A browse around match.com will reveal a remarkable number of men who tick the "I want to date [insert euphemism for skinny here] women" rather than "[insert euphemism for fat here] women" box in their Ideal Date checklist.
Not all of these men are Adonises themselves. Hardly any, I should say. I am wondering what sort of un-skinny woman would go on a date with a man knowing he will find her lacking (and I suspect probably making all kinds of judgments about the lack.
Also, since perceptions of what is, say "curvy" vs. "a few extra pounds" vs. "big and beautiful" are so subjective it seems kind of stupid to ask people to choose. People will feel there is false advertising going on.
Although I suppose the number of women looking for men with [check large income box here] is also pretty revealing.
How many women are looking for men with "a few extra pounds"? Regardless of what box their checking, how many prefer it? How many honestly don't care one way or the other.
Let's distinguish between what they don't care about and what they're willing to put up with.
It doesn't require being beautiful to think beautiful is ideal. Whether or not skinny is beautiful is a different question rife with issues... I mean, the only explanation for what you're saying there is that somebody will automatically fit their own ideals or should be considered hypocrites or something. Should all men who prefer long hair on "an ideal date" have long hair themselves? I mean... it's so much more trouble to take care of, and if they're not willing to invest that much effort in themselves how DARE they want it from somebody they're dating.
Okay, that is a huge messy bundle of different ideas, that I can't quite pick apart and state clearly right now.
Yes, these things are fraught.
Fraughty McFraughterson of Fraughtington Hall rules the world of e-dating.
I don't really want to load up the lovely nanila's comments with a detailed pickapart of what bugs me about that whole mess- and knowing me I'd be all "oh, one comment is nothing" and the next thing I know I'm writing comments that show up as 1cm wide boxes in her response thread.
I think the short and terribly inadequate response to this is probably that the whole construct- not just the preferences men and women are expressing, but the whole way match.com is constructing how we express preferences (and what preferences are important) makes me uncomfortable and probably a little bit sad.
I suppose this is probably the case because society in general makes me a little uncomfortable and sad when it comes to the cultural construction of bodies. [see: anthropology isn't a job it's a lifestyle]
And if I start one more para nanila will be busy deleting e-mail notifications and not doing anything Cassini related today.
But yes, fraught and complicated.
PS: This is really not relevant, but a quick browse around your LJ reveals you sound online-like my older brother when he is online-ing. So strange to hear a familiar voice from a total stranger. Unless you're his younger-doppelganger. In which case, strange and eerie.
Edited at 2009-03-18 02:48 pm (UTC)
2009-03-18 16:01 (UTC)
I would actually be quite interested to hear you pull apart the issues involved in the use of dating services, online or otherwise. I've never dared sign up to one, not because I think there's anything wrong with the idea, but because the thought of deliberately attempting to represent myself in a way that appeals to the "right" people and deters the "wrong" ones confuses the hell out of me.
Maybe I should just write my own post and f-lock the heck out of it?
Will try and think coherently about it for a bit and get back with you on it. Am driving to the Cities tonight, so will have 100 miles of time to think.
You mean I have to add you as a friend to hear the rest of this because I am intrigued? lol
I can't imagine any other reason why you'd want to add me.
Or maybe you could add and then disadd when you felt you'd had enough feminist ranting, modernity angst, and stupid culture theory?
Or I could just un-flock it and not worry about it, too. There is that.
I don't know what your experience has been like, but I've found that LJ has matured quite a bit in the eight years I've been using it. I haven't been flamed/trolled since 2005. If you want to post your thoughts here, I feel confident in saying that the people who read my journal are extremely unlikely to attack you.
Depending on how narrowly you define attack... I might.
There are certainly ways of reading my first response to Anthrokeight as attacking. Not all of it was unintended (though it was all supposed to be directed at ideas expressed, rather than the person expressing them).
Well, it seemed to me you were as much trying to decide how to say what you think as you were trying to tell me that what I think is wrong. Although if you think I am wrong, that's all good.
If you'd sounded like you were going a more strident route (what I like to call "if there is such a thing as women's history month why isn't there a men's history month route), I'd have let the subject drop. As it is:
1) It's complicated, and complicated things are interesting.
2) I am biased about this and I know it, although I maintain my bias on the matter is valid. Getting fraughter than I already am isn't really that productive.
3) When it comes to body ideologies, when things start to get ugly and fraught I have given myself permission to check out early and go home- I have enough baggage to carry without dealing with other people's. (See: http://anthrokeight.livejournal.com/162361.html
Lord knows I don't want to be the accidental spark of GenderFail09, and I doubt you do either.
Which, I suppose, affirms nanila's argument about the maturity of LJ these days.
Oh, I am not too worried about trolling, really. People I don't know reading my LJ (and saying whatever they like) doesn't bother me.
It's people I *do* know finding my LJ and reading it that does. I had an informatics MA student find my LJ once and talk to me about it after class.
I figure if the students who like me are bothering to look for my virtual presence, I would imagine students who don't are as well. They don't need my insights on e-dating and body ideologies in full paragraph format with a thesis statement.
Posted. Read and de-friend (not that I want to be defriended. I am just coffeed up and punchy today).
It is a long one.
Posted. It's a long one, sorry.
I'm somewhat frightened that anybody else sounds like me. Though, I suppose the bigger concern is on the off chance I ever met your older brother whether or not we mutually annihilate... or take down timelines... or just gawk at each other in shock.
Well, you might not notice right away since you don't seem to look alike. You'd probably have time to duck for cover.