Swiping right and left? Yes, I am talking about Tinder and I have tried it as well. I started by setting my preference to women and, well.. at first it was exciting to get a match; instant validation won me over.
As I kept on swiping and read the mini profiles I became self conscious as more women than not wrote that the guy had to be taller than her. I read an article online where a study had been done on how undemocratic women were with height requirements.
For women it seemed not even an option to date someone below their own height - same height was barely ok - taller was preferred. Now I am 1.77 (5.10) but I grew turned off by women (and men) with this preference, as if this was the only importance in their life. Some women I spoke to said that guys listed height requirements too. I had a talk with a friend that said her ex used to comment on how unmanly he felt when she wore heels and passed him in height.
"One of the first questions
when the child is born:
Is it a boy or a girl?"
Height requirements have to be understood as a normative structure. A woman that have always been schooled into the category of being the less strong probably believes she needs a protector. This normative structure is pre-set in our lives from the moment we’re born. It is said that our memories manifest around the time we learn to speak, so this is perhaps why you feel like you have always lived life according to the norm as the structure had already been pre-programed in you. If you think about it, one of the first questions parents ask (if not the first) when the child is born is: is it a boy or a girl? One would think that the main concern would be the baby's health.
From day one young girls are believed to be more fragile and weaker than men and taking a step back; thus doubting the go-forward, entrepreneurial spirit that men are often rewarded for. It's ok for women to show emotions and be sensitive but it's not ok to have a messy room or dirty clothes - she is to be proper.
For boys it's ok to have a messy room and dirty clothes. They are also to be strong and tough and ideally not too sensitive or likely to cry. The strong, confident “bread earner” (and hopefully that taller man) will invoke a feeling of safety and make a woman feel feminine.
Sounds extremely cliche, cringe-worthy and outdated but I was surprised to find that this still exists more than I thought. If men do show emotions or are sensitive, then you might hear the comment my friend made about her boyfriend when he displayed signs of sensitivity; “He has such a lovely feminine side”. Last time I checked feelings and emotions weren't genetic to only women.
There are genetic differences yes, but the differences have been augmented into myths due to the lack of knowledge which have created stereotypes. Watch this 3-min video featuring a brief history of how strict gender roles divide us from birth and how we can solve it.
So as I continued to swipe I realized how reduced to an image I and everyone else was and because of this, there is little left but to judge one another superficially. In all fairness to Tinder, I think it's a fun way of meeting up with people and could lead to positive connections.
It is, as always, people who determine the direction of how this will go. I have noticed that the general perception of Tinder can be that anyone you match up with isn't much of a priority; it's just a digital image of a person; replies or sincerity is not prioritized. That behavior might even reflect on how you treat people when you are off the app as well. It is easy to become an inanimate object in a world where materialism is almost a religion.
I find it sad that women and men would rather demand height requirements from a future relationship than gender-equality. A relationship based on old strict gender roles causes confusion for yourself, your partner and the relationship as a whole. These norms keep us from focusing on the severely pressing issues of the world. Picasso once said, “Everyone is born an artist, the problem is staying an artist”. Picasso meant that our vision is unlimited until we are schooled into the narrow confines of the norms of society, the gender norm being one of them.
A gender equal relationship is based on the deeper meaning and value of; respect, understanding, patience, listening, reflection and dialogue, equal worth, rights and opportunities and then collaboration and sharing. These are not only hallmarks of a Sustainable Personality but also EQ - emotional intelligence.
EQ which was sadly never valued in society until recently, is as non-existent in school as teaching sexual education. It is of course difficult to drop the gender equal vision on people that were born in the total opposite vision, but you can still try - if for anyone then for the coming generations. Therefore it has to be taught from when your child is born and further on in school.
Think about it, would you rather have normative love that burdens, divides and confuses a relationship and prolongs an inferior position for the woman, when instead there could be the purity of love from the ultimate collaboration - a gender equal relationship.
P.S If you're on Tinder to hook up, height or looks won't tell you if the person is a good lover. Chemistry however, can reveal if two people will continue to, well.. spark onward. Chemistry won't exactly show itself during an awkward 40 min coffee/interview.