You know those guys who post "women should stay in the kitchen" jokes on Facebook because they think making a controversial statement is funny? Or who don't think a woman can fix a sink? Or who have made claims that women can't be announcers on ESPN? Don't date those guys. They're all Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper) from Wedding Crashers.
In fact, I'd say your boyfriend sure as hell better be a feminist, otherwise he's not worth your time. Feminism isn't a complex idea to figure out. Either he recognizes that there are societal double standards and professional disparities between the sexes, or he doesn't. Feminists want men and women on equal footing in terms of their ability to make choices that make them happy. It's about equality.
So, OK, maybe your boyfriend who says he's not a feminist just doesn't understand that feminism means women should be able to be stay-at-home moms or CEOs (and make as much as their male counterparts). Maybe he associates the feminist label with man-hating, an idea invented by misogynists to drag feminism through the mud. If he doesn't get it, give him some required reading. He could start with Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist. If he won't invest a whole book's worth of time, might I recommend following some celebrities who speak regularly about feminism: Aziz Ansari or Joseph Gordon-Levitt orAmy Poehler or Feminist Ryan Gosling. And if he's still not on board, feel free to dump him.
A boyfriend who refuses to acknowledge the basic tenets of feminism won't side with you when you say no one is listening to your ideas at work. He'll be a baby about going down on you, but feel like he's entitled to a blow job. It's not like he's going to be an actively horrible demon who locks you up and only lets you out to make casseroles, but feminist men will split chores with you and not feel emasculated because they got stuck doing the cooking or cleaning. They're happy to be stay-at-home-dads if you need to focus on your career.
What's more, research from Cornell University shows that equality in relationships makes both people happier (and makes for a better sex life). And just because your feminist boyfriend isn't afraid to be progressive, that doesn't mean he has to be some specific nerdy, scholarly brand of guy (not that there's anything wrong with that). Feminists can be badass lumberjack men (like the powerful woman-loving Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation), or metro (like Schmidt from New Girl) or goofy as hell (like Phil from Modern Family).
Wanting a feminist boyfriend doesn't even mean you need to run out and try to meet a guy at The Vagina Monologues. Feminist dudes are everywhere. Think of this as an asshole litmus test. Any guy who's like,"Pshhh, hell naw," when asked about his views on feminism is probably an insecure idiot. I don't think that's anyone's type.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.