"You're Not Like Most Girls": A Note on Tinder Etiquette
For anyone who has forayed into the world of tinder and online dating, creepy messages are far from breaking news. If a guy doesn’t attempt to start a conversation with “Hi” (which he is clearly sending to as many people as possible in the hope that one or two of them will stick), then it’s likely to be some crude comment or cringeworthy innuendo. I can deal with that, in fact, it makes it very easy for me to decide which people to block and never interact with again. However, some of the messages you can receive are even more disturbing, in a slightly more subtle way. These are the men who message trying to win you over by simultaneously putting down other women.
This article was prompted by one of these messages, which I received this month from a guy, let’s call him Joe. The opening line after we matched was “Random enough question but what’s your opinion on the Kardashians?”
I would argue, this was not actually a “random enough question” Joe. It was one which pissed me off endlessly. Firstly, I am insulted that he thought I wouldn’t put two and two together and figure out what he was doing. Secondly, if he thought he was going to get a “haha oh god I hate them” in response, he had another thing coming. And so, I replied.
I wrote about my complicated feelings towards the Kardashians. I am not a fan of the messages surrounding body image and lifestyle that they put out online; which can, and does, have a serious impact on the young people who follow them. I have discussed body image issues on Mxogyny before and the Kardashians are certainly part of a culture which promotes one form of body, over another, as “attractive”. In that sense, I do not like them. However, as I wrote to Joe, they are smart business women who are profiting off of the very system designed to keep women from becoming successful, so in that way, it’s a bit of a screw you to the patriarchy that they even have the platforms they do. So, for that, I could potentially admire them.
My real problem with Joe’s message was the implicit judgement. He skipped straight to a question that was very obviously designed to “weed out” anyone he matched with who actually does like the Kardashians. He implied that if I replied that I did like the Kardashians then I would immediately be uninteresting to him, because clearly women can only have one personality trait and if that trait is “liking the Kardashians”, he can do far better… ugh. He presented it as a “random enough question” when in fact it was far from it; designed to either weed me out as a potential partner or pit me against the many women who do like the Kardashians, talk them down, and portray myself as superior to them for not liking them. This “You’re not like most girls” attitude makes my skin crawl. How could I possibly be like “most girls” when there are billions of women on the planet, each with individual personalities, experiences, and minds? There is no such thing as “most girls”, the fact that he would even imply that I would go along with his thinly veiled attempt at putting women down was frankly insulting.
I told Joe about my complicated feelings around the Kardashians, expecting an apology, or perhaps him to just un-match me when he realised I was one of those “crazy feminists”. His reply?
Give me STRENGTH.