Well, that didn’t last long. In my decision to actively date again, I created a profile on another online dating site. It’s been less than a week and I deleted it already. I just could not take it anymore. At first I thought I was frustrated with being contacted by so many men who were not my type. But then I realized that’s not it. Frustrating, yes. But the thing that really made me feel icky inside and made me delete that profile is the leering.
The leering. The unwanted sexual advances. The thing I hate the most is the objectification and sexualization of my being. That is what I object to. You may say well, you put yourself out there where naturally, physical appearances play a large factor in online dating. Yes, it does. But that does not give anyone the right to objectify me. Were I standing in a coffee shop or bar or bookstore, leering is not an acceptable form of communication or reaching out to me. Just as cat calls as I walk down the sidewalk is not acceptable, sending messages that objectify me is not acceptable.
Thanks for thinking I’m attractive. So nice of you. I actually agree that I’m attractive. But when you approach me initially with “Every inch of you is so sexy, beautiful,” or “I bet you give great massages,” that will only get you deleted. When the majority of messages to me contain these kinds of sexual objectification, methinks this is not a space in life I want to occupy.
Again, I understand and agree that physical attraction is a large component to dating and relationship building. But I don’t want to be someone’s pretty girlfriend, or gorgeous date, or sexy wife. I want to be seen. Not my smile. Not my legs. Not my hair.
I want to be seen as funny and kind and smart and adventurous and brave. I want to be seen as interesting and complex and witty. I want to be seen as opinionated and fierce. This is where online dating fails. It is difficult to portray those qualities on a website. And the internet offers a detachment and anonymity whereupon cowards feel more empowered and brave. They feel emboldened to be disrespectful and lewd.
Dating should be fun. I shouldn’t feel like I need to take a shower to wash the filth off when I log off. I’m on a dating site for God’s sake, I’m not advertising for an escort service on Craig’s List. I love being bombarded with lewd comments, said no one ever.