Open letter to men who want to debate feminism on OKCupid

To continue the theme of dating while feminist, I have a rant to make. And I just took a heaping dose of NyQuil, so let’s see if I can get this all out before I am knocked unconscious. Ready, set, go!

Dear Boys Who Message Me From Online Dating Websites,

It is not my job to defend or explain feminism to you. This is not my responsibility, nor do I “owe” it to you. If it comes up in conversation, fine. If you are polite and curious, fine. But if you immediately take an oppositional stance and challenge my feminist beliefs, well, goodbye. I have better things to do than try to convince people who are not interested in being convinced, especially straight men who assume feminism to be a form of “reverse-sexism.” And when I try to avoid having that pointless “conversation” with you, it is not a forfeit. It is not your victory, unless you are trying to win at being a prick.

Writing that I am a feminist in my profile is not an invitation for debate. I do not message you because you say you are religious just to tell you I think religion is a load of hooey and challenge you to convince me otherwise. Likewise, I do not message you to debate your belief that Nickelback is the best band ever. Really, I just assume you’re not a good match for me and move on. The thing about feminism is that it’s a world view – a frame of reference.  If you do not share it, we probably won’t be a good fit. It’s nothing personal, but I’m just not that into you, so move along.

There are certain times and places where I do feel it is important and worth it to have that debate. I put in the grueling effort (and believe me, it is grueling) to try to convince the people in my life who matter. I will always fight the good fight to expand my father’s understanding of trans issues or convince my old friend that women often act differently than men because they are socialized to, not because their vaginas secretly control their behavior. I will even put in a certain amount of effort to educate “the masses” through blogging and activism because the masses matter a lot more than you – a random person I have never met, in whom I have no vested interest.

Look, I hate to be a jerk (no really, I do hate to because it probably confirms all of your pig-headed assumptions about feminists being bitches) but I just don’t want to have this conversation with you. You didn’t join this online dating site to defend your position on life, the universe and everything. You joined in an attempt to find someone you could date, and so did I. Sadly, it’s not going to be you. There are lots of feminist dudes out there, many of whom don’t even realize they are feminists. Whether they use the word or not, they get it and I’d rather spend my time getting to know them than waste it arguing with you.

Good night and good luck,

Leah