Going Deep with Jodie Layne

So, dating can suck sometimes/most of the time.

This is the common refrain from single friends. Back in the days when I was single, navigating my way around emotions, etiquette, and completely unrealistic expectations, it wasn’t really a party either. There’s the vulnerability that comes with having to build trust and honesty with another person, the balance of trying to make them see that you are actually great but not perfect (so they don’t get a case of those impractical expectations), and the excitement of actual dates, holding hands, and having your parts touch their parts in ways that feel good.

But, there is also the chance that the dreaded moment will arise when you realize that you have found yourself on a date or interested in a “nice guy.”

If you’re lucky, your relationship will organically grow with an acquaintance or you’ll have a Meg Ryan rom-com-caliber meeting. If you’re of the 20 per cent of people whose hands don’t magically brush with a babe over the last bunch of kale at Organic Planet, or have a friend whose romantic potential you never saw before, or even friends who actually like you enough to introduce you to the catches they know – you’re in for an even harder time.

Online dating can really suck. You know all the creepy things people say to you at the bar, when they are actually face-to-face with you? Now, imagine they didn’t have to deal with the repercussions of what they said to you in any way, shape, or form. Yep, Internet dating involves a lot of filterless and tactless racism, misogyny, fat-shaming, fetishization, and other forms of terribleness.

Well, thank tits that there are some pretty rad Internet renegades who are not only responding to these douchebags, but calling them out publicly on their bullshit. The most popular site being, “The Nice Guys of OkCupid,” which openly exposes the hypocrisy of the “Nice Guy.” You know him, we all know a guy like this: bemoans being put in the “friend-zone” by women, claims he’s such a good guy but that he’s single because “girls like jerks.” Basically, he thinks he is owed sex or a relationship just for being “nice.”

Well, the Internet has news for you, dudes – being nice and expecting something in return doesn’t make you nice. It makes you a jerk, actually.

There are also the special cases of racism and fetishization of people of colour – the latest blog to expose and shame these creeps is the blog “Creepy White Guys.” It features interactions between its Asian author and guys from OkCupid who incorrectly guess her race, try and woo her with stereotypes, and try to prove the superiority of their culture. It’s offensive, disgusting, and reeks of the privilege to say whatever you want whenever you want to women, which is why I fully support these sites that name and shame the perpetrators.

Most of the things in these messages are the messages pretty much every single woman will receive in her online dating inbox at a fairly regular frequency. Yet, these only make up a fraction of the still-frustrating interactions that women have with men in real life.

The keyboard and sole interaction with a 2D profile embolden the abandonment of acceptable interpersonal communications. It allows for objectification and the lack of immediate consequences. If a guy in person said half the things that a guy on Plenty of Fish said to me during my stint in online dating, he would be verbally chewed out.

Most guys wouldn’t have the courage to spout their misogynist, sexist, racist, sizeist bullshit in person for fear of being held accountable. By calling them out publicly, we help to redefine what is acceptable and create accountability on the Internet. I’m all for protecting privacy and having the ability to pursue your desires legitimately and respectfully without fear of ridicule. However, these are not cases of disparate desires – this is straight-up sexism and it’s nice to see the Internet won’t let it slide.

You can confidentially submit a question or topic to jodie.m.w.layne@gmail.com.