I’m mad. I’m angry. I’m insulted to the point that my fingers are a-buzzing and I need to get this out into the universe.
They say that dating is a game. Sure, I’ll play.
I’ve done the apps. I’ve done the “act cute in a pizza place and get picked up by some weird guy from Nebraska”. I even bought a Groupon for Match.com, cause EVERYONE swore by it (but I deleted it a week later). Throughout that experience, I’ve run into some hardcore douche-nuggets – but at the end of the day, I’ve never felt actually disrespected as a woman.
That was, until today.
Yesterday, I received an eye-roll message from a guy on Tinder. I’m very familiar with the Instagram account “Tinder Nightmares” and just figured this was another one of those ridiculous situations. Fed up with being treated like a piece of meat by a lot of the matches I encounter, I responded with a sarcastic comment (as I do A LOT of the time).
That’s when it went in a direction I never expected it to go:
First, he made a comment about my body – complete with emojis. Then, when he didn’t receive a response he liked (cause honestly – how the HELL does someone respond to that?), he tried to attack my self-esteem by calling me ugly. And then the whammy: Whore. He called me a WHORE.
Why? I’m still trying to figure it out.
I opened up his final response as I was walking around in the mall this afternoon and initially, it didn’t bother me too much. Another hilarious Tinder Nightmare, right? Then I started thinking about it. Reallllllly thinking about it. And then I was absolutely infuriated.
I’ve recently been complaining to my friends about how sick I am of feeling like a “thing” to so many of the guys I’ve encountered while trying to navigate this bizarre dating world. There’s something so dehumanizing about feeling like a piece of meat – a body more than anything else. For example, the amount of FIRST messages I get about my chest from guys on these apps is actually mind-boggling.
I know what my body looks like. I know I flaunt certain areas and wear outfits that accentuate body parts, but this doesn’t mean I’m “asking for it”. And this is definitely not an invitation for inappropriate comments from absolute strangers on dating websites. It makes you wonder – if we met in a bar, would you walk up to me and say, “Titties (heart emoji)” to my face? The answer is, most likely, no way. And, if you did, you would 100% get slapped in the face.
I’m a strong girl. I’m really firm in my beliefs and I’m completely capable of standing up for myself when I feel like something needs to be done. I’m also able to shrug off A LOT of negative comments, but as I was roaming through the mall today, it occurred to me that a lot of girls AREN’T like that. A lot of people aren’t able to roll their eyes and walk in the opposite direction when a blow like this comes their way, which is why cyberbullying is such an issue in today’s culture.
So as a result, this “gentleman” received this message in response (pardon the grammar errors – I was enraged):
We’re living in a weird, weird world where dating online is the norm. I’m shocked when I meet couples who met out there, in the real world. What’s sad is that I’m even more shocked when I meet people who are actually a “Tinder Success Story” – since I can count the number of these relationships on one hand. My sister’s best friend just entered into one of these relationships and the three of us had a full convo last night about how rare (and exciting) that situation really is. True gentlemen are hard to find. So if you’ve snagged one, hold him tight.
To the rest of us who are still stuck playing this game: keep on keeping on and don’t allow the Tinder assholes of the world make you feel like you’re small. You’re strong. You’re beautiful. You can flaunt whatever body parts you’re comfortable flaunting. It’s your body, your life, do with it whatever your heart desires.
Eleanor Roosevelt brilliantly said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
This guy doesn’t know that I graduated Magna Cum Laude from college. Or that I’ve spent thousands of hours in the car commuting to countless jobs to build a career for myself. He doesn’t know that my heart has been broken and that I’ve done things that I’ve sincerely regretted doing. He doesn’t know where I’ve traveled and he doesn’t know the last place I was truly happy. He doesn’t know these things because he doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know my story, and I don’t know his. And even IF he did, he STILL has absolutely no right to call me names for being uninterested in him.
You’re allowed to stand up for yourself and others if anyone, any where, makes you doubt who you are as an individual. You are allowed to say NO. You are allowed to recognize when something is not okay or when something makes you uncomfortable. No man, especially a random stranger on some random site who has no idea of you or your story, should ever be able to hold your body, your sexuality or your appearance against you.