MANY people say they wish they were young and single again so that they could experience the world of online dating.
But while many imagine the dating scene in Ireland is fun, the reality is men open conversations with comments like “love your t**s”.
It’s not quite the stuff of romance novels.
In the 21st Century, meeting people often comes in the form of online dating and dating apps, with popular sites such as Hinge and Tinder being a primary form of talking to potential love interests.
And while there is a good side to these apps, there will always remain an inescapable element of unwanted comments.
One of the biggest problems with dating app is the potential of unwanted messages of a sexual nature.
Research shows that this is an issue that statistically affects women the most.
As a young woman in my early 20s, my experience of dating apps consists mainly of vile replies to my profile, with most focusing around the fit of my top.
Hinge allows people to interact with the images you use of yourself and they can leave a comment – even if you don’t like them back.
One man started the conversation with me by saying: “I love your t**s.”
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And for another, the first thing he said to me was: “Too forward to say you’ve a cracking smile and boobs.”
Yes. That is too forward.
While I’m unsure of the success rates men experience from approaches such as these, I can’t imagine that they’re very high.
If these comments bother you, good. I hope that in reading this people reconsider their approach.
But it’s not just me that is growing sick and tired of dating apps – this experience is universal.
I spoke to some friends about their interactions on Tinder and Hinge, and they each had a similar selection of responses.
One woman said that a man commented on one of her pictures, and in response to her boobs, said: “I hope you have a license for those cannons.”
Not only is this extremely ‘pick-up line’ extremely cringe-worthy, it is also nothing short of vulgar.
A Twitter page dedicated to exposing men’s inappropriate and failed attempts in the dating world, @incelreplies, further shows the universal experience of unsolicited comments.
I wonder what these men would think if their employers or family members saw how they spoke to women.
With online dating is that you are using six pictures to represent yourself, so you are automatically being judged based on your looks. But that does not excuse the vulgar and inappropriate comments that so often go hand-in-hand with dating apps.
Does an image that shows my cleavage automatically allow men to say these things to me?
Why do people think that it is okay to act in this way, often without consequence?
Are dating apps worth being on if they are nothing more than a ground for misogyny and vulgar statements? It is this behaviour The Irish Sun is calling for an end to with our Call This Out campaign.
While these responses can be ignored and disregarded – sometimes even laughed at – they are the start of something more sinister.
These comments are just part of the problem that women face in almost every realm of life.
And if we don’t call out the small things, how can we begin to address the bigger issues in society?
It isn’t just online behind a screen that women are made to feel uncomfortable.
We walk home with our keys between our fingers. We text our friends our every move. We avoid dark alleys and unlit paths. We cover our drinks. We don’t travel alone. We don’t wear anything ‘too revealing’.
Unfortunately, men do not experience the same level of fear as women and other marginalised groups do.
These precautions are not needed to be planned into the everyday for the men in our lives the same way in which they are for us.