Feminist Craigslist Dating Experiment: The Good

As a follow-up to my first post highlighting the “bad and ugly” anti-feminist responses I received to my Craigslist ad for feminist dating partners, I promised to feature some of the good. So here’s one of the first replies I received:

Thank you so much for actually being a feminist because most girls I know these days seem to be reactionary when it comes to the subject.

Adorable. After chatting on Skype and finding that we had similar interests in music, we met for coffee. While we didn’t talk specifically about feminist issues, we had great conversation on other subjects, like music. Unfortunately, this guy is practically a twin to an ex-boyfriend and, thus far, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I’ve dated him before.

Another response:

If I had to subscribe to any political ideology I would say I am a Socialist Democrat, though in terms of ideology I am closer to a Fourierist [Charles Fourier was said to have invented the word feminism in 1837]….I am pro-feminism.

Mmm–Socialist Democrat? Yes, please. After a video chat, we met at a bar for a pint and a vegan sausage. While he admitted that he didn’t know that much about feminism, he was definitely open to learning more. He let me go into detail about the article I had been fact-checking for the Spring issue of Ms. about George Tiller’s murderer Scott Roeder and seemed interested. (On newsstands May 23!)

While I was charmed by our conversation, he emailed the next day saying he wasn’t ready for romance yet, as he is still recovering from his last relationship. Boo.

Here are a few of the responses from those I have yet to meet:

[I am a] fellow admirer of socially responsible journalism (I was raised by newspaper editors…my favorite television show as a small child was ‘the news.’)…I know the difference between they’re, their and there, I also know the difference between your and you’re. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’m the best contraction-user I know. Bold statement, I’m sure…

This suitor kept me laughing throughout his hilarious 500-word response, which included the “5 worst things and 5 greatest things” about him. After conversing through e-mail, we decided to meet up, but unfortunately, he had a serious family crisis.

This one sounded earnest:

Maybe it’s because I was raised by women and a single mom but I’ve always been instilled with an open-minded and liberal perspective. … I had the pleasure of being taught by some wonderful professors who introduced me to a lot of the inequality we continue to face in our society. So yeah, I’m pro-choice too.

As did this one:

As for feminism–ostensibly it means equal rights for women, which sounds simple but it means examining what all human rights are as a whole, the deficit in which it exists for women, and then by default the areas of empowerment that can be improved upon to achieve equal rights. … Many men feel threatened because they don’t understand what feminism is, and can confuse this with their own questions about what it means to be masculine. The shooting from the hip conclusion of many men is that more equal rights for women somehow means less rights for them–as if it were a zero-sum game. An unfortunate conclusion.

Too bad this guy was 36; a little too old for my taste (I’m 22).

This experiment proved to me that: Yes, there are men out there who are happy to find out that you are a feminist, and that finding them on the Internet may be one way of weeding out the anti-feminists/idiots before the first date. I got the feeling that of the two I met face to face, both were pro-feminist and weren’t just saying that to get a date. Obviously, more research would need to be done to confirm this.

Image courtesy of Alexandra Tweten.

Comments

  1. You are a brave woman! I’m impressed with your findings, good luck!

  2. Melissa says:

    Wow, those responses constitute porn for me.

  3. I’m 22!

  4. It’s so funny– as an NYC-based male feminist, I’ve tried finding a feminist woman using cl a couple of times and had basically no luck (except for the inevitable spam). I wonder if LA is just better in this regard, or if there are more feminist men looking, or what.

  5. Are you telling these guys that you’re going on these dates intending to write about these experiences?

  6. wackyjacky says:

    Like somebody said before, you are brave. I would be scare to actually go out in dates with people I do not know. What if there is some crazy person out there? Well, those would be my feelings.
    But your ‘research’ definitely supports that there are feminist males out there. When I was 20 I gave up looking for one, right after that I found my feminist man in the place you would never look for one, the military. He is one truly feminist that fights against sexism in the military everyday.

  7. Someone needs to make a feminist dating site!

    • Wonderful idea! As a 29yo pro-feminist heterosexual man, it’s hard enough for me to find single women who don’t have antiquated ideas about gender roles. I can only imagine how hard it must be for a woman to find an equally enlightened man who is suitable for dating.

  8. Mario C says:

    I would love to date a feminist. I would rather not having to pay for the date, remember to open doors for her, offer compliments, walk on the outside, offer my jacket, and all that other stuff you don’t deal with when out with another guy. I think the concept of treating feminists equally would take the pressure off in dating.

  9. Which city did you try this in again? Was it LA? Maybe it’s time to move…

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