Craigslist Dating Experiment: Looking For A “Feminist Man”

There are lots of good reasons not to go looking for love on Craigslist — namely, getting stabbed by some creep. But The Frisky will condone Craigslist dating “experiments” of the feminist variety, like the one conducted by Alexandra Tweten, a blogger for Ms. magazine. Tweten posted a W4M personals ad on Craigslist in L.A., describing herself as a feminist journalist, and urging only pro-choice feminist guys to respond.

The responses, as you can imagine, were discouraging. (But at least she only got two photos of penises, right?)Tweten posted her ad under the heading “Looking for a liberal guy”:

I don’t know any guys in the LA area. Looking for friends/casual dating. I’m a Midwest girl who moved out to LA recently to follow my dream of being a (feminist) journalist. I’m a news junky. I graduated from college last year. 22, 5’7″, green eyes. …

You are between 21 and 27, smart, and NOT a creeper. Do not respond unless you consider yourself a feminist/pro-choice. I would love it if you have good grammar, too. I don’t really have a type but send a pic and describe what we have in common.

Want to get a drink sometime? Write “feminist” in the subject. And don’t bother if you don’t know what a feminist is! Hint: It doesn’t mean female/women’s superiority.

Tweten received 68 responses for her Craiglist personals ad. Here are some of the doozies:

Real men do no [sic] like left wing feminists. Just saying.

Feminists killed Marriage and Trust [sic] between men and women. That’s why there are so many divorces and single parents in the western world.

I hope you wrote that ad from the kitchen, where you belong.

Well, I’m definitely a feminist: I mare sure they pay their own way, that they make the first move a fair share of the time, allow them to drive and make a fair share of the plans and decisions, even!

And my favorite:

I am a single white college educated 27 year old male who is a strong believer in Female Surpremacy [sic] and Feminism. I love everything about it.

Fortunately, the majority of Alexandra Tweten’s responses weren’t this bad. I just wish we could have read what some of the positive ones were. But at least the negative responses underscore an interesting aspect of courtship: Some men are completely undeterred by obvious differences in political outlook.

Two examples from my own life: An ex-boyfriend who I dated after college first asked me out in high school by inviting me to a steakhouse for dinner right after I became a vegetarian. (I said no. Then said yes to a date seven years later. He turned out to be a jerk.) And this other guy who I also know from high school vehemently disagrees with my opinions about abortion rights in Frisky articles that I post on Facebook — sometimes writing downright misogynistic and ignorant comments — yet he still calls and texts me every time he’s in New York City to see if I want to hang out. Um, no, I don’t, dude.

If someone goes out of their way to say in a public place — be it Craigslist or Facebook or whatever — to identify themselves a certain way, it obviously means that identity is important to him or her. I’m not saying that people of two political stripes can’t get along or even fall in love; rather, I’m saying in Tweten’s case, and my own case, it’s arrogant for men to reach out to a woman who clearly identifies who she is and what she wants when he is the exact opposite. What, you think you can convince her of the error of her ways? Or is she just a challenge for you? Or would you like to be a challenge for her? I’d love to know what’s going on there psychologically.

Maybe some losers got their jollies off by writing obnoxious responses to Alexandra Tweten’s personal ad looking for a feminist man. But I’m also inclined to think some guys just seem hella oblivious. [Ms. Magazine]