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Dating sites are even worse that I’d expected April 19, 2011

Posted by Summerspeaker in Feminism, Queer politics, Technology.
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Inspired by a discussion on RevLeft, I decided to check out OkCupid. The site immediately demands a binary gender identification. It gives you a grand total of six gender and sexuality options: female/straight, female/gay, female/bisexual, male/straight, male/gay, and male/bisexual. Talk about squishing folks into boxes! This makes Jaron Lanier’s critique of the reductionism in social networking resonate more with me, though of course ey hardly mentions gender and sexuality. This piece by ~My-God-Issa-Girl seems appropriate. The worthwhile aim of connecting people for emotional and sexual relationships simultaneously reinforces dominant conceptions, annihilates complexity to produce marketable statistics, and excludes folks at the margins like myself. Hence my skepticism about the freeing powers of digital communications systems.

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Comments»

1. Summerspeaker - April 19, 2011

In OkCupid’s defense, they at least offer a charming option to gays and bisexuals: “I don’t want to see or be seen by straight people.” Will someone work on exporting this to the real world?

2. sofias. - April 20, 2011

jup, that sucks…
something like a “OpenCupid” format would be pretty neat, in which the q/a-part can be done (which i find to be okc’s most useful feature).
combined with foaf and some crypto we could have a nice distributed dating-cloud. (solely relying on the amazing power of buzzwords 😛 )

the queer aspect would be to replace the gender-field (and basically all the other stuff) with optional questions that can be answered in any depht, and one could apply individual search patterns as opposed to trusting okc’s match algorhithm…

sofias. - April 20, 2011
3. AnonymousCoward - April 20, 2011

On the plus side, the quizzes are fun.

4. Pla - April 21, 2011

LOL, anarchist guys who call themselves queer yet fuck only women.

Summerspeaker - April 21, 2011

I’ve never encountered this phenomenon, but it sounds better than the alternative. Attempts to police queerness are misguided. It’s too conceptually powerful to appropriate safely.


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