Imbawula is a monthly storytelling initiative which brings together four storytellers from different walks of life to share their experiences – whether inspiring, humorous, touching or thought provoking – with a view to exposing a shared human experience. Pontsho Pilane navigates the all too common pitfalls of dating while feminist.
There is a special kind of stress that comes with dating cis-hetero men while feminist.
There’s a problem with the one-size-fits-all wisdom commonly intoned during dating discussions (“Just put yourself out there! After jumping through the hoops of answering questions such as “where are you from? ” one too many times, you start feeling that dates are no longer probable sources of a deep, meaningful relationship, but rather deep, dark pits of despair. You tend to be sucked of all your energy as if you’ve been set upon by a Harry Potter dementor. Don’t feel the need to go into some long, drawn-out explanation either.
It might sound pretty reasonable when you first hear it except for the fact that it’s utter bullshit. It took me years of dating before I finally started ignoring this type of “practical” advice. For introverts, first dates are minefields of small talk and mindless chatter. if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it, would this date be just as bad? As a result, I spent the following weekend on the couch, exhausted, spiraling down the rabbit hole of a bad television binge, barely able to peek around the door when the delivery guy dropped off my take-out. If you have a date scheduled that evening and you just can’t go, so be it.
A man who is not intimidated by a woman’s autonomy; whose love is tainted by entitlement.
You don’t want someone who sees feminist women as a challenge, something they can tame.
Essentially, you want a and you don’t come across those everyday, so the struggle continues. Pontsho Pilane – a journalist and activist – told a compelling story about this challenge at Imbawula – an initiative designed to nurture storytelling while encouraging literacy.
She talks about going on a horrible date with a guy who thought she was “too hot to be a feminist” and falling in love with an insensitive guy who turned out to have a devastating secret. Pilane opened her story with “Hashtag dating while feminist should be categorised as an extreme sport,” and judging from the crowd’s reaction, they echoed her sentiments.