We all have our morning routines, right? Mine usually begins with pretending to be asleep while Elliott, my lovable and domineering orange Tabby cat, patrols the parameters of my bed. I lay motionless while she does her rounds and then hops on the bed, heading straight for my face.
There are incredibly urgent things that happen in her feline world that I have no clue about, things that she must inform me of loudly and very persistently.
After temporarily placating her with rhetorical questions like, “Who’s dis?” and “Is this Elliott?”, I reach for my phone. In the darkness that lasts ever-longer during this season I scroll through my platforms and news headlines. I kinda hate that I look at my phone so much. I tell myself that I do this so that I can actually just start my workday when I go downstairs, no surprizes. Maybe that’s true and I’m finally shedding my luddite skin or maybe I’m just addicted like everyone else.
While scrolling through my newsfeed this morning I saw something that surprized me and I thought it was a technical glitch, so I refreshed the feed. There it was again, sandwiched between a story about the latest Canadian city to be declared a “red” Covid zone (Ottawa) and something about a blonde-haired Miley Cyrus. What am I talking about? My first Bumble article, “Love, Lust, and Digital Dating”, which was published fifteen months ago!
There is a synchronicity to the reappearance of this story because just last week I woke up to a barrage of lengthy comments on each Bumble story I’ve posted on my Blog. They were from a man who enjoys my blog and loves to post comments, as he said:
“It’s genuinely cool of you to be so vulnerable and to share this. I find your blog really fascinating despite my criticisms, and I enjoy posting comments.”
(Before anyone worries about the ethical implications of using a quote from him, he gave me permission to do so before I even asked.)
I appreciate his perspectives about Bumble and how men inhabit digital dating platforms. With respect to the tendency for many men to post curiously unflattering or zany profile pictures, he noted that men don’t know what I/we/women will find attractive = hence the funny, ‘being myself’ look. I get that. I’m not sure if this is still a trend on Bumble because I haven’t used it in over two years. He also expressed disdain for his fellow guys who take the incel-troll approach to anything feminist, which he aptly summed up by saying: “assholes gonna asshole.”
As insightful as his input was, it wasn’t without mansplaining, which he apologized for and acknowledged: “ Sorry for the mansplainin’, just giving my 2 cents!”
But there’s one comment that still stumps me and it’s one that I saw repeatedly in the initial wave of angry male uproar about my article, which has to do with my assessment of my Bumble performance. I was very open with my disappointment about meeting only ten guys in five months. I’m a sexual woman who wants to meet and greet dudes and I wanted more, plain and simple.
Yet this is interpreted by most men, including my cool commentator, as evidence of my cluelessness about men’s dating experiences. I’m also often told that because my results surpassed those of men, I should be happy with my ten guys. BUT I’M NOT WRITING ABOUT MEN’S EXPERIENCES, I’M WRITING ABOUT MINE. Why on earth would I interpret my success through the male experience? I care how men date and their Bumble results, but that’s not the focus of the article. Yes, I mention men but they are not my golden standard or the measure by which my experiences need to be interpreted, compared, or validated. Am I right?
Bumble continues to shatter the glass ceiling in all sorts of ways, like the recent announcement that the company can now claim it has equal male-to-female representation across its C-suite, which is, sadly, still unusual for a company of its size. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term C-Suite, which I was until 10 minutes ago, it refers to the executive-level managers within a company, folks like the chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), chief operating officer (COO), and chief information officer (CIO).
The bees remain busy and that includes the Queen, who feels sated with sweet inspiration to keep the dream alive of getting my Bumble memoir picked up by an agent/publisher. It’s one of the key activities I’ve outlined in my sabbatical application, which is set to begin next July. Bzzzz.