Heather Wilhelm: Vanity Fair’s Tinder piece shows how feminism sold women out

Heather Wilhelm: Vanity Fair’s Tinder piece shows how feminism sold women out

In case you missed it, this month’s Vanity Fair features an impressively bleak and depressing article, with a title worth a thousand Internet clicks: “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse.” Written by Nancy Jo Sales, it’s a salty, f-bomb-laden, desolate look at The Lives of Young People These Days. Traditional dating, the article suggests, has largely dissolved; young women, meanwhile, are the hardest hit.

Tinder, in case you’re not on it right now, is a “dating” app that allows users to find interested singles nearby. If you like the looks of someone, you can swipe right; if you don’t, you swipe left. “Dating” sometimes happens, but it’s often a stretch: Many people, human nature being what it is, use apps like Tinder — and Happn, Hinge, and WhatevR, Nothing MattRs (OK, I made that last one up) — for one-time, no-strings-attached hookups. It’s just like ordering online food, one investment banker says, “but you’re ordering a person.” Delightful! Here’s to the lucky lady who meets up with that enterprising chap.

“In February, one study reported there were nearly 100 million people — perhaps 50 million on Tinder alone — using their phones as a sort of all-day, every-day, handheld singles club,” Sales writes, “where they might find a sex partner as easily as they’d find a cheap flight to Florida.”

The article goes on to detail a barrage of pleased young men, bragging about their “easy,” “hit it and quit it” conquests. The women, meanwhile, express nothing but angst, detailing an army of dudes who are rude, dysfunctional, disinterested, and, to add insult to injury, often worthless in the sack.

The piece has inspired numerous heated reactions and varying levels of hilarity, most notably from Tinder itself. Recently, Tinder’s Twitter account — social media layered on top of social media, which is never, ever pretty — freaked out, issuing a series of 30 defensive and grandiose statements.

“If you want to try to tear us down with one-sided journalism, well, that’s your prerogative,” said one. “The Tinder generation is real,” insisted another.

In an excerpt from his book “Modern Romance,” comedian Aziz Ansari was among those who defended Tinder: When you look at the big picture, he writes, it “isn’t so different from what our grandparents did.”

So, which is it? Are we riding to heck in a smartphone-laden, relationship-killing hand basket? Or is everything the same as it ever was? The truth, I would guess, is somewhere down the middle. Certainly, functional relationships still exist; on the flip side, the hookup culture is clearly real, and it’s not doing women any favors. Here’s the weird thing: Most modern feminists will never, ever admit that last part, even though it would genuinely help women to do so.

If a woman publicly expresses any discomfort about the hookup culture, a young woman named Amanda tells Vanity Fair, “it’s like you’re weak, you’re not independent, you somehow missed the whole memo about third-wave feminism.” That memo has been well articulated over the years, from 1970s feminist trailblazers to today. It comes down to the following thesis: Sex is meaningless, and there is no difference between women and men.

This is absurd, of course, on a biological level alone — and yet, somehow, it gets a lot of takers. Hanna Rosin, author of “The End of Men,” once wrote that “the hookup culture is … bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012 — the freedom, the confidence.” Meanwhile, feminist writer Amanda Marcotte called the Vanity Fair article “sex-negative gibberish,” “sexual fear-mongering,” and “paternalistic.” Why? Because it suggested that men and women were different, and that rampant, casual sex might not be the best idea.

Here’s the key question: Why were the women in the article continuing to go back to Tinder, even when they admitted they got literally nothing — not even physical satisfaction — out of it? What were they looking for? Why were they hanging out with jerks? “For young women the problem in navigating sexuality and relationships is still gender inequality,” Elizabeth Armstrong, a University of Michigan sociology professor, told Sales. “There is still a pervasive double standard. We need to puzzle out why women have made more strides in the public arena than in the private arena.”

Well, we could puzzle it out, but I have one theory: This isn’t about “gender inequality” at all, but the fact that many young women, by and large, have been sold a bill of goods by modern “feminists” — a group that ultimately, with their reams of bad, bad advice, might not be very feminist at all.

Heather Wilhelm is a writer based in Austin, Texas. She wrote this for The Dallas Morning News.

Tinder Femininst

Tinder Femininst

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n 1946 a young, post-war Italian businessman from Valenza, Gino Amisano, began producing leather seats and motorcycle saddles. One year later he repurposed his skills to start AGV SpA (helmets) designing some of the earliest motorcycle protective leather helmets on the market in Italy. As safety testing and standards were not commonplace in this time of history, Amisano was one of the first to begin producing protective motorcycle racing helmets with his 1954 model 160 helmet. Fast forward sixty one years and worldwide the AGV name is living legend. After the production of the first leather “pudding bowl” shaped, crisscross inner lining and harnessed helmet, which would mold to the riders head, AGV had thus separated themselves from the competition, and Gino Amisano would soon be known as the “King of Helmets” in the European industry. To attain such a high status, a “King,” AGV had to establish their dominance in the helmet industry. They started with a riding helmet, but what was to follow? Their first step was by producing a protective jet helmet in 1956, later signing the best motorcyclist to ever participate in the sport in 1967, Giacomo Agostini, who would go on to win 14 World Championships while wearing AGV helmets. The first AGV full faced helmet worn in racing was in an Italian race, worn by Alberto Pagani, in 1969. And finally by creating and sponsoring the now famous “Clinica Mobile, this mobile clinic which would treat injured riders at the race track starting in 1977. It was clear that AGV had a commitment to excellence, both in safety of their products and the sport itself. It was right about this time that Michael Parrotte began riding motorcycles while attending the American School of Paris for three years. During this time AGV was the undisputed King of the helmet world in Europe while Bell Helmets reigned supreme in North America. During this time in Europe AGV Helmets were worn by many of the top Grand Prix Riders – Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene, Angel Nieto, Johnny Cecotto, Steve Baker, and Kenny Roberts. AGV was not just the sponsor of racers but of race series. The AGV World Cup consisted of 200 mile events at Daytona, Paul Ricard, and Imola. Shortly after returning to the US Mr. Parrotte wrote a letter to Mr. Amisano enquiring about the possibility of importing AGV Helmets into the US. Communications continued and in late 1976 AGV granted the exclusive rights for the AGV brand to Mr. Parrotte and his new company AGV USA. The first helmets arrived in the port of Baltimore in the spring of 1977. As an avid road racer Michael traveled the race circuit promoting and selling AGV as well as participating in races. During this first season AGV USA sponsored their first racer, an up and coming fourteen year old from Louisiana-named Freddie Spencer. After years of operating as the exclusive importer of AGV helmets, Parrotte saw yet another opportunity in the motorcycling market by producing safety apparel for riders, particularly club racers who needed very durable and safe products and who did not have unlimited budgets. In 1985 Mr. Amisano licensed the use of the AGV tradename to begin a joint venture with Mr. Parrotte in this new sector. In the first year American GP rider Randy Mamola began wearing AGV gloves, the CX-1. AGV road race suits and boots quickly followed, all handcrafted in Italy at the time. After only a couple of years of business in the US motorcycle apparel industry Yamaha Motor Canada became the first international importer of the AGV apparel. After the success of the AGV motorcycle safety apparel in the United States and Canadian markets, the decision was made to expand the name from AGV to AGVSPORT for cosmetic reasons particularity the Suits, Jackets, and pants. The AGV logo was perfect for helmets and worked for Gloves and Boots but was too short for use on arms and legs. So in the late 1980’s the AGVSPORT brand was born. For a number of years products were branded both AGV and AGVSPORT depending on their styling requirements. In the early 1990’s Italian designer Sergio Robbin designed the AGVSPORT logo. Sergio was the top designer for AGV and Spidi and had done extensive design work for Ducati and Bimota. One of his first creations was the Bimota V-Due 500cc two stoke sport bike. The company may have been young in age, but with the years of helmet industry knowledge that AGVSPORT founder Michael Parrotte brought with him from his early years with AGV SpA proved to be invaluable when creating high performance safety apparel. As many other producers focused of fashion, Michael focused on safety, performance, and value over all else. In 1992 AGV SpA purchased a majority ownership of AGV Sports Group. The reputation for durability spread throughout the club racing world and it is not uncommon to see AGVSPORT suits twenty years old or more still being used by club racers today. This ultimately led to a great and long-lasting partnership, now for more than 25 years, with Keith Code and the California Super Bike School, where all instructors would be suited up in AGVSPORT leather suits. The California Superbike Schools’ instructors and students have been using and abusing AGVSPORT leather suits for more than quarter century. These suits are put to a stress test like no other often being used for days on end, rain or shine year after year. These instructors and students often remain in their suits for the entirety of the day’s lessons, and essentially are living in our leathers. You may think the top sponsored riders would be the best example for why our suits are of the highest quality, but it is the instructors and students at this school that showcase how our suits can literally handle the heat and take a beating, all while staying safe, cool and comfortable. Throughout the 1990’s AGVSPORT apparel began to explode on the racing scene, beginning with Loris Capirossi wearing AGVSPORT apparel while winning an FIM GP World Championship in 1991. Back in the US the list of sponsored riders started to look like a who’s who of the racing world: from the US the riders Ben Bostrom, Eric Bostrom, Thomas Stevens, Kurtis Roberts, Aaron Yates, and Roland Sands; from Canada Miguel DuHamel, Pascal Picotte, and Steve Canadians; and from Australia Troy Bayliss, Sean Giles, Craig Coxhell, Josh Waters, Jamie Stauffer, and 7-time AMA Super Bike Champion, Mat Mladin. It was now time for AGV Sport Group Inc. to become an independent entity and all the shares of the company were purchased back from AGV SpA in Italy. But it was not until the fall of 2001 that AGVSPORT was officially recognized by the Italian helmet company as an independent brand, owned by entirely by AGV Sport Group Inc. Today AGV Helmets is owned by famed Italian apparel manufacturer Dainese. Since that time AGVSPORT has enjoyed a comfortable position in the apparel industry. By continuing their age old business model “Designed by Riders, for Riders,” and “The Science of Safety” which combined years of helmet industry knowledge. AGVSPORT has always been on the cutting edge of the safety apparel design and construction. AGV Sports Group has always been, and will always be, a company of avid riders and enthusiasts who are wearing and always developing AGVSPORT apparel. This ensures that you, the customer, will experience the best and safest products we have to offer, and we hope that you will actually be able to feel the history of Gino Amisano and progress of AGVSPORT every time you ride and are wearing any of our AGVSPORT leathers or textiles. Each AGVSPORT product is designed by riders for riders, and function is never sacrificed for aesthetics. By keeping product development and design in house and using experience riders, we are staying true to the dedicated following of discerning motorcycle enthusiasts who respect the quality and value of AGVSPORT performance driven products. We at AGV Sports Group are among the sport’s greatest enthusiasts.