Kristen Cochrane looks at the hilarious new Tumblr, “Male Feminists of Tinder,” and analyses why certain men come across super creepy when professing their apparent feminism.
Male Feminists are a demographic that is fraught with confusion. Can men be feminists? Why do they care? How do we know what constitutes a “man” in our post-gender climate? Obviously, many of us want guys to identify as feminists! We need people on all sides to help us dismantle toxic stereotypes about feminism and feminists. However, there’s been an interesting social trend since feminism has embarked on an arguable fourth wave: men identifying as feminists on dating apps in a way that comes off sort of creepy and manipulative. It’s worth asking ourselves: are these guys using Tinder to Mansplain our own oppression, marginalization, and subordination to us? Are they throwing around the word “feminist” in an attempt to get laid? The boundaries between allyship and colonizing a group’s movement are flimsy.
These questions are currently being provoked by Lane Moore, founder of the Tumblr, Male Feminists of Tinder, where she posts screenshots of the questionable feminism being pontificated on various mens’ Tinder profiles. The result is pretty hilarious.
A screenshot from Lane Moore’s Tumblr blog Male Feminists of Tinder, where profiles like Will’s offer Tinder browsers political yet confusing bios.
“I started seeing guys on Tinder saying in their profiles that they were feminists, or saying intense things that boiled down to ‘I DO NOT HATE WOMEN,’ and it just struck me as an odd thing to open with,” More told me. “One night I tweeted out one of the screencaps and people loved it and started sending me profiles they’d seen too. I made the Tumblr that same night.”
Moore has been using Tinder since it came out in 2013—as have the majority of her friends—and she has found plenty of Nice Guys whose profiles boast pictures of themselves wearing t-shirts that say “Feminist,” or bios that say things like “Come dismantle the patriarchy with me.” Sure, it sounds nice, but is this just a slightly more sophisticated version of a classic pick-up line? And does it matter that they might be using the social justice warrior trend as posturing in exchange for intimacy?
I asked Moore what she thinks about the trend of guys who say they’re a Good Guy, capital G. Not to be confused with what provocateur sex-columnist Dan Savage calls GGGs (good, giving and game)—aka ideal partners who reciprocate and respect your sexual needs and desires. Rather, the Good Guy is a moniker that holds more sinister connotations—namely, the type of guy who says you should give him a chance or fuck him because he’s a just so nice. A popular example is Canadian dad-dancing rapper Drake, who Sandra Song at Paper magazine and Meaghan Garvey at Pitchfork have called out for being complicit within the Nice Guy Industrial Complex. In other words, why is Drake always moping about girls he once liked who are now allegedly off the rails? Because these women don’t want to Netflix and Chill by themselves at home anymore?
Moore’s hilarious Tumblr highlights this paradox, telling me that “If someone of any gender can’t stop telling you how good and kind and great they are instead of just being that way, something’s usually up.”
It’s hard to get mad at guys for wanting to promote gender equality, but it’s like advertising your donations to a cause on social media. It would be even more strange to add this to your OkCupid or Match.com profile. So guys, are dating websites and apps really the appropriate venue for your advocacy?
***Lane Moore is a stand-up comedian, writer, and singer, among many other things. Follow her Tumblr Male Feminists of Tinder here. She also chronicles her very lolz Tinder adventures with her show Tinder LIVE! With Lane Moore!. Her next show is Saturday, February 13 at Union Hall, Brooklyn.
Kristen Cochrane is a writer and academic in Ontario, Canada, who’s researching some very interesting things, like queer Latin American cinema, and the fetishization of the female tennis body. Read her most recent essay for Slutever, “7 Reasons to Celebrate Simone de Beauvoir,” HERE :)