Maybe instead we can learn to treat each other as equal players of a very silly game that we all secretly take quite seriously. But it seems quite clear to me that we’re not there yet. I’m a feminist, sex-positive 21st century lady whose photos include me posing in a Rosie the Riveter Halloween costume.
I write about gender on the Internet for crying out loud!
I tell all my single girlfriends to give online dating a try. Your inbox will fill with notes from 19-year-olds in the ‘burbs, 40-somethings who find your taste in music “refreshing,” addled idiots writing “id fck u,” and a handful of age-appropriate, nice-looking guys who can string some sentences together and like to cook.
You set up a profile, pick some cute photos, write something witty about the things that you love (Beyonce, Hillary Clinton, Battlestar Galactica), list some books you like, and then sit back, kick your feet up, and wait for the messages to roll in.
But every day, when I log into the dating site of my choice, I play the passive role, the receiver of attention, the awaiter of messages.
I go to my inbox and see who wants to talk to me and then I choose to whom I’ll respond.
The Internet could be the great democratizer, the great playing field-leveler.
It’s not behavior I’m particularly proud of either. Why don’t I reach out to the dudes with the funny handles and good taste in books, the ones who post pictures with goofy faces and like tacos almost as much as I like tacos? I wish the evidence pointed to something else, something egalitarian and modern, but when I get real with my own online dating M. I’ve sent messages to guys before, sure, but the ratio is small. This is not how I want this work, but I condone it with my inaction.
I tell all my single guy friends to watch out for online dating.
It is a sad, soul-crushing place where good guys go to die a slow death by way of ignored messages and empty inboxes.
You will try to split it, but he will pay, and you will stand to re-wrap yourself against the frigid wind.
You will part ways, and you will probably, almost certainly, begin again the next day with another “Hey there…” message from the next contender.