If you're an avid user of OkCupid, you're undoubtedly familiar with the downsides to the site: Everything from blatant racism to dick pics to spelling mistakes seem to be limitless in the world of online dating. There's definitely no shortage of sexism on OkCupid, either, since there's no convenient way to weed out misogynists. Of course, there are plenty of feminist-identifying men online, but there are just as many (if not more) men who — unwittingly or not — spew ignorance and intolerance when describing their "ideal woman." The main place where these instances occur? The "You Should Message Me If..." section.
I find this section inherently problematic for two main reasons: 1) People are going to message you whether you want them to or not/whether they fit the criteria you've provided or not; and 2) It provides a space for people to be unnecessarily rude and exclusive. While I understand that the point is to allow people to say what they are looking for in a partner, I've found that most people do exactly the opposite, and focus on what they don't want in a partner. Sure, everyone has dealbreakers, but nine times out of 10, the criteria guys list as "unacceptable" are implicitly sexist things like "no fatties" or "message me if you're not a bitch."
Of course, I know that women are just as capable of saying offensive, generalized things about men, too. But since I'm a straight woman, I thought I would spend some time browsing through men's profiles to find examples of some problematic, sexist things that guys say. The saddest part is that many of these guys probably have no clue that what they said was offensive, but that just shows the power of internalized misogyny. Here are nine prime examples of sexism in "You Should Message Me If..." sections on OkCupid (anonymity preserved, OBVI).
1. The Sorority Stereotyper
I may not have been in a sorority myself, but I'm nevertheless appalled at this guy who for some reason thinks it's fair to categorize hundreds of thousands of women based on the fact that they were affiliated with Greek life in college. What does "fun but not a sorority girl" even mean?! Do sorority girls have a certain kind of fun that's unacceptable elsewhere?
2. The Guy Who'd Rather Be On OkCleavage
Glossing over the weirdness at the beginning of this mess (Must Love....Kangaroos?), I'd say this guy has his priorities a little mixed up. If you're looking specifically for cute animals and cleavage, I'd recommend you check out Buzzfeed and PornHub, respectively. A dating site is not a great place to say, "Hey girls, I don't respect you at all, I'm just here to browse pictures of your tits."
3. This Guy Who Doesn't Understand How Moods Work
To be fair, I might be misinterpreting this because it's almost incomprehensible to read, but I think what he's getting at is that he doesn't like women who are in a bad mood, ever. Because, you know, women aren't humans with various emotions that change circumstantially. We must be little rays of sunshine at all times, because that's the girly thing to do.
4. The Basic-Phobe
Haven't we come to the collective agreement as a species that being anti-basic is so 2014? You're going to need to be a little more current with your rude, gender-stereotyping criteria, dude.
5. This Shallow Cretin
You could have all those amazing qualities and more, but don't even bother wasting this guy's time if you aren't "at least cute lol." *Eyeroll*
6. The King Of Double Standards
Actually, if I think about it, a girl wearing a bikini is equally as revealing as a shirtless man. Actually, maybe even less so, because her nipples are (presumably) covered. This guy's sad attempt to justify uploading numerous shirtless selfies is pretty unsympathetic, because he does so in a way that suggests women are just slightly more disgusting than him for daring to reveal their bodies online.
7. The Guy Who Believes The "All Girls Are Crazy" Trope
Passing over the glaring grammatical errors here, I'm pretty offended that this guy seems to think it necessary to declare he's only looking for a "sane" girl, as if all women are "crazy" by default. The stereotype that women are crazy simply because we express our emotions or dare to be argumentative is harmful, and this guy is only perpetuating that problematic and antiquated view of women.
8. The Body-Policer
There are several things wrong with this. First and foremost, he demonizes girls who are "too crazy" because they are heavily tattooed/pierced. This is 2015 — isn't it about time men stop thinking they can tell women what's appropriate/acceptable to do with their bodies? Next, he says only going on one date with him is not an option. OK, well what if I genuinely dislike you and don't want to see you again? Are you going to stalk me and blow up my phone until I have to take out a restraining order against you? And perhaps most bizarre of all is his request that a woman is "not against" things like butter, sugar, and bacon. As if women, generally speaking, only eat lettuce and carrots...?
9. The Femmes-Only Guy
Yes, God forbid you express your gender in a way that's displeasing to this guy. If the most important quality to him is that someone looks and acts feminine, then he has some serious soul-searching to do, IMHO.
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Images: Pexels.com; OkCupid (9)