We all know the classic relationship deal breakers: if they’re rude to waiters, mean to animals and children, or blatantly racist, they’re out. Beyond that, especially as someone who identifies as a feminist, there are some feminist deal breakers that every girl should have. You don’t even need to identify as a feminist to make these important. At the end of the day, these are some pretty basic ways to tell if someone (especially a dude) is a good person or not. It isn’t about being a social justice warrior, it’s about avoiding problematic behavior that can make things between you two messy.
Although this is starting to change, it’s still true that, a lot of the time, girls are taught to “please” or to be paranoid about coming off as too off-putting or too difficult and high-maintenance. The truth is, when it comes to picking a partner, it’s okay to have standards, and it’s equally okay to speak up if they’re being awful. It’s okay to dump them if they don’t change behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable. Of course, you don’t need to be completely in sync with the person you’re dating, but you should definitely be on the same page with certain things. Good partners champion your equal rights and respect your autonomy. That said, here are some feminist deal breakers every girl should have. They aren’t too much to ask for!
They're Pro-LifeThis one's tricky. You don't have to be pro-abortion to be pro-choice. You can write off abortion forever as an option for you if it's not something you would ever do or condone, however, it is occasionally medically necessary, life saving, or just plain any woman's choice to get an abortion, if she needs one. This person who is pro-life is not likely to be open to talking about different kinds of contraception and probably isn't someone you want to be having sex with. Now that that's been said, shout out to SCOTUS for slaying this weekend on behalf of reproductive justice. Source: iStock
They Think The Wage Gap Is A ConspiracyIt's 2016 and it's still true: Women don't get paid the same as men do for equal work. The wage gap is even greater among women of color v. white men. So yes, random dude, I'm sure you and all of your friends make the same $15/hr at your summer job, but in the greater scheme of things, when it comes to wages earned by men and women who hold the same job position, women get paid less. If bae can't see that this inequality exists and actually discounts it by saying it doesn't exist - I've seen it happen - that's a deal breaker. We should all be with someone who'll champion our equality.Source: iStock
They Prioritize Their Orgasm Above All ElseThey care about their pleasure when it comes to sex and... yeah, that's about it. If you get off, too, that's good for you, but make no mistake, the main event of sex - every time, without fail - is their orgasm, not yours. Part of being a good partner is being focused on giving your partner pleasure, not being so inwardly focused and selfish. That might fly for a one night stand, but when it comes to being in a relationship with someone, that act is going to get tired real fast.Source: iStock
They Make Rape JokesMemes of Bill Cosby and Snow White, saying problematic shit like "it's not rape if you yell 'surprise,'" and defending Brock Turner, among a host of other shenanigans, is a one way ticket to getting dumped. Sexual assault isn't funny. Victim blaming isn't funny. Don't expect feminist partners to have a chill attitude when you try to pull this shit because it's uncomfortable and it makes us feel unsafe with you. Source: iStock
They Don't Listen When You Say NoNO MEANS NO, OMG. Of course, this is true when it comes to sex, but it's true for smaller things also, like if you tell them to stop making fun of you or forcing you to go somewhere you don't want to. If they take "no" as an invitation to discuss or flat out ignore your request, that's not cool. They don't respect your opinion or autonomy and that's not a partner that you want to have in the long run. It's all fun and jokey at first, but enough will be enough one day, and it may be too late. Source: iStock
They Act Like You Cut Their Dick Off When You Pay For DatesChill, heterosexual men of the world. I had a friend's ex flip out on her when she bought him a coffee. Why?! How fragile is your masculinity, sir? If they have something to say any time you subvert gender expectations, that's not a good sign - it could mean that they truly don't see women as equal to men, and that's just gross. How about you learn to accept some kindness and suck it up. Source: iStock
They Body Shame YouIt's summer! That means it's time for random men to tell you what you should and shouldn't be wearing. Ugh. Whether it's telling you what to wear, making you feel bad about your body, monitoring what you eat... really, the list goes on. Body shaming can take on many forms and they're all problematic and hurt. Your body is your business. Sure, you want your partner to be healthy and happy, but when it comes to being overly critical or outwardly shaming them, that's one hundred percent not okay. Source: iStock
They Have Heteronormative, Sexist Expectations Of You In Your RelationshipA women's place is in the kitchen, serving men, and staying home with babies, right? It's 2016, yeah? I'm just checking. Because last I checked, a woman's place is wherever she wants to be. While many of you might not be married or have babies, dating someone with these ideals sets you up to encounter a whole lot of gender biased micro-aggressions within your relationship. These are the people who get very offended if you don't behave, dress, or act a certain way within your relationship. They have rigid beliefs about the right and wrong way to be a woman or a man. In addition to being harmful towards women, these ideals bring about toxic masulinity, which isn't good for your partner either.Source: iStock
They Think Feminism Isn't Real Or NecessaryThey diss feiminsm and gender equality every single chance they get. Denying that a problem exists doesn't mean that it goes away. Saying that women are too sensitive or angry just because they're feminists is not cool. Beyond that, they don't think that feminism can effect real change and make jokes about it just to drive the point home that they think equal rights is laughable. Yeah, no thanks. Boy, bye.Source: iStock
They're Racist, Homophobic, Xenophobic, Transphobic, Classist, Or AbleistIntersectionality, y'all. So, they're down with equal rights for women, except for trans women who should definitely still use the men's room because they're "not really women." Yeah, sorry. No can do. Feminism encapsulates a lot of other movements. At least, good feminism is as intersectional and inclusive as possible and accounts for many other experiences beyond cisgender, able bodied, white women. If bae thinks other kinds of people are lesser than for shitty reasons, that's inherently anti-feminist. This person is an ass hole.Source: iStock
What are your feminist deal breakers? Are any of these deal breakers you’d actually be okay with? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.