Why can’t we have a feminist dating app?

This ‘ole dating app game is becoming, all too quickly, ‘ole. Swiping through the legions of available bachelors and When becomes an exhausting parody of the Generation Game all too quickly, except somehow we’re all Jim Davidson. Picking on aesthetic attraction isn’t the worst idea in the world (surely that’s what the majority of us do in real life?) but the possibility of me sharing mutual interests with my matches is in a depressing drudgery of single numbers. I like politics. I like feminism. I like opening a packet of crisps and spilling them all over my bed. I understand that one of those statements is highly unappealing, but should the first two be so much of a problem?

When the Feminist Tinder account first came into action, the remarks didn’t surprise me — they exhausted me. The amount of times I have run into battle on the dating app for stipulating that men and women should share the same opportunities and rights is depressing territory. ‘I prefer the term equalist,’ some ‘enlightened’ participants add. ‘I’m not a feminist but I do believe in equal rights,’ say others. ‘What’s the big deal? We’re not in a developing country,’ rebukes another. I tried writing the word feminist on my profile, like these women did. My relatively steady stream of matches halted quickly to zero.

Although Bumble has tried to plug this hole in the market by allowing women to chose whether they speak to their matches, I’ve ended up with worse experiences out of the app, rather than better. I heartily welcome the app’s entrance into the dating discourse, especially concerning the mistreatment of its CEO, Whitney Wolfe, by Tinder. It was when I ended up on a date with a racist, homophobic, transphobic zealot who shouted ‘ninja!’ at some women wearing hijabs after a sweet-sounding profile that I began to edge away. Could it be my judgement? Didn’t I have good, decent people around me in real life? How could I remove myself from this circle of twazzocks?

OkCupid and match.com might have this ground covered, but I don’t think I’m saying anything new in adding that they are comprehensive, website-based systems that require more commitment than a standard app. Power to the people that use them, but a good swipe up, down, left or right suits me a little bit more. It’s quicker, and I’m lazy. Sorry.

This is why I’m here today, requesting and shouting into the void for a dating app for feminists. To be an advocate of a basic human right isn’t a source of shame. After all, in real life, have I ever gone out with anyone who hasn’t declared themselves a feminist?

To me, believing in feminism lends itself to other qualities that I would want in a partner. I want to be with someone open-minded, politicised, questioning, respectful, sensitive, (left-wing – I’m putting this in brackets for debate) and kind-hearted. I don’t want to have to filter through the people who just do not think the same way as me, no matter how much their appearance attests me to try.

Now that dating apps are a cornerstone in the way that we meet new people, they should involve with the wants and interests of its users. The fact that an account such as feminist tinder has 70.3k followers indicates that there is a gap in the market for feminist daters. To have such an app in public domain would encourage people to be proud of the label, rather than letting it nestle in their wants and needs box as something that is scary and repugnant to their potential lover. If everyone from every gender identification can be encouraged that feminism isn’t a dirty word in their love life, perhaps it will help them be more confident in placing their own wants and needs higher on the agenda too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cameron, making Yorkshire his punchline

I’m not a stranger to poor jokes coming out of the Conservative government. When George Osborne was awarded the GQ Politician of the Year award after a comment that the pages he featured on ‘were the only ones not glued together,’ back when he won the accolade in 2011, I struggled to see how anyone would be laughing. A matter of days later, Cameron has taken the pew — with the people of Yorkshire as the punchline.

Speaking at a conference in Leeds, the Prime Minister said: ‘We just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else, we didn’t realise they hated each other so much.’

According to the video content released by The Guardian, it appears that only one person in the crowd was laughing.

Although there are 5.7 million people in Yorkshire, it seems that not one, but two idiotic stereotypes make it worthwhile for Cameron.

Seeing the county as a relegated trope ideal for a jibe not only illustrates the Prime Minister’s ignorance concerning the intelligence, creativity and potential of the county, but shows a seething lack of recognition that the county is so bitter because of the government’s grim will to pit communities against each other.

Holding the second-highest area unemployment rate and child poverty rates of one in four below the national average, resulting in almost half of 11-year-olds from deprived backgrounds in Yorkshire do not get to the standard of reading, writing and maths expected of the age group, according to the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

In spite of this, Cameron’s government insist that ‘poor parenting’ is behind the heart of the report.

London receives twenty-four times more spending on infrastructure than the entirety of Yorkshire, Londoners receive £5,203 more per head on capital investment than people in the north-east. Arts Council England spend £41.03 per head for people in London – compared with £13.74 for the people of Yorkshire.

It’s not the age-old rivalry between Hull and Grimsby that is to blame. As further rhetoric regarding ‘benefit cheats’ and ‘swarms’ permeates the national consciousness in cheap television shows and tacky tabloid headlines, Yorkshire has been puppeteered into poverty with straw men to blame.

As the ‘Northern powerhouse’ seeks to tar the county as ‘one agenda, one economy, one North,’ it shamefacedly fails to recognise the nuances of the cities, the rural communities and the seaside towns that all contribute towards making Yorkshire Yorkshire. Each constituent has its own way to make money and it does not rely on a cheap plan that starves half of the country whilst its leaders focus on pumping more cash into its London-centric spreadsheet.

To term the north as a ‘powerhouse’ only further indicates that the Tory party see Yorkshire in its past glory without any recognition of its party’s destruction. In Hull, my hometown, the powerhouse was destroyed when our maritime port was destroyed in the seventies. In Sheffield, it was destroyed when the steel works shut down. Barnsley and Wakefield are just a few of the communities that took the hit of the mine closures, and have been struggling on a road to recovery ever since.

In short, Mr Cameron, I don’t believe that the Yorkshire community hates each other as much as you would like to think. Perhaps it hates you for you and your party’s lack of deference and understanding of its 5.7 million people.

Why do the GQ awards smell of 2011?

Back in 2011, Osborne was awarded GQ’s Politician of the Year award.

Quipping that the politics section of GQ included “the only pages that a teenage boy hasn’t stuck together in reading the magazine”.

Eurgh.

When I found out that he’d won it all over again this year, I tweeted that he should fuck off, just fuck off.

I apologise now, for I realise that I’ve just treated the GQ awards like they should matter.

To me, the entire ceremony smells a bit like a strain of off sperm.

It has that lingering quality, a lilting presence that prescribes itself to a trope of masculinity that still giggles at the word metrosexual and tells you to relax when you sigh at the shitty music videos it decides to watch.

In short, it’s the teenage boy that never really learnt how to grow up.

It’s even more annoying when people in privileged positions decide to consolidate their stronghold in the shittiest manner possible — by showcasing it as something that is in our aspiration. I can mock the simulacra, even though it’s dangerous and affecting, but how GQ finds justification for Osborne’s post-election budget as “triumphant” is as jarring as it is bizarre.

Even though the left’s fusion of empathy and facts speaks to me, the stony faces of the GQ crowd cannot ignore that the Institute of Fiscal Studies have realised that 3 million families – in the “working poor” bracket – will lose £1,000 a year thanks to the latest Budget. “The changes are regressive – taking much more from poorer households than richer ones,” said the organisation.

That doesn’t surprise me, and nor does the fact that the richest 10% will only lose £350 a year.

What does surprise me is that this tired ceremony is audacious enough to so publicly feel itself up.

Right now, GQ and George are in a room, glueing the pages together in some sex-frenzied capitalist hype. Think American Psycho’s love for Oliver Peoples teamed up with the financial orgy of Wolf of Wall Street. It’s all well and good in fiction — until someone ends up killing people and being too friendly with the bankers.

Oh, wait.