It is becoming increasingly hard to tell on first meeting which dudes are legit and which are pretending to be something they’re not. Some men have figured out that women like to, y’know, be respected and treated as equals. So they use this knowledge to infiltrate our social circles and masquerade as chill, feminist babes.
But the fakers will slip up at some point. They’ll say or do something that leaves you feeling uncomfortable or degraded and in that moment you will know the truth: they are not as woke as they’re making out. Here are some of the telltale signs that their wokeness is not what it seems…
1. He says you’re “not like other girls” and frames it as a compliment. “Girls” aren’t like anything because they are all – shocker – individuals. Do they seriously think trashing our entire gender as a way of ‘complimenting’ us is going to work?
2. He paints all his exes in a negative light. Sure, some people have really crappy exes. But if he’s had a few long-term relationships and tells you ALL of those women were “crazy” or “bitches”, then chances are he is in fact the crazy bitch.
3. He “loves” that you don’t wear much make up because he “likes the natural look”. He thinks it’s his place to comment on how anyone chooses to present themselves? Do one.
4. He doesn’t speak up when his friends make sexist jokes. Or when they use degrading language to describe other women. If he just sits there while his mates boast about “smashing” women and “sticking it in them”, he is just as bad as them.
5. All his favourite books are written by men. All the TV shows he watches, all the music he listens to, all the films he loves are made by men. Unless he regularly engages with the work of women (and does this without boasting about it), he will have no actual clue about the female experience.
6. Not one of his close friends is female. Erm, alarm bells! Does he not consider women interesting enough to have as pals unless he is going to fuck them? Did he used to have gal pals but they got sick of his sexist BS and did a runner? Either way, not having a solitary female friend is pretty weird for an adult man.
7. He uses having a sister, or mother, to qualify his feminism. “Of course I’m a feminist,” he cries. “I’m a mummy’s boy!”. A dude who only respects women because one pushed them of their vagina, and not because they are, I dunno, HUMAN BEINGS, is a waste of your time.
8. He thinks it’s so cool you’re into [insert stereotypically male interest here]. Sports, science fiction, riding motorbikes… He’s always praising you for being into these things because he genuinely does not believe women like them.
9. He passes any kind of judgement on your sex drive. If he shames you for wanting it all the time, or not as much as he does, then he does not respect you.
10. He constantly interrupts you and talks over you. Is what he is saying more important or relevant than what you were? No.
11. He doesn’t make an effort with your female friends but always tried to impress the guys in your friendship group. Trying to get in with “the lads” and ignoring your female bezzers is a classic dick move.
12. He pressures you to do stuff you’re not comfortable with. Respecting other people’s boundaries makes you an honourable human being. Anyone who pushes you to do something you don’t want to is trash.
13. He still consumes entertainment made by, or starring, known abusers. No, dude, you cannot separate art and “the artist”. If a man mistreats a woman, call them out and boycott their work. It’s really that simple.
14. He cries “not all men” when you talk about rape culture or objectification. And sure, we’re not saying all men are X or Y. But derailing a very important conversation just to protect the image of men is undermining and frustrating.
15. He mansplains things to you. This could be anything from your actual job to the very notion of feminism.