Best-Of Advice

On flirting

How should a male feminist flirt? (I get the impression that a little guide to this might help ease the symptoms of Nice Guy Syndrome sufferers…)

Oh my god, no. It is definitionally impossible to be a male feminist who suffers from Nice Guy Syndrome. The two couldn’t be more mutually exclusive. If you really are a male feminist, whatever social awkwardness you might be suffering should never be confused with something so gross as Nice Guy Syndrome.

What bugs me even more about this question is the assumption that courtship rituals are somehow different for male feminists than they are for other dudes. You’re not special because you identify as a male feminist. In fact, that’s not a label you get to claim for yourself, especially in this context. I’m sorry, but your behavior has to speak for itself.

How you should flirt as a male feminist is no different than how any dude should flirt, and quite frankly, there’s nothing I can tell you about flirting that shouldn’t be patently obvious to someone who claims to be a male feminist. But hey, since you asked, here’s my two cents:

First and foremost, be situationally aware. 90% of the awkward moments in the known universe could be avoided if guys would just pay attention to their surroundings before hitting on a girl.

Is it an appropriate time and place for you to flirt? Do you have any indication that your advances might be welcome? Is there anyone who might be made to feel uncomfortable if you started flirting? If you don’t have clear and positive answers to all of these questions, then any move you make will be a one way ticket to awkward town.

If you do have a handle on the situation, then it really just comes down to being respectful and not saying stupid shit. The goal is merely to telegraph a little bit of romantic intent through non-verbal cues.

Please note, I said romantic intent, not sexual intent. Leave your dick out of the equation. Communicating the idea that you find a woman attractive is not the same thing as communicating the idea that you want to fuck. If you fail to comprehend this simple distinction, then I assure you, you are not a male feminist, and for the sake of all womankind, you should probably never go out in public again.

Good luck with the flirting. Oh, and did I mention? Don’t say stupid shit.


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