8 March: On the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day, dating app Ok Cupid is sending a notification to its male users.
“Profiles of men who call themselves feminists are more likely to be liked!“Some people didn’t expect this kind of encouragement. On apps or in real life, Flaunting your feminism has become a common flirting argument By these gentlemen of the post-me too era. Anneliese, Sandrine, Alex* and Elise let themselves be tempted. They dated men who said they cared about gender equality. Then they got scared. Decay, not sharing household chores, misogyny, assaults…they weren’t any better than the others.
In August 2020, an American journalist invented a word to describe this phenomenon: “fishing”. From the term “awake” which can be translated into French as progressive and “fishing”, like hameçonnage. For some menReal style approach. And he mentioned the “Art of Seduction” website, which offers men tips for flirting, even dedicating an article to it: “Wokefishing: That’s a stupid idea for sleeping with feminists. “
But for sociologist Melanie Jurarrier, author of a book on male courtship, there are no fake feminists on the one hand who devised seduction techniques to capture women and on the other hand real feminists whose intentions are pure. Between the two, there is a whole host of behaviors that can meet the term “fishing.” “Many men consider themselves intimately feminists, progressives and use this to seduce women, more or less consciously.”
Disappointment increases when the man in question turns out to be poor. Sometimes the consequences are dire. Fortunately, there are signs that don’t deceive. Here is a small guide to avoid biting the bait.
who calls himself a feminist
“Some feel the need to shout it from the rooftops, it’s fishy,” laughs Anneliese. For this Lille resident, as for many activists, a self-described feminist is at best misguided, at worst dishonest. “A man cannot fully understand sexism, because he is not subject to it,” the thirtysomething defines.
Quebec sociologist Francis Dupuy-Dery listed the reasons why a man might join the feminist movement, in his article. Feminist Men: Buddies or Fake Friends?. According to him, those who display it publicly know they can benefit from it, particularly “the easy access to the bodies of feminists”.
With time and experience, Sandrine, a computer engineer, learned just that Distinguishing between beneficiaries and misguided men. “I’m trying to explain that I prefer the term ‘ally’ to men. If they get upset and angry, this is a bad signShe explains. It’s clearly better to embody feminist values than to display them as a banner to attract women.
Who uses the sex positive movement
On Twitter, women spread the word among themselves to warn each other. Someone asks “What is #MMM in dating apps?” Another replies, “It means ‘I’m a comic guy pretending to be a feminist to pick up chicks'”. Launched by Instagram account Euphoria and I#MMM originally stood for “Mixed Brilliant Minds,” “a beautiful mix of brilliant souls,” notes Charlene, the account’s creator. It calls for “association with the values of respect, acceptance, benevolence, and unbundling,” she explains. Over the past few months, this hashtag has been thriving in profiles on dating apps. But it often hides people who seek above all to “Sex is quickly consumed without transparency or respect for othersCharline continues. Far from the raw values of #MMM, so.
Who uses women to buy a picture
Elise, a 38-year-old Parisian publisher, has found that many of her former boyfriends, including the most recent, are now in relationships with feminists. I was attracted by his progressive rhetoric, his rhetoric The attitude is far from classic manhood. “One morning, I wasn’t quite awake, he hit me. I wasn’t against sex but it wasn’t good and it wasn’t nice. I told him, he was upset. He replied ‘Why didn’t you tell me no, I can rape you.'” Elise is then reprimanded for not pointing out Clearly to her disapproval, which she did not have time to express.
Today, this man is in a relationship with a feminist, who is 11 years younger than him. As for Elise, he thus benefits from the “baton of immunity”. “In his mind and the mind of those around him, he cannot be the author of violence against women, because he is with a feminist.” Anything she says against him with the tacit consent of her current partner will be nullified. “It drives me crazy to see these guys walking around with the ‘good guy’ label on, when we really know who they are,” Elise exasperates. She often hesitates to tell the truth about these men to their current companions. But the fear of disbelief prevails. “The day they want to know, I’ll be there.”
Elise, however, is very attentive to the outputs of the men she meets. At least what they say about them. “I pay attention to What do they say about their experiences during their relationshipElise analyzed. My ex is crazy”, it’s an absolute ‘red flag’ for Parisians.” Treating women crazy is a powerful and well-known way to silence and discredit them,” according to her analysis.
“I remember the man I met, a priori progressive.” Funny, erudite, works in the midst of culture. Perfect profile for this 38 year old editor. He tells her about a complicated breakup with his ex-wife, who would call him a “narcissistic pervert”. “I don’t give credit for that rather blanket expression that has no psychological truth,” she cautions. “But I still say to myself, ‘Be careful.'” His fears turned out to be well-founded.
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The one who makes women look like bitches
Alex was also cornered by a man who validated her and presented her as a feminist by those around her. She begins to doubt his sincerity during a party, when he defends his friend who touched a girl’s buttocks without her consent. “It’s a little flirtatious, and we’re not going to make a big fuss about it,” he says. Before sinking in: “It’s okay, it was a party and then I put on a miniskirt.” The 27-year-old Parisian cut short the conversation. “It was the beginning of the relationship, I didn’t want to sound boring. I thought to myself he didn’t realize what he was saying,” Alex admits. “I just hid my face.” She is reinforced by the entourage of this man, who affirms that he “respects women.” In fact, His behavior gets worse in the private sphere. “In bed, he had a slightly overbearing manner from the start. Then he decided he’d be there when and how he wanted. Whether I wanted it or not, it wasn’t his problem.” Facts that can be classified as rape, even if you don’t call it that.
Alex ends up ending the relationship. It took me a long time to get rid of the guilt. “I blame myself for not saying anything, for not interpreting the signs, when they were there from the start,” she recalls. She promised herself to listen to herself. “We teach girls not to force themselves, not to say anything, even in situations that make us uncomfortable, to force themselves a little bit,” she teases. From now on, she is alert to the slightest sign of discomfort and confronts men who make inappropriate comments.
Elise, she chooses another solution: to remain single. “At thirty-eight, it is not easy to live, she admits. We are so tired of the stereotype of the old maid that we are ready to accept everything as a couple. But today I am happier than” With all the men I have known, “she says. She does not exclude the possibility of a meeting Nice.But she knows now Discover misogynists who masked advances.
* Some first names have been changed
Article published in NEON Magazine in December 2021 to January 2022
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