Tinder But Make It Feminist
It’s 10 p.m. I’m in my room and my twinkly lights are on giving my beige walls a soft glow. As I lay in bed swiping on Tinder, as is my nighttime routine, I come across a profile that has a shirtless body taking a mirror selfie. The name of this particular white male (can you guess?) is “Candis Dikfit”. And I think to myself, oh how I wish I was gay…or blind. I’d like to tell you that I immediately swiped left, but if I’m being honest I did look through his profile to see if he was cute enough to make that his name, luckily he was not because if you know me you know I would’ve swiped if he was cute enough.
I have a history of dating terrible men. My therapist says it’s because my “type” is white men which I think is a fair assessment coming from a trained professional. She’s qualified to say that, no?
I dated a guy who, rumor has it, cheated on his girlfriend with 17 people before they broke up. (It was just a rumor, but it is his reputation now.)
I dated a guy who would frequently ignore me for days or weeks because he “couldn’t handle it”. (Idk what ‘it’ is btw.)
I dated two guys who later disclosed to me that I had been the other woman in their previous relationships.
And almost all the other men I’ve dated ended up in serious relationships after dating me for a few weeks, so if anything, I am a matchmaker.
I am a hopeless romantic and a feminist and I practically live on dating apps. One app I’ve never deleted is Tinder even when I was “on a break” from dating. *insert Ross Geller picture here* I’ve heard from a lot of people that Tinder is “anti-feminist” and “misogynistic” and “awful” and “gross”. But if I’m being completely honest, as I have been with you guys from the beginning, I don’t feel that way at all. Dare I say I feel the opposite.
Don’t get me wrong. There are some straight up creeps and pigs on the app, but Tinder (and Bumble and Hinge) is where I feel the most empowered in my daily life. I am in complete control of who I talk to and swipe on and give my time and energy to. I feel so confident and strong.
I post pictures that make me feel good and sexy and powerful. I swipe on people I think are attractive. People I never would have even tried in real life to even talk to. I match with most of them too! If you look at my phone right now I have 240 matches and those are just the profiles I haven’t opened.
I went into my Freshman year of college having never had my first kiss, having never been anyone’s crush. I downloaded Tinder when I got to college and the first person that messaged me was a really hot Junior at my school. Just speaking for myself, but I had never felt so confident in myself and in my body before that moment.
Now I’m not saying that the boy made me feel that way because he didn’t. It was the app. I was forced to post pictures of myself where I thought I looked good and attractive, something that I had never before ever felt. I always thought I was too big and too fat and just overall too ugly to be found attractive by anyone. On tinder I had to ignore those thoughts and find someone in those pictures that was pretty and sexy and deserved affection.
Tinder also helped me know my worth. I have come across hundreds of men all over the country. From New Orleans to New York to Los Angeles to DC and they re all the same. Half of them are really nice and sweet and just want to meet people and make connections, a quarter of them just want sex which…Tinder so fair and then the other quarter are trash, just in general.
This experience may be extremely individual because I am generally a very insecure person but now I know what I will and won’t put up with in a person. I used to accept any kind of behavior from literally anyone because I had no respect for myself and I felt terrible. But after using the app for so long (going on four years) I know who I am and what I want from a person.
I want someone who can match my energy, both generally in life and in a relationship. I want someone who is also a feminist. I want someone who texts back and as frequently as I do. I want someone who is down to get drunk at Lincoln Memorial at 2am and then talk about how much childhood trauma to give our children to make them funny. I want someone who loves me as much as I love me. And loves himself as much as I do.
As much as I hate to say it, I wouldn’t be who I am or love me as much as I do if it weren’t for Tinder. And I didn’t call myself a feminist until I loved myself and thought I deserved all the respect the world had to offer because to me feminism is respect and equality among all the genders and sexes.
I am a senior at GWU in Washington DC. I love dogs, dating apps, and chicken burritos. I seem really confident and secure with myself and my life, but I actually have the self esteem of a penny.