Men interested in feminism are often accused of being “white knights.” They pretend to care because they think it’ll get them laid.
In a 2016 article for The Guardian, essayist Kate Iselin said most men who want to date feminist women are “outright predators who employ a bare-bones knowledge of feminist discourse to target any young woman whose politics so much as graze the notion of sex-positivity.”
Writer Sukriti Wahi calls this type of man a “softboy” in a 2019 article for ELLE Australia.
Even Saturday Night Live have a skit about male feminists from 2017 satirising the whole phenomenon.
While some women have shared their negative experiences with male feminists, and I by no means intend to dismiss that, I want to highlight an observation about prominent male conservatives who weaponise this rhetoric to discredit men who support feminism.
For example, Ryan Michler says it to Brian Rose.
Gad Saad says it to Jordan Peterson.
Jordan Peterson says it to Joe Rogan.
And this talking point is uncritically parroted by anti-feminist reactionaries like Michael Knowles.
Pretty soon, a large percentage of men think male feminists are creeps just trying to get laid rather than people who have come to a thoughtful decision about their values.
As journalist Laurie Penny writes in a 2021 article for The New Statesman, male feminists are framed as “weak-willed, sex-starved betas.” It couldn’t possibly be that these men have carefully considered their attitudes about society, no, they’re just trying to get their dick wet! Again, we see the reduction of men to their animal urges.
Funnily enough, Stick and Fetner (2020) found that self-identifying feminist men report having sex more recently and are more likely to report engaging in breast stimulation and performing oral sex on their partners than non-feminists. That is, male feminists are having more - and more varied - sex. Rudman and Phelan (2007) also found that for both men and women, when their partners showed more feminist attitudes, the individuals themselves reported greater relationship stability and enhanced sexual satisfaction.
Guys, don’t fake your interest in something just to pick up women. You can be open about your desire for casual sex without manipulating people. If you’re interested in feminism, learn about it from reputable sources.