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Shoot your shot: Tinder to introduce "ladies first" feature

For all of our eligible Rutgers bachelors and bachelorettes, get ready, because Tinder is making a change. An impending update for the dating app will soon only allow women to message first.

Tinder announced that this “ladies first” setting will allow women to stop receiving all of those rather unwanted, and cheesy pick-up lines, if they decide they would rather make the first move. If this sounds intimidating, don’t fret: men will still be able to initiate conversation if women choose to keep the default setting, rather than opting to activate “ladies-first.”  

Bumble, Tinder’s rival dating app, was revolutionary for its concept that only women had the power to make the first move, a feature that led to its unofficial branding of being “the feminist app.” Now that Tinder is including this update, perhaps our culture is changing as we challenge these old-fashioned dating norms. 

“Often, women don’t really want the pressure of kicking off the conversation, but if they want it, that’s great. Giving people the choice versus telling people how to engage is the big difference,” said Mandy Ginsberg, the CEO of Match Group, the dating empire which owns Tinder, in an interview with MarketWatch.

Ginsberg also told Marketwatch that this is only the beginning of implementing more female-focused features for Match Group. 

Although it does pose an interesting debate, because not all women are comfortable with reversing this age-old stereotype.

“I never downloaded Bumble, because I was always uncomfortable making the first move, and so I don’t really see the point of Tinder coming up with their own 'ladies-first' setting. It just seems redundant,” said Peyton Wagner, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore. 

This notion of a woman making the first move is often seen as a daunting, or even off-putting, challenge to some men or women, simply as a result of the male-dominant culture we live in.

As seen on various TV shows, in movies, even in literature, we have been taught that traditionally men are the ones to initiate any romantic endeavors, therefore putting a considerable amount of pressure on men, and perhaps discouraging women from being more assertive in their relationships. Why shouldn’t women have the power to message a guy first, and why is this still seen as such a taboo today?   

“I think it’s really cool for a woman to message a guy first. It’s nice to see that a woman was interested in me and wanted to start a conversation. Plus, it takes the pressure off of me of trying to find the perfect opening line,” said Jonathan Louie, a Rutgers Business School sophomore. 

It also begs the question: is Tinder simply intimidated by the growth and success of its competitor?

Ginsberg did insist that this feature is not a reaction to any of Tinder’s competitors, but rather is an idea has been in the works for years. 

“We applaud any company making business decisions that empower women," said the founder and CEO of Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd in a CNN article in regards to the update.

Whether you have just decided to download and test your luck on any of these dating apps, or recently deleted your profile (for good this time), Tinder and Bumble have become extremely popular mediums for young people, especially those on college campuses, to try to find love, or at least their next date. By implementing this new setting, Bumble and Tinder are challenging a deeply-ingrained, heteronormative notion in our society, that a man should be the one to ask out a woman.

“I definitely think why I feel so uncomfortable asking a guy out has a lot to do with what I saw and read as a kid of the man always initiating things. I mean, in the Disney films, you never see the princess texting the prince asking to meet up, do you?” Wagner said. 

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