MONDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
Dating app for feminists
At Bumble, women tear up
By Diana Sierpinski
Will a new dating app revolutionize courtship behavior between men and women? Bumble praises its feminist approach – only women are allowed, no must, to take the first step. But do they even want that?
“Hey you, I’m also studying something with media, do we want to fuck?”, “To me or to you?”, “Are you up for sex?” Obscene pick-up lines of this kind should be part of the Tinder agenda. The digital favorite swipe and away coupling application promises fast, uncomplicated sex – at least that seems to be believed by a large number of male users. Women tell of men who keep warm as many matches as possible in parallel and ramble about love. Certainly there are also dates with serious intentions and every now and then there should be relationships that arise.
Even so, there is now Bumble – an app that promises feminist dating. Even if the app works almost like Tinder, “the rules of the game have been redefined”. The important difference: the women are in control. Men can like, but not be the first to write. In a match, it is up to the woman to establish contact with Prince Charming. If she can’t get herself up to it within 24 hours, the match disappears again. The contact by the woman should flatter men so that sexist statements are no longer so easy to get off the fingers and the men themselves feel the urge to behave.
The idea for this came from Whitney Wolfe, 27 years old and former vice marketing director of Tinder. Her exit from Tinder was accompanied by a legal battle over sexual harassment. It was about her ex-boyfriend and Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, who did not want to accept the separation. Unsightly text messages from the ex and the advice from the supervisor, perhaps better to cancel, should have been the consequences. This was followed by a lawsuit against Tinder for discrimination and sexual harassment. As part of an out-of-court settlement, Wolfe won a million dollars – and started over. Together with two ex-colleagues from Tinder, she developed the dating app Bumble, which was intended to make it easier for women in particular not to get on the wrong side.
A short survey among friends shows that most people think the idea behind it is great. Finally, the weaker sex is relieved of the burden of always having to take the first step, the men say. Bumble is a “right step in the fight against our encrusted gender thinking,” emphasize others. At least the system ensures that women are initially spared notorious Tinder conversations. But on Tinder as well as on Bumble, a chat only arises when both sides are interested.
So the self-experiment: After registering, I am presented with just a dozen men. An acquaintance, tired of tinder and open to a relationship, also reports on the shortage of men: “There were only five photos that I quickly wiped away. Since then, the message has come that there is currently no choice.” This is also the case for Matthias from Dresden, who would have liked to use the app, “because then he would have less stress” – but for him too the fun was over after ten potential matches.
At least in Germany, the coupling app, which looks like a yellow-colored version of Tinder, does not seem to have reached all singles willing to date. Quite different with Tinder. The choice there is huge. Tinder can currently boast 1.4 billion swipes and 26 million matches every day. Is that just because Bumble is still in its infancy?
“I think it’s better if both can take the first step,” says one of the men I ask. Not everyone likes to rely on women. In Germany, when it comes to flirting, many women still assume that the man takes the first step. Like my friend Birgit, who sees it as a disadvantage to know that she has to take the initiative to prevent the match from lapsing after a day: “When you only see a few photos and hardly anything else about the man know, there is little to dwell on.