If you are a single person with the popular dating app Bumble, you might have received a ping Sunday afternoon with this message: “Help us support healthy, consensual relationships! Today, when you match, we donate to Planned Parenthood.”
I honestly hadn’t opened the app for months, so I had no intention of “matching” with anyone, but after I saw the message, I went ahead and deleted it altogether. It seemed arrogant and misguided for Bumble to assume that all of their users would be so excited to donate to such a controversial organization. They weren’t about to donate on my behalf so that I could “match” with some guy on Long Island that likes kayaking and works in finance.
The audacity of Bumble to use Sexual Assault Awareness month (April) to send a message encouraging users to open the app and start swiping is bad enough. The further strike of arrogance assuming all their users would like more money donated to Planned Parenthood was just plain offensive.
In fact, Planned Parenthood has recently partnered with most of the popular dating apps including Grindr, OkCupid, and Hornet, under the guise of promoting sex education to the masses. Their explanation is that the current federal government promotes causes that are devoted to “abstinence only” sex education, so they feel compelled to step in and save the day by educating everyone through dating apps.
The apps themselves admit that they support a “hook up” culture, one in which the issue of consent can constantly come into question. Bumble supports the acronym “FRIES” which describes consent as: Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, and Specific.
I have never personally been very excited by the idea of finding a date through an app, but if “FRIES” doesn’t turn you off forever, I’m not sure what will. Planned Parenthood doesn’t believe that you can be in a healthy relationship if you aren’t having sex. Simultaneously, they want you to know that every sexual encounter has the very high potential of being some kind of an assault. How can you look at each adjective in “FRIES” and say with 100 percent confidence that your partner felt all of those words applied your sexual encounter?
Personally, I hardly use the apps because in my experience, a lot of men do use them to find women for hook ups. I have met a few guys that were really looking for a relationship, but it isn’t possible to determine compatibility with a few carefully framed photos and random notes about lives and careers.
These days, many people do find their future spouse through a website or an app. It doesn’t seem fair for the app itself to become political. In the world of dating, it is already very difficult to tread the water of politics when you first meet someone, but Planned Parenthood is the very last organization I want associated with mustering the courage to consult the internet for a potential mate.