The Internet could be the great democratizer, the great playing field-leveler.After all, we each have only the 500-word text boxes and crappy jpegs and clever (not so clever) user names to show for ourselves. Maybe in this environment where we are safely sequestered behind screens, we can get past some of the lingering gender-based “rules” that dominate the “How to Catch a Man” playbooks of yore.Why can’t I apply this “equal investment” attitude to the getting of dates and not just the paying for dates?***** It’s a little too far past January 1st to call this a New Year’s Resolution, but I’ve decided to make a change.Sometimes I send a “thanks but no thanks” to particularly sweet messages, but usually I’m so overwhelmed by the new things to read and the new choices in front of me that I ignore those nice guys too.Basically, I act like an entitled jerk who can pull puppet strings and make Ok Cupid dance for me however I please. I don’t have to, and so I don’t make myself go through the scary exercise of asking for consideration and possibly being rejected or ignored.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.
I hypothesize that it will feel shitty to spend time on a nice note and to be ignored, but I don’t know, because I haven’t really tried.I do not want to be a passive participant in 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 ignored and I can’t blame them. I asked above why I should bother to get on the rollercoaster ride of being the asker instead of the askee, and I think the reason it’s worth trying is the reason it’s worth trying many things that make you uncomfortable; empathy.I think it’s about time I try to understand my digital privilege.
Write the wrong thing, and you’re doomed to fail, with your empty inbox serving as a constant reminder that your profile’s problematic.This is not the behavior I would expect of a feminist, sex-positive 21st century lady. Why would I put myself through the rollercoaster of the drafting, the editing, the sending, the waiting, the hoping, the checking, and the sighing in disappointment when the fact of my gender (and let’s be real; that’s really all it is) means the attention comes to me?