Lovemaking + Relationships
Emily Heist Moss hasn’t had to pursue fellows online because it’s one area where boys still do all the asking. But that’s about to switch.
I tell all my single girlfriends to give online dating a attempt. Why not? I say, what&rsquo,s the worst that could toebijten? You set up a profile, pick some nice 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 ter. Your inbox will pack with notes from 19-year-olds te the &lsquo,burbs, 40-somethings who find your taste te music &ldquo,refreshing,&rdquo, addled idiots writing &ldquo,id fck u,&rdquo, and a handful of age-appropriate, nice-looking guys who can string some sentences together and like to cook. With those, you will send a few messages back and forward before he invites you for a drink. You will waterput on some mascara, plunge out into the snow, meet a stranger, and after an hour of slightly stilted conversation, he will grab the check. You will attempt 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 most likely, almost certainly, start again the next day with another &ldquo,Hey there&hellip,&rdquo, message from the next contender.
I tell all my single dude friends to witness out for online dating. It is a sad, soul-crushing place where good guys go to diegene a slow death by way of disregarded messages and empty inboxes. You will peruse profiles and find a few women who aren&rsquo,t posing te a bathroom with their stomachs exposed. You will look for things ter common te their profile (they like Scrabble too!). You will send them a note, cautiously crafted to voorstelling rente and attention to detail. The very first seven will not react. The next one will, but she spells &ldquo,you&rdquo, spil &ldquo,u&rdquo, and you will let the conversation stall. Ultimately, one of the cool women writes back, and you will banter a bit, exchanging dearest restaurants or muziekstuk venues. You will ask hier to meet up &ldquo,ter verdadero life.&rdquo, At the brochure, you will talk nervously for an hour (she is not spil pretty or spil funny spil you had hoped she&rsquo,d be), and then you will be saddled with the $27 check even however she ate most of the sweet potato fries. She will offerande to split, but you think she doesn&rsquo,t mean it and you don&rsquo,t want to be a masturbate. You will march huis to an empty inbox and the desire to spend another hour browsing and writing will embark to fade.
You might think online dating would create some much-needed &ldquo,fairness&rdquo, inbetween the sexes. Ter the sphere of hetero courtship, tradition still reigns supreme. The Internet could be the superb democratizer, the fine playing field-leveler. After all, wij each have only the 500-word text boxes and crappy jpegs and clever (not so clever) user names to showcase for ourselves. Anyone can message anyone about anything. Maybe ter this environment where wij are securely sequestered behind screens, wij can get past some of the durable gender-based &ldquo,rules&rdquo, that predominate the &ldquo,How to Catch a Man&rdquo, playbooks of yore. Maybe instead wij can learn to treat each other spil equal players of a very stupid spel that wij all secretly take finta earnestly. Wouldn&rsquo,t that be nice?
But it seems finta clear to mij that wij&rsquo,re not there yet. I&rsquo,m partly to blame, and you most likely are too. I&rsquo,m a feminist, sex-positive 21st century lady whose photos include mij posing ter a Rosie the Riveter Halloween costume. I write about gender on the Internet for sobbing out noisy! But every day, when I loom into the dating webpagina 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 mij and then I choose to whom I&rsquo,ll react. Sometimes I send a &ldquo,thanks but no thanks&rdquo, to particularly sweet messages, but usually I&rsquo,m so shocked by the fresh things to read and the fresh choices ter vooraanzicht of mij that I overlook those nice guys too. Basically, I act like an entitled wank who can pull puppet strings and make OkCupid dance for mij however I please.
This is not the behavior I would expect of a feminist, sex-positive 21st century lady. It&rsquo,s not behavior I&rsquo,m particularly proud of either. Why don&rsquo,t I write messages very first? Why don&rsquo,t I reach out to the dudes with the funny treats and good taste te books, the ones who postbode pictures with goofy faces and like tacos almost spil much spil I like tacos? Why do I not react politely to every message, even the ones I&rsquo,m not interested ter? Why do I alternate inbetween playing the damsel and the playing the requiring entitled a**fuckhole? Because it&rsquo,s just so effortless.
Ugh. I&rsquo,m embarrassed to have written that. I wish the evidence pointed to something else, something egalitarian and modern, but when I get existente with my own online dating M.O., it&rsquo,s the truth. I&rsquo,ve sent messages to guys before, sure, but the ratio is puny. Ten to one? Twenty to one? Merienda te a blue moon? I don&rsquo,t have to, and so I don&rsquo,t make myself go through the scary exercise of asking for consideration and possibly being rejected or overlooked. Why would I waterput myself through the rollercoaster of the drafting, the editing, the sending, the waiting, the hoping, the checking, and the breathing te frustration when the fact of my gender (and let&rsquo,s be auténtico, that&rsquo,s truly all it is) means the attention comes to mij? This is not how I want this work, but I condone it with my inaction.
Merienda wij make it out of the safe cocoon of the Internet and into the existente world I&rsquo,m better about aligning my deeds with my values. Out here, at a tapkast or restaurant, I work indeed hard to make sure that you know wij are equals participating te a traditionally unequal transaction. You don&rsquo,t order my wine and wij split the check because wij are peers. Why should you buy my food? I have a job, you have a job, wij&rsquo,re all on a budget, and I did eat most of the sweet potato fries! Down the line, wij can trade off and treat each other and love the security ter knowing there will be a &ldquo,next time,&rdquo, but for now, wij both walked blindly into the same brochure, so let&rsquo,s walk out having identically invested ter the last hour. Why can&rsquo,t I apply this &ldquo,equal investment&rdquo, attitude to the getting of dates and not just the paying for dates?
It&rsquo,s a little too far past January 1st to call this a Fresh Year&rsquo,s Resolution, but I&rsquo,ve determined to make a switch. I do not want to be a passive participant ter my romantic life. I do not want my dating choices to be limited to the guys who are still optimistic enough to send a message, I might miss some good ones who are just tired of being disregarded and I can&rsquo,t blame them. I&rsquo,d get tired of that too.
I asked above why I should bother to get on the rollercoaster rail of being the asker instead of the askee, and I think the reason it&rsquo,s worth attempting is the reason it&rsquo,s worth attempting many things that make you awkward, empathy. Many times ter my writing I ask fellows to attempt to understand how women feel out ter the world, to take a walk ter their boots, to attempt on a different perspective to understand their own privilege. I believe exercising those empathy muscles is what helps us be better, kinder human beings, but it&rsquo,s not fair of mij to ask without attempting to reciprocate.
There is slew of privilege to go around, and while I spend a loterijlot of time thinking about the big things I&rsquo,m afforded due to my fortunate draw, the little things I get are worth considering too. I hypothesize that it will feel shitty to spend time on a nice note and to be overlooked, but I don&rsquo,t know, because I toevluchthaven&rsquo,t indeed attempted. I think it&rsquo,s about time I attempt to understand my digital privilege. Are you with mij?
Emily Heist Moss is a Fresh Englander ter love with Chicago, where she works ter a tech start-up. She blogs every day about gender, media, politics and lovemaking at Rosie Says, and has written for Jezebel, The Frolic, The Huffington Postbode and The Good Dudes Project. Find hier on Facebook and Twitter.