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Trans Men Discuss Online Dating
I tell all my single girlfriends to give online dating a try. You set up a profile, pick some cute photos, write something witty about the things that you love Beyonce, Hillary Clinton, Battlestar Galactica , list some books you like, and then sit back, kick your feet up, and wait for the messages to roll in. With those, you will send a few messages back and forth before he invites you for a drink. You will put on some mascara, plunge out into the snow, meet a stranger, and after an hour of slightly stilted conversation, he will grab the check. You will try to split it, but he will pay, and you will stand to re-wrap yourself against the frigid wind. I tell all my single guy friends to watch out for online dating. It is a sad, soul-crushing place where good guys go to die a slow death by way of ignored messages and empty inboxes. You will look for things in common in their profile they like Scrabble too! You will send them a note, carefully crafted to show interest and attention to detail. The first seven will not respond. Finally, one of the cool girls writes back, and you will banter a bit, swapping favorite restaurants or concert venues. You will march home to an empty inbox and the desire to spend another hour browsing and writing will start to fade. In the realm of hetero courtship, tradition still reigns supreme. The Internet could be the great democratizer, the great playing field-leveler. After all, we each have only the word text boxes and crappy jpegs and clever not so clever user names to show for ourselves. Anyone can message anyone about anything. Maybe instead we can learn to treat each other as equal players of a very silly game that we all secretly take quite seriously. I write about gender on the Internet for crying out loud! But every day, when I log into the dating site of my choice, I play the passive role, the receiver of attention, the awaiter of messages. Basically, I act like an entitled jerk who can pull puppet strings and make OkCupid dance for me however I please. This is not the behavior I would expect of a feminist, sex-positive 21st century lady. I wish the evidence pointed to something else, something egalitarian and modern, but when I get real with my own online dating M. Once in a blue moon? This is not how I want this work, but I condone it with my inaction. Out here, at a bar or restaurant, I work really hard to make sure that you know we are equals participating in a traditionally unequal transaction. Why should you buy my food? I do not want to be a passive participant in my romantic life. Many times in my writing I ask men to try to understand how women feel out in the world , to take a walk in their shoes, to try on a different perspective to understand their own privilege. Are you with me? Find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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