Is Online Dating Site's Matching Criteria Sexist?


An alert reader tipped us off to the fact that dating site is using some pretty retrotacular criteria to match its users, because if you’re a woman, you therefore must want someone older, taller, and not-poor. Right?

The reader and online dater said she noticed a change in the sign on message recently. Unfortunately, you can’t see the message if you’re not a PlentyofFish user, but the reader sent us a screencap from her sign on page:

According to these newly updated guidelines, PlentyofFish matches women to men with equal or greater income and equal or greater height. Because heaven forbid we outearn our partners. And heaven forbid anyone ever have sex with a short guy.

Furthermore, the site’s newly posted matching criteria makes the odd claim that it thinks users should be sharing certain experiences for the first time (so, like, if I’ve never tried anal, are they only going to match me with men who have similarly never tried anal? Because two people have never had anal sex trying to have anal sex sounds like a recipe for disaster) which sounds a little bit like they’re saying that people should have similar levels of sexual experience in order to be matched up, or have no sexual experience at all, which is another kind of fucked-up way of assuming to know what people’s romantic preferences might be.

On one hand, there are plenty of women (ladyfish?) who prefer to date men who are older, or taller, or richer, or all three, and that’s just fine, but where this gets annoying is where the site decides that all women want the same things from romantic partners. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that a diverse population of women has a diverse population of needs and wants, and it’s insulting to insist that we’re homogeneous. Now who wants to go shopping for shoes and eat some yogurt while talking about ways to trick our old rich husbands into impregnating us and/or buying us things?!?

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