Online Dating What It Shows About Men’s View Of Feminism
NOTE: I am aware that not all men are awful misogynists, but this article isn’t about them. It’s about the disturbing trends I’ve seen firsthand in the world of online dating.
Unless you really aren’t active in the blogosphere or on Tumblr, you probably have heard of sites like EnemiesOfOKCupid that specialize in revealing some of the online dating scene’s most misogynistic individuals. We’ve seen the sometimes funny, sometimes creepy rants of Nice Guys (TM) on various sites, but the fact is that all of these sometimes comical postings have one thing in common – they all say volumes about what the political climate in this country really happens to be.
It is true that there are a lot of men out there who feel like they have their masculinity ripped away from them when they head into the dating scene. Even though I am a woman, I have still overheard men complain about how so many girls out there expect them to get “dolled up like Ken” before they go out for a night. Even though I am a woman (or, maybe because I am one), I have heard men complain about how they feel entitled to date a girl just because “she’s kinda supposed to want to date a guy like me,” remaining completely oblivious to the fact that the girl probably is not physically attracted to them and doesn’t have to put out just because someone tells her to. I’ve heard how men feel like losers because they can’t afford to take women out on expensive dates. For men who are trying to find their lady love, it’s a tough world out there. (However, the same can be said about women who are trying to find their future husband.)
When one hears these kinds of complaints from one person, it’s easy to shrug them off and cast them aside. In fact, because of the sheer hatred that a lot of men spew towards women on dating sites, it’s easy to believe that half of these people are trolls. But, there is a lot that is revealed in the hateful rants of men trying to find a date, especially due to the sheer number of men out there who think along the same lines as these men.
The most obvious thing that this trend shows is the amount of fear and intimidation men feel when dealing with women. Rejection is painful, and that’s a fact. Having to face the fact that a woman may have slept with more men than you, or that a woman has a right to refuse a date with you, can be tough to swallow, especially if you pride yourself on being a stud of sorts. This means that the biggest culprits of slut-shaming on dating profiles are very often the men who simply don’t know how else to deal with rejection, or are simply afraid of not being the dominant person in a relationship.
The fact that women are now supposed to be treated as equal to men is such a threat to these individuals that they will try to control women by slut-shaming them and calling them names. Controlling one’s sexuality, and trying to make someone bend to your demands (especially if you yourself would not willingly do the same things) is a seriously harmful and powerful way to hurt someone. And, if Nice Guys (TM) and others like them are growing more common day by day. If that isn’t a disturbing trend, I don’t know what is.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the man who revels in rape culture. You might see comments about how a girl is “asking for pervs to get on her” if she is wearing a short skirt, or you might see a rant that seems slightly rape-y in tone on his profile. When I read profiles that have these kinds of commentaries, I think back to what many GOP legislators subtly suggested – “It’s not rape if it’s the victim’s fault.” I’m sure that many of the individuals on these dating sites would agree with them. Unfortunately for men, most women don’t agree with that statement. No one deserves to be raped. Rape is the rapist’s fault, never the victim’s. Sadly, the fact that there are now politicians spouting the whole “blame the victim” bit tells you that these peoples’ thoughts on dating profiles aren’t isolated incidents – they are an institutionalized attack on what feminism has achieved over the years.
There is also an issue at hand with men who literally ask that feminists don’t even bother contacting them on their profile pages. (I kid you not, I have seen these pages.) In these cases, it’s brutally obvious what these guys want – they want a woman who does not even want to bother recognizing her own rights as a person. Without feminism, women would not be able to vote, work where they want to work, or even obtain abortions in a safe place. If a man is against feminism to the point that he will only want to speak to women who don’t believe in having rights, then that means that the thought of a woman being an actual person with rights is too much for him to handle.
Take a moment, read that last sentence, and tell me what doesn’t scare you about that.
Feminism is a powerful concept. A very powerful, good, albeit stigmatized, concept. It has given freedom, help, and power to women who work hard to deserve it. It has given women the right to leave abusive spouses, the ability to live on their own, and has given women the ability to celebrate their body in a variety of different ways. And, much like any powerful, world-changing concept, people who feel threatened by it will oppose it with all their might. And the more that concept spreads throughout the country, the more people who worry that they will suffer a loss because of that concept will want to oppose it. Considering how successful feminism has become since Roe Vs. Wade, the GOP’s War On Women, Nice Guys (TM), and other similar backlashes are to be expected.