I chose to go on Bumble because it came with the promise of a fem-forward, sex positive, not-so-stigmatized route towards dating, tristes and maybe something more solid. I appreciated Bumble’s appeal to professionals (or just people with functioning cortexes) and promise of a first-ever feminist-oriented algorithm and method of connecting.
However, as I scrolled and scanned through the app, my happy-go-swipey smile quickly turned into that face you make when someone supports Alabama’s new abortion legislation…Excuse Me??? I was shocked by how many of the male bees were so quick to tell me how to use the app to successfully attract them.Is that called bee-splaining?Whatever it is, I know one thing: it’s super shit being told by guys who are, at this stage, nobodies: “Don’t be lame”; Be fun”; “Swipe left if you’re not chill” or “Swipe right if you know how to hold a conversation.” (Cough cough, meanwhile, some could not carry one in a bucket with child-friendly handles).
Since when did I need to be told how to make the first move? Sorry, let me rephrase that: Since when the fuck did women need to be instructed on how to elicit attraction, hold a conversation, and generate affection from the sex of their choice?
I am quite certain, in real life, I have never had much of an issue initiating a conversation with the hot guy with the sleeve of tattoos or the well-dressed businessman sipping on his *hot beverage that has too many temperature settings and syrups to name*. But, as we’ve discussed in several of our previous blogs, the appeal of a confident woman, somehow, seems to become tainted within the Hive.
More than in real life, the first swipe and conversation initiation seem to set men at odds with their matches, and they struggle to reassert their traditional gendered power dynamics in a number of unsettling ways.
So, why does Bumble create and stimulate this male anxiety about being approached by women?
Us women and our awesome fore-sisters and brothers have fought hard to achieve some semblance of sexual, economic, legal and social equity. We’ve come a long way, and I think we need to be wary of a so-called feminist app that leads many men to feel intimidated by powerful women because they believe that they can’t offer us anything.
Even typing that last sentence out gives me the heebie jeebies. Do you also have the sense that a creepy crawly just entered your spinal cord? Well, you should because the archaic concept that men cannot engage in affectionate, mutually-rewarding exchanges with empowered women has not been foreign to me or my Bumble-aficionado friends. Or, at least, what we perceive to be the symptoms of this anxiety seems to run rampant amongst the not-so-sweet social system of the honeycomb. Men on Bumble, more than any other online or app-based dating apparatus, seem to be pretty confused about how they feel about women in control.
How ironic is that? You come onto an app that is apparently all about feminism and then you refuse to swipe right on a woman you may like because she is too smart, successful or out-of-your-league? I typically hate short forms but can we all just chime in on an LOL!?
Empowered babes on Bumble represent digital castration for male bees.
You know those men who insist the #MeToo movement means they can’t have sex anymore without the fear of being accused of rape? Those are the men who use Bumble as a way to manipulate women and, in a very passive aggressive –or just aggressive–*cough pathetic* way, reassert their sexual dominance and reinstate the gender status quo.
This isn’t all men, to be sure. Some of them are perfectly cool with us hitting them up first. Indeed, it’s a huge turn on for more enlightened guys who like their girls to take the lead in the boudoir too. Wink wink.
I’ve previously explored some of the reasons why I believe Bumble is creating a space that disempowers men and women and encourages them to engage in what seems more like a power struggle than a sex-positive dating app.
But as I continue this blogging-venture, I hope to further investigate why women, who are seeking (and therefore instigating) real connections, are being relegated to Bumble outcasts when we should be thriving on an app that was supposedly made for us. However, my next article is going to take a slightly different and, perhaps, controversial look at one of the age-old constructs behind romance: chivalry.
All my feminist sisters, please stick with me – I promise dating apps, which compromise our equal access to sex, love and romance, are the only dragons I hope to slay for you. And, I know we’re all capable of wielding the proverbial swords against our own subjective experiences. This blog is a space for safe, smart contemplation about things that affect a lot of us. I may not always be right, I may strike some chords and ruffle some wings, but I want to hear from you and welcome your challenges.
Please read, share, shoot me a message and let’s get to the bottom of Bumble’s complicated hive, so we can all start having better sex, more equitable and lusty relationships, and maybe – just maybe – find that mushy gushy stuff.