comes in many different brands and flavors, and women who choose to define themselves as feminists do so for many different reasons. Remember the whole, “This is what a feminist looks like” campaign? Probably not. Let me explain. The idea behind that campaign was to debunk the standard and stereotypical image of a feminist: The Birkenstock wearing, bra burning, body hair growing, man hating feminist, by showing that there isn’t a singular feminist look.

The Radical Notion that Women are People

Anyone can be a feminist. Men can be feminists! Do you think that male feminists hate themselves, Dave? Would love to hear your argument on that.

You also don’t believe that there’s a wage gap or a culture of rape on college campuses. You don’t actually back up your opinions, you just say that you disagree. Well guess what, you don’t get to disagree with facts; that’s Trump’s job. First, the wage gap. While it’s possible to quibble over exactly why there is a wage gap, there’s no denying that women are often paid less than their male counterparts for doing the same work. I could point to any number of articles that definitively show that there is a wage gap. Here’s one published by the American Association of University Women.

Your belief that there isn’t a culture of rape on college campuses is harder to debunk because of the inherent fluidity of the word “culture,” but rapes on college campuses are on the rise and it would be short-sighted to think that they’re all isolated incidents. This past January, the Huffington Post published an article that cited a study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the data is staggering. When as many as one in four women experience sexual assault in college, it can’t be a coincidence. It can be the result of a system that has taught men that they are entitled to women’s bodies, that no just means “keep asking,” and if you are drunk, your sexual assault does not count.  When courts deny justice to victims by giving rapists a slap on the wrist, it only makes others more likely to commit similarly heinous acts, thus perpetuating this problem. In short, Dave, you’re wrong.

But let’s get back to the reason why you wrote your article. You wanted to explain to the world why you’ll never date a feminist. You wrote, “People who are more loyal to their gender and not their significant others don’t make good partners. They will always look at you as inherently more fortunate than them. They’ve bought into the ‘battle of the sexes’ mentality and it often pervades their perceptions of romance. Romance turns into a power struggle rather than a partnership.” My question is, have you ever dated a feminist? I find it highly unlikely that you would’ve written these things if you had.

Let me give you an example from my own life to counter your “argument.” I am married to a man whom I love to the moon and back, and I am very happy in my marriage. I also believe that my husband benefits from male privilege because ALL men (especially white men) do. It doesn’t mean that I hold it against him personally, that I secretly hate him, or that we’re engaged in a “battle of the sexes.” It’s perfectly possible, and let’s face it, common, for a feminist to be in a healthy relationship with a man while still believing that he benefits from male privilege.

I could keep going, but I think I’ll stop there. If you decide that you’ll never date a feminist then that’s your choice, (After reading your article, I frankly can’t imagine any feminists who would want to date you), but don’t think you can go around stating myths as facts and not get burned for it. If you do read this, I know you’ll probably think of me as overly-combative, aggressive, etc…but remember, these are qualities that you would celebrate in a man, and that is why we need feminism.

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Larisa Klebe
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JWA Program Manager Larisa Klebe.
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How to cite this page

Klebe, Larisa. "To: Dave. From: A Feminist.." 9 September 2016. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 18, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/to-dave-from-feminist>.

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