Bro-Shaming: A Dating Trend That Needs to Stop
The recent BroBible article “Girl Shares Her Nightmares From Dating App Hinge So Bros Can Learn From Others’ Mistakes” practically came streaking into my life. Not sure what that means? No worries, despite that being the way the author, ASL, opened up her article, it doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. Nor did most of her diatribe, which enraged me enough to write this response. I believe her article is part of a larger trend I’ve noticed, a female equivalent to “slut-shaming,” which I will refer to as Bro-Shaming.
There are countless “girls expose creepy guys on dating app” Bro-Shaming articles, so why did this one strike me as particularly offensive? Well, I WAS ONE OF THE CREEPS MENTIONED IN THE STORY! I have no problem coming forward and embarrassingly revealing myself as the dude who opened with “What’s your dog’s name? He’s such a cute little muppet. Is that a labradoodle?”
Lame? Totally. Unimaginative and lazy? Sure. Creepy? Lady, if you think that is creepy, I’m going to guess your experience on Hinge is the only time you’ve talked to a guy in your entire life, and I implore you to never walk around South Beach in anything less than a burka.
My problem with Anal Sex Legend (a name I just whipped up off her acronym) and like-minded broads is her notion that a guy hitting on her via an app or website created specifically for dating and/or hooking up is somehow offensive. I’m not sure what girls like ASL hope to get from joining a dating app if they’re just gonna mock every guy they chat with. You are on Hinge. If you want to have completely benign text conversations that appeal to your specific interests, start a group chat with your girlfriends and talk about spinning or Just Salad or whatever.
I’m not exactly sure what ASL was trying to point out by including my specific opener. It’s pretty innocuous, as are most of the dog-related ones. But, despite her lack of clarity in explaining her point, I think what she was trying to say was that guys lack imagination and gravitate towards the low-hanging fruit of mentioning the dog in her first profile pic. I love this point because it highlights a larger problem with girls on these apps and dating in general—these chats are a two-way street, and it is not the guy’s sole responsibility to entertain you. Since ASL is comfortable exposing what guys say to her, I’d like to shed some light on what she said to me in our brief time. I’ve redacted everything I said, so you can get a real sense as to what a stimulating conversationalist she is.
ASL: Close! He’s a golden doodle…Name is Beau
ASL: I’m sure they would be
ASL: New Years was pretty low key. Ordered in Italian with my friends stayed up tip 12 then went to bed. It was nice for a change.
ASL: What about you
Are you guys in love yet? This is where the conversation ended, and probably ranks as one of the dullest I’ve had on the app. It was my fault too. ASL is far from alone when it comes to girls texting like brick walls, while expecting written gold in return. On these sites, it seems, girls feel entitled to put absolutely zero effort in making conversation interesting, sitting back while we do all the heavy lifting, amusing them like goddamn court jesters. Attractive girls know that most dudes will go on a date with them regardless of how dull they are, and therefore exert little to no mental energy in being even slightly engaging, funny, or personable. If they do try to be funny, they might make a hackneyed reference to a well-known movie everyone has seen like, I dunno, Night at the Roxbury:
My point is made even clearer when you analyze the openers I’ve received. I have initiated pretty much all the interaction I’ve had via the app, which makes sense; it’s standard practice that the dude will get convos going. But there have been four occasions where I’ve been matched with a girl, and she actually messaged me first. Here are their openers in no particular order –
Girl 1: Hi
Girl 2: Hey
Girl 3: Hi
Girl 4: Hey Brandon
Noticing a pattern here? Coming up with an opening line to a person you don’t know anything about is difficult, but in an effort to be somewhat interesting and kick things off, a guy will grasp at straws and try to find the slightest commonality or quirky question. It’s difficult, especially when you don’t know the others’ temperament or sense of humor. Should you be funny? Straightforward? Aggressive? Laid back? Cocky? Virulently racist? Every girl sparks to something different. So, when you throw out an opener, sometimes you get it right, but most times you don’t. As you can tell from the above, it’s not so easy is it, ladies?
There are a lot of creepy guys out there. Definitely not denying that. But the messages she highlights in her article do not demonstrate that. In fact, they’re not even remotely interesting. She seems to be getting off rather easy in terms of dating app creepiness. Hinge takes the creep factor down a bit because of the mutual friend thing, but this is how I imagine most no-mutual-friends Tinder convos go:
Guy: (Dick pic)
Girl: Why did you do that?
Guy: (Different angle dick pic)
Girl: Please stop sending me dick pics, this isn’t making me like you.
Guy: (Pic of the late Dick Clark)
Girl: That Dick is slightly more acceptable, but still, this is weird.
Guy: Wanna get drinks on Friday?
I think the “breathtaking” openers ASL put in her article were included solely so she could include her oh so hilarious responses. And let’s be real here, the responses she purported to be her real responses were completely fabricated, yes? In order for a guy to be able to message her, she had to “like” him, so I’m assuming she was interested in all of them in some capacity. If that’s the case, why respond in such a snarky, dismissive and unfriendly manner? I understand why she falsified her responses though.
Unfortunately, the stigma of online dating still exists, especially for a girl, so she needed to protect herself by not only acting too cool to actually engage genuine attempts to get to know people, but going so far as to dismiss the entire notion of online dating. It’s “superficial and creepy,” she claims, before launching into an explanation about how the great philosopher, Aziz Ansari, changed her mind.
“You only Yolo once,” she assesrt, using a joke that has been so overused you should be sued for plagiarism. Since her article lacked a thesis, I’ve created one: “I so desperately want to seem like a cool, funny girl, rather than put myself out there and try to meet someone I might like, I’d prefer to shit on all of the guys who try.”
Bro Shaming at its worst.
Why am I accusing ASL of stretching the truth in her article? Because I know she did it at least once. She intros my opener with “And then there was my friend with the dog…” But here’s the thing, she is that friend! She was the one I messaged, not her “friend.” And she doesn’t even do a good job of hiding it because you can see her Facebook profile picture earlier in the article, and her dog is on full display.
Does your evil know no bounds, ASL?
I’m sure this is gonna bum you out, but none of the bros you attempted to shame in your thrilling exposé really came off that bad. It was youwho looked the worst on account of your faux-bravado, which is clearly an attempt to protect your ego. You like to pass yourself off as a lady version of Hitch (aka Bitch), spouting dating advice to us dumb idiot guys who, darn it, as much as we try, just can’t get a date :(. While we appreciate your concern for our well-being, we’re doing fine without your revolutionary advice of “just be genuine.”
And you really stuck it to Jared by calling out his inclusion of his social and academic IQ in his first text.
I’ve read your line about that many times, and I legitimately can’t tell if you thought Jared was being sincere. You do realize that an IQ of 75 would mean he’s mentally handicapped, right? I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be offering that up as something to brag about. Unless, maybe he is. Who are you to be coming down on a retarded bro trying to get some non-retarded ass? That’s discrimination. Let this man dream. Go watch The Other Sister before you continue with your hate speech. If you did know he was joking, and just didn’t find it funny, well, sorry, but not every text sent to girls on a dating app needs to be Simpsons-caliber comedy writing. I give Jared credit for trying, and not just saying “hey.”
Since you seem to think you’re some sort of expert who can dole out dating advice to guys, I think I’m just as qualified to give some advice to girls. Ready? Don’t join a dating app if you don’t want to get messages from guys looking for dates. Whether you respond to messages or not is completely up to you, but the notion that you’re offended or creeped out by guys trying to establish a dialogue is disgusting. If you do eventually trick some guy into dating you, I feel sorry for this poor chump. Not only will he have to satiate your ungodly demands for anal sex in order to maintain your rank of Legend, but he will have to deal with the type of girl who enjoys humiliating guys who are potentially normal, decent dudes merely looking for a relationship.
And here’s my advice to guys: don’t let girls like ASL make you feel self-conscious about your efforts. The second you start trying to write messages that appeal to every girl is the second you appeal to none of them. When you try to be charming and funny in a completely safe way, you end up like Jay Leno, and nobody wants to date Jay Leno. I decided recently that although some of my weirder, more “out there” opening lines might not get responses, I’m okay with that, because it probably means that girl and I wouldn’t have gotten along anyway.
So, good luck out there everyone. Since ASL ended her post with a Hamlet quote that had literally nothing to do with anything else she’d previously discussed, I’ve decided to do the same. “One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.” So, in conclusion, smile? Sure, why not.
Sincerely (since I’m not afraid to attach my name to my words),
Brandon A. Cohen