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The discrepancy between Bumble’s sunny narrative and my stormier encounters stemmed from the app’s outdated brand of feminism.
The women-taking-charge-for-themselves model assumes that we live in a girl-power bubble.
My Bumble experiences reflect the same unfortunate truth, as do other studies about the complex relationship between gender and power relations on dating apps.
Using a feminist dating app in a patriarchal world is messy, but also fascinating for what it reveals about sexuality, gender and power in the digital dating universe.
It can be terrifying but also much more exciting than swiping right.
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Bumble might also consider having users answer questions about gender equity and feminism before matches are generated.
This could make digital dating experiences less of a bell jar and more of an equitable mess.
This was confirmed by several of my matches, who discussed women’s acquisition of socio-economic and sexual power as a problem.Drawing upon my personal experiences and academic insights about sexuality, gender and power, this article explores what happens when dating apps fail on their promises.Being a tech Luddite, I never dreamed of using a dating app.Bumble needs a serious upgrade it if truly wants to empower women and make room for men en route to more meaningful dating experiences.One suggestion would be to remove the “she asks” and “he waits” design so both partners can access one another as soon as a match is made.