The debate over whether it is possible to have female-friendly dating sites and apps reveals an inherent tension that underlies the whole find-your-mate enterprise.On the one hand, scores of women use the Internet to date.On most dating sites, since anyone can email you, you spend 75 percent your time slogging through misogynist messages from creeps named Dino.(Apologies if your name is Dino; I’m sure you are very nice.) The good will many women felt for Tinder makes the recent controversy over the apparent sexist treatment of one of its female co-founders all the more disheartening.The superfast and focused ability to reach people online can amplify sexist microaggressions.Aside from unwanted sexually explicit or offensive messages on dating sites, many women receive aggressive or sexist tweets or comments on other social media platforms with alarming regularity. No matter how much progress women make on- and offline, they are still navigating a malecentric world.
Despite these harrowing circumstances — Internet sexism, trolling, market-driven messaging — I continue to use these dating sites.
We can size each other up on a level playing field, trying to determine if the other is a compatible potential mate.
Instead, it’s all too similar to dating in the real world.
This is particularly the case when you read an article about all the reasons you are still single or get an e-reminder from a dating site that you are still on the market.
Many online daters are somewhat ambivalent about their online profiles but keep an active account in an effort to at least try.