Disliking Bumble Is Sexist

Disliking Bumble Is Sexist

You know we’ve made progress when men complain about feeling objectified on a silly dating app like Bumble.

A new dating app that turns the tables on men—making women initiate the first conversation in a relationship—is apparently making some men feel insignificant.

“Bumble promises women empowerment and an emotional connection,” writes Philip Wegmann for The Federalist. “Instead it delivers male objectification and emotional apathy.”

Well, cheers, ladies: You know we’ve made progress when men complain about feeling objectified on a silly dating app. But don’t get carried away breaking out the champagne just yet. We still have work to do.

Bumble is almost identical to Tinder, in that users create a profile page, swipe right to signal their interest in someone and left to leave them in cyber world. If both parties swipe right, they are a “match” and can begin a conversation.

The big difference with Bumble is that men aren’t allowed to start the conversations—only women can. The idea is to give women power in relationships and weed out the riffraff that enviably comes along with dating apps like Tinder.

To give them credit, men who have beef with Bumble genuinely believe women would be better off without it. They fear that putting the onus on women start relationships makes men “lazy” and flushes romance down the drain. (As if Tinder didn’t already take care of that.)

Women Can Handle Asking for Dates

But the argument against Bumble is as sexist and misogynistic as it gets. Women in the twenty-first century are plenty capable of asking men out on a date, and no one should make them feel ashamed for doing so.

Women have nothing to lose. Men, on the other hand, lose power and control.

“Instead of making the effort, rather than working to win a number, dudes just have to log on, swipe right, and wait for women to come their way,” wrote Wegmann. “Honeys might be making the first move but they’re far from being in control. No, with this app, they’re on the menu. Men don’t woo, they log in, and women lose.”

The thing about Bumble is, women have nothing to lose. Men, on the other hand, lose power and control. Clearly, it’s not an easy pill to swallow. Yes, women might be an item on a “menu” when they opt for Bumble, but so are men. And this restaurant doesn’t offer takeout—it has a long wait and not everyone gets in.

For too long, men have taken for granted the effect they have on someone by refusing to ask her out. It stings a bit, doesn’t it? Bumble serves up a recipe for experimentation, allowing women to go out on a limb to find love. It might not be the perfect app for everyone, but women come in all different shapes and sizes, and so should their dating apps. If you don’t like it, don’t download it.

Romance Isn’t About Initiation

But don’t use Bumble—or any other dating app, for that matter—as an excuse to be “less romantic.” Romance doesn’t come from a cute text message or from setting up a dinner date. Romance is the decision to surprise her with flowers, or the extra $10 you decide to spend on dessert. You can do that no matter who does the asking.

To those who have beef with Bumble, reconsider what it really does. Asking someone out on a date can’t be easy, and with apps like Bumble, women can better appreciate that.

Men, on the other hand, have the opportunity to experience what it’s like sitting on the sidelines, waiting for your Prince Charming to choose you. It’s not an easy position to be in—often, it comes with a lot of pain—but with apps like Bumble, women can finally know who is man enough to handle that. For that, we’ll all be better off.

Kelsey Bolar is a contributor to The Federalist and a senior policy analyst at Independent Women's Forum. She is also the Thursday editor of BRIGHT, a weekly newsletter for women, and the 2017 Tony Blankley Chair at The Steamboat Institute. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, daughter, and Australian Shepherd, Utah.
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