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.
The Economics of Sex (link to Video)
ANN COULTER: It’s blurring the lines or, ‘Oh, I should have been more precise.’ No. These were lies. They were lies, the same as Elizabeth Warren claiming to have been an Indian. The central focus of her life story, the hard-luck story — which would be amazing if it were true — is that she was raised by a single mother, started working when she was 14 to support her struggling family, then she became a single mother herself, lived in a trailer park and whoa through her pluck and determination she ends up in Harvard Law School. Well, no.
She basically came from a middle class family, her father ran a dinner theater. That’s not working-class. Yeah, she got married young and had a child young, and then got divorced at 21. I mean, I think the age between 19 and 21 I don’t think makes a big difference but that isn’t the hard luck story. Through the 50s most women, I believe, were getting married and having children before they turned 20. But the big part is the reason being a single mother — and it would be very impressive if she ended up at Harvard Law School, I will say, is that single mother —
COULTER: The connotation is you were supporting a family and raising your kids. She was neither supporting her family nor raising her kids. She married a sugar daddy whom she asked to meet. He supported her, he raised kids while she went to Harvard Law School. And he said, in that Dallas Morning News article, oh my gosh, it’s the greatest quote I’ve ever seen. He says, and I quote, ‘it’s ironic the day after i paid the last’ —