Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Are Straight Men Saying They’re Feminists Just To Get Laid?

Are Straight Men Saying They’re Feminists Just To Get Laid?

The Debrief: Phenomenon not so different to the ‘Pink Panther’ thing where guys pretend they’re gay to get laid…

Have you ever encountered the sort of guys who bang on about how much they ‘love women’ but do mean things like cheat on their girlfriends and borrow all of their money and never pay it back and never even try to make them orgasm? Or have loads of girl friends who they’ll wind up and bitch about?

A whole bunch of women certainly have. They contributed to a think-piece about the phenomenon of ‘feminist for a fuck’, where straight men say that they’re feminists to get into a conversation with a feminist and then, eventually, ask her out. In the hope of nudies!

Nashwa Khan at Ravishly wrote up testimonials from her friends about this kind of guy. Tasmi Imlak summed it up with this story:

‘Being someone who is extremely vocal about feminism on Twitter, sometimes guys direct message me just to tell me that they’re feminists. As the conversation goes on, it turns out they’re trying to hit on me and using being feminist as some sort of pick-up line. This has happened to me on multiple occasions, and one guy even asked for nudes after telling me that he was a feminist.’

And another friend, Stella Boonshoft, who’s done a lot on body-positive feminism, said:

‘I got tons of emails from guys saying they “believed in my cause” and stuff like that, and then would go on to say something pointless about how they personally are attracted to me or wanted to sleep with me. Which, of course, negated any claims they had about supporting my cause.’

It’s pretty reminiscent of Pink Panthers – men who either pretend to be gay, at least enough to get into gay clubs, where they’ll then try to get off with straight girls, some of whom have deliberately gone to a gay club to not be the target of male sexual advances.

The solution? The way men can helpfully engage with feminism? Nashwa asked her friend Robert what his advice would be to men who want to identify as feminists: ‘Do the work. Talk to other men about it, and try to dismantle traditional, anti-intersectional masculinity in your own lives and the lives of the men around you.’

He added: ‘At the same time, listen to, assist and learn from non-men, but don’t be afraid to challenge bigotry from anyone of any gender as long as you aren’t being bigoted about it yourself.’

Our simple solution? If you want to be a feminist don’t just say it loads and loads, do it, be it! Which means treating women and men with equal respect. Duh.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Is ‘Meninism’ Another Sign We’re Facing A Crisis Of Masculinity?

It’s Complicated Trying Not To Be A Douchebag As A Man In This Wave Of Online Feminism

Unpicking #MeninistTwitter – The Frustrated Male Backlash To Solange’s Attack On Jay-Z

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski 

Tags: FFS News, Feminism