Is He Actually a Feminist or Just Trying to Get into Your Pants? Here are Some Questions to Ask

By: Zahra Fouad

You know how sometimes you wish that people can just have a trailer above their heads showing who they really are? Unfortunately, this is not realistic although it would come in handy when trying to figure out whether a guy is faking being a feminist or not. If you can not see someone’s trailer, you can definitely do some effort to find out if he’s a real feminist or just trying to get into your pants. In other words, is he ‘woke fishing’ or not? Woke fishing is basically when someone pretends to hold more progressive views than they really do. So, in order to figure out whether a guy is ‘woken fishing’ and pretending to be a feminist, ask him the following questions:

1. How do you practice feminism in your everyday life?

Words without actions are just useless, so he may be preaching something he does not practice. Ask him about what he does in his everyday life to contribute to ideas around feminism. Beware of boys who only share posts about feminism or attend human rights events. They have to tell you about the conscious effort that they do in order to contribute to feminism. Does he really try to educate those that are around him? Is he genuinely fighting gender stereotypes or is he one of those guys that lives with a ‘double-standard’ when it comes to gender roles and other issues related to gender? Does he genuinely tell you things that show that he is changing himself and processing the norms he internalized from patriarchy?

2. Do you think that feminism is about female superiority?

Let’s admit that a lot of guys think that feminism is about female superiority and females being better than males. If his answer to this question is yes, then he is definitely a fake feminist. If his answer is something like: ‘Women should be so much better than men’ or that ‘Women deserve so much better than men’, you have to run because he is a fake feminist. Feminism is not about superiority; feminism is supposed to be about equality that does not only benefit women, but it also benefits men because patriarchy, hegemonic masculinity, emphasized femininity, etc.. are issues that are important for both men and women.

3. What are some terms related to feminism?

He has got to know the definitions of the basic terms related to feminism. He has to know terms like patriarchy, internalized misogyny, etc..He also can not just define them in like one or two sentences because if he does that, then he would have probably googled it. He has to know what words, what actions and what situations are related to the term being used. For example, he can not just discuss huge issues in feminism like consent, saying that it is important without describing situations in which consent is valid and invalid. Bottom line is that he has got to be able to have fruitful intellectual conversations with you about feminism when you ask him this question.

4. What things are considered to be women’s rights?

If he truly knows what feminism is, he would know the purpose of it in addition to knowing things that women suffer from. If he just keeps going in circles and saying so many things with ‘should’ or ‘much’ without actually clarifying what these things are, then he is definitely a fake feminist. For instance, he would tell you he does not understand why men and women are unequal, but he would never actually tell you how unequal they are.

Watch out for fake feminists out there. If you are a guy, please do not fake feminism because a girl would appreciate you if you tell her the truth. Plus, there is nothing wrong with asking the girl you like to educate you about feminism.

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