In the Eye of The Feminist Shitstorm

 

The first article about my Bumble experiences was published in The Conversation on July 28th (https://theconversation.com/love-lust-and-digital-dating-men-on-the-bumble-dating-app-arent-ready-for-the-queen-bee-120796), and whaaaat a nerve it has struck!! I knew it would ruffle a few feathers but didn’t think so many rufflestiltskins would reveal so much anger. About what, you ask? Not dating apps, which was the focus of the article, but feminism and me as a man-hating, probably lesbian, certainly ugly representative of that fair ideology.

As I’ve discussed in previous blogs, Bumble defines itself as “100% feminist” but really isn’t because women do all the work upfront while men wait to be contacted. Our ‘empowerment’ ends at the ask and in my case only 60% of my initial conversations were responded to.  Waiting to see what would happen and wondering how to up my Bumble game occupied a lot of my time during those five months in the hive.

Men also have to wait, to be asked out in the first place. This mutual waiting situation sets up a certain degree of animosity between users and can produce some pretty snaky behaviour among men. They behave differently on Bumble than on other apps, more aggressive and openly critical of women’s dating mojo (or lack thereof, according to many). They don’t seem to be ready for or accepting of the ‘women go first’ approach.

And, their perspectives don’t seem to have been considered by Bumble.  Maybe the Queen Bee et al. think that because men should be ok with women taking charge they don’t need to be consulted. But, their insights and those of other users should be consulted if Bumble truly wants to create equitable dating experiences.

These are the kinds of things I was talking about in The Conversation article, but they were read in a strange way by many a male reader. They get as far as FEMINISM and see red. I’m told to stop bitching about things men have experienced for decades and lie in my #MeToo bed that I’ve helped make. However, I wasn’t discrediting men by talking about my own experiences.

And,  I agree that my upfront labour and poor outcomes are similar to what men have gone through. This wholesale reversal of dating fortunes is new and weird, and I don’t think Bumble has thought it through…Those points were made in the article.

The angry comments also make it clear that feminism is believed to be the sin to end all  sins. SIGH. This is because it makes us psycho, man-haters who are fighting a losing battle because men will never find feminists attractive. Oops, ha ha. They’d turn over in their greasy trailers if they knew of my romantic successes off Bumble and in life more generally. Some of them even said that my Bumble results- meeting 10 men in 5 months- were good and better than many men average.

So, which is it? They’re pissed that I’m not a real woman, that I’ve had more dating success than them, that I’m trying to be a man, or that I’m a woman after all? Very confusing! I don’t think it’s really about me though, I’m just delivering a message they don’t like. But, I wish they would read closer and see that I’m advocating for greater involvement of men in the Bumbleverse, not their exclusion.

To be so triggered, as reflected in hundreds of very negative comments, speaks volumes. Yes, I identify as a feminist, not of the radical variety, but of the kind that supports and fights for the safety and care of everyone, including women and men. How can you argue with that?

I have been preparing for this shitstorm for some time and I feel grateful to be in the heart of it. It’s messy and a bit scary, but through the sad, mean comments I’m gathering strength. We can do better for and by one another in the world of dating and more broadly. Listening to one another is a very important place to start—so listen and watch and document, I shall…

5 thoughts on “In the Eye of The Feminist Shitstorm

  1. If you want a sincere explanation as to why your first post annoyed people:

    * You chose Bumble, an app whose major selling point is that only women can start conversations… then complained that women had to start conversations. Remove this feature and you have Tinder.

    * You complained about a response rate of 60%, which is *insanely* high. You came across like a millionaire complaining they don’t have much money. It’s fairly normal for men to have a response rate below 1%, with hundreds of messages sent for a single response.

    Really, the backlash can be summarised in one sentence: “privilege is invisible to those who have it”. You, in this case, being the person blithely unaware of her own privilege. Might as well write a follow-up where you talk about how white people get stopped too much by the police.

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    1. As a relatively marginalized group, women experience discrimination, harassment, and worse on a daily basis. We also have various beautiful and powerful experiences, too. What privilege do you think I have? You seem to think, as per my blog post, that I ought to stop bitching and being an ignorant millionaire because men’s dating #s are lower than mine.

      Amazing. My reflections are about MY experiences. I don’t need to compare to or include men’s. That is a separate and very valid endeavour, as I said.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. To bring some positivity and love to the comments section: I just wanted to congratulate you again Dr. Orchard on such a wonderful, eye-opening article that was finally published! Despite all of the angry, ignorant and/or degrading comments, I hope you remember there are many individuals that are listening to your experiences, and relating to the universal themes that emerge from them! ✨

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  3. My girl, thank you for your good energy and love. It is a welcome reprieve. Despite the “strange” readings from MANY other people, I know I am on the right track and doing something important xoox

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