Have you ever been merrily swiping along on Tinder only to be suddenly confronted with an explicit image of (usually male) genitalia? Or been conversing with a seemingly normal human being, only to be asked something utterly tiresome/vile/sexually degrading? Eye-roll, on to the next.
But given the success of more female-focused apps like Bumble, in which only women are allowed to make the first move, Tinder is finally appearing to address how women are often approached by men on the app, by adding a new, arguably feminist feature in order to provide a “better Tinder experience”.
Tinder Reactions is part of what the company terms its “Menprovement Initiative”, which, as the promotional video below explains, is intended as a “solution to douchebags”.
The “women of Tinder” have created five interactive reactions designed “to give all the women in the world the tools they need to fight douche-ness, anytime, anywhere”, to be used in the same way you’d use an emoji.
The idea behind it is for female users to be able to easily tell a male user his behaviour is unacceptable with a quick tap – for example, throwing a virtual cocktail in his face or giving him an exacerbated eye-roll.
In total there are eight reactions, five of which are only available to women to condemn bad dating behaviour.
All users have use of the positive reactions, listed below:
- Round of applause
Only female users can access the ‘Manprovement Initiative’ reactions, listed below:
- Throw a drink in their face
- Ball’s in your court
- Strike 1
However, while it’s encouraging that Tinder seems to be addressing the online dating issues women in particular face, such as unsolicited pictures and inappropriate messages, it has arguably missed its target – firstly by stereotyping both men and women (throwing a cocktail in someone’s face being exclusively female behaviour and describing it as “sassy”), and secondly by introducing a light-hearted ‘solution’ to something many people find serious and upsetting.
Tinder has recently made its reporting process simpler by introducing an unmatch option and a flag icon in the corner of each conversation thread. So if you are feeling uncomfortable and think Tinder needs to know about a certain, dodgy user you can quickly report them.
While we can’t imagine that being able to quickly send a ‘strike’ to someone who has just sent something disgustingly misogynistic goes far toward solving the problem – something Tinder seems to be aiming for by introducing this alongside new community guidelines – or that the type of men who send such messages will care, as a jokey response to a cheesy chat-up line, being able to react with an eye-roll will have its uses.
The new reactions function launched on the 4 October and if you want to try them out for yourself you will need to update the app to get access.
Images: Christian Perner