The Problem with Dating Apps and Straight Male Entitlement

The Problem with Dating Apps and Straight Male Entitlement

Why the angry post-rejection tirades are seemingly inevitable, and what we can do to prevent them.
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I am not immune to the age of Tinder. In fact, I was once a very active user of Tinder, and I still consider myself a fairly active user of other notable online dating app, Okcupid. With my romantic prospects relatively limited due to the size of my school, it doesn’t bother me that an app is one way to meet people outside of my usual bubble that I share common interests with.

What does bother me is the multitude of men I come across on a daily basis that feel entitled to my time, conversation, and sexual favors.

It's no secret that downloading an app like Tinder is the ultimate in No Strings Attached; if you want, you never have to find out the person’s last name and you can still have meaningless sex with them, which as long as both parties are consenting is not a problem in and of itself. It’s the fact that men who download these apps seem to feel that somehow they are guaranteed this experience regardless of how they treat the women they talk to online. They want sex, and they have been promised that they will get it on a casual hookup app such as Tinder.

The problem isn’t that men want to sleep with women they find attractive. The problem is that they often don’t think about things like whether or not there is mutual interest in even just something casual. A woman who lists herself as being interested in casual sex still likely does not want to have casual sex with just any and every guy who messages her “Hey, wanna bang?”

And therein lies the problem. When a woman expresses her lack of interest, even if she does so politely, it’s considered an attack on not just the solicitor, but the entire male population on the app, as a whole. It’s “not nice” and “putting out false information” to say you as a woman want casual sex when you’re not going to just say yes to every single person that asks. Suddenly, you now have a man lashing out because he was rejected by someone he did not even know existed until five seconds before soliciting her, and that anger seems justified to him because that entitlement has been instilled in him from the second he downloaded the app.

This entitlement leads not only to largely unjustified anger, but also coercion and persuasion where it does not belong. Upon saying “no” to sex or an invitation to exchange nude photos, a lot of the men I’ve talked to won’t accept that "no" as an answer, instead choosing to attempt to convince me to change my mind.

This happens because these apps objectify everyone. They reduce a person to five pictures and a few one-liners, like a preview for a product to be sold and consumed. It adds to the entitlement; he has spent so long on this profile and his commodity is irresistible. No one is allowed to say no, and if they do, he must not have done a good enough job selling it.

I have had men say things to me that I would never dream of saying to a complete stranger. I’ve had men who initially messaged me with a compliment immediately turn and go the route of angry appearance-based insults when I express that I am not interested. And as frustrating as it is, I know I can’t blame just them for acting this irrationally. They act this way because they feel they are owed something, and this is a product of an archaic societal construct in which women are supposed to be submissive and compliant to men’s wishes.

This is just one of the growing list of reasons that these men need feminism more than they ever wanted to admit they do: it lowers their highly unrealistic expectations, leading to a lot less hurt and anger in the event that they are rejected by a woman. Approaching a woman expecting sex without acknowledging the possibility that she may say "no" is a great way to set yourself up to be hurt and disappointed, and in turn angry at a woman who did something she has every right to do. Men need a society where they aren’t taught that they can just walk up to a woman and have her eating out of the palm of their hand simply by existing. More importantly, they need to be rid of this toxic idea of men as unstoppable sexual forces, and realize that it's okay not to conform to traditional ideas about what masculinity means. These insecurities about what it means to be male are, after all, entirely constructed.

After being called a series of misogynistic slurs by an Okcupid user, I asked the offender if he ever wondered why he was single. Although it was meant as a stab back at the insult he’d just thrown at me, he replied with an honest “Yes, I do.”

That response made me sad, because a lot of these men don’t realize that this harmful attitude is engrained in them, and likely will never see the problem with it. It is not necessarily their fault; sure, there are exceptions, but a lot of cisgendered heterosexual men act entitled because society teaches them to be this way from birth.

I don’t pretend to have a solution to this problem, but for now, my course of action is to always attempt to educate. It’s hard not to get angry, especially when things get personal, and it’s hard not to be frustrated. But in short, I am not mad at men who act entitled. I am mad at our society for making them that way. These men are angry mostly because they've been taught that rejection is a slight to their masculinity, without which society tells them they are nothing. It's just like being told to "man up" or something of the like. It's another upsetting societal construct, and one we need to eradicate.

Cover Image Credit: Irland News

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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