After the Aziz Ansari episode, a thought:
Want, as a single male heterosexual, to be a radical feminist?
Make it your rule that there is no such thing as anything that could remotely be construed as sexual contact on the first date.
YOU say no.
By saying no, you’re saying yes to that woman’s humanness.
Talk, hang out. Find out the beginnings of what makes this woman tick as a unique creature. Learn a smidgen of her hopes and dreams and fears and longings. Have a modest dinner and then splurge on expensive coffee and dessert with more conversation if this female human person with whom you’ve spent dinner is interesting.
Affirm their intellect and emotions, not their body or even their outfit.
There will be plenty of time for complicated stuff: understanding one another’s moral imaginations and convictions about sexuality; navigating the intricacies of consent and desire; figuring out how far is far enough at given levels of life-commitment.
But on the first evening together, you can take all that completely off the table. You can be, for at least one night, a feminist man, who comes to the first date not without hormones or desires, but without sexual ambitions.
You don’t have to love her on Evening One. But you have to be loving to her. Loving another human means that you don’t get naked with them on the first evening you spend with them. Loving another human means that, at minimum, for one evening, carnal knowledge does not precede personal knowledge.
I know. Radical, right? Scandalous.
Still. Single male heterosexuals of the world, be this sort of oddball radical feminist for just this one night. To start with.