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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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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