Every few months or so, some idiot writes a column postulating that perhaps the reason that angry little men do destructive things is because women won’t date them. Everything from Gamergate to mass shootings have been attributed to women setting men’s feelings intractably in motion. Look what you made them do, women.
Since Trump was elected, there’s been a smattering of these that blame the current state of the world on a similar failure of female responsibility. The New York Times ran something a few months back about the difficulty blue-state Trump voters have dating. It was roundly mocked. I went on television to mock it, as did many other people.
But that didn’t dissuade the author of the latest foray into the burgeoning ‘Maybe If You’d Slept With Trump Voters, Hillary Would Be President’ literary genre, by The Federalist’s Jerrod Laber. His entry is called “Your Refusal to Date Conservatives Is One Reason We Have Donald Trump.”
I don’t know a single liberal woman who voluntarily reads The Federalist, so the “your” construction of the headline is a little confusing. It seems this piece was written for the sort of aggrieved dateless Trump-voting man who wanted to share it on Facebook in the hopes that the similarly aggrieved would share it as well. Eventually, the hope is that one of the liberal women at whom the “you” is aimed will see it and feel deep, penetrating shame. Or something.
The argument itself is similarly confusing. Laber’s point is that America is more divided than ever, that division was what enabled Trump to win, that tribalism has led to people refusing to date people who disagree with them, and online dating sites are enabling political tribalism by letting people specify whether or not they like Planned Parenthood, which Laber equates to liking abortion. We don’t have time today to cover exactly why most of the leaps in that sentence don’t land, so bear with me for the sake of tangled argument.
So OKCupid (which, full disclosure, is owned by The Daily Beast’s parent company, IAC) lets people say whether or not they support Planned Parenthood. The abortion-likers, in turn, screen out abortion-dislikers (Trump voters), thus reinforcing tribalism, which is why we have Donald Trump as President. Never have dating sites been more political, Laber writes. (Speaking from experience, I remember a question on a dating website questionnaire in approximately early 2011 asking about the respondent’s view on guns. But I guess that’s not political, and abortion is.)
Further, it’s not clear why political beliefs should be something Trump-voting men should be allowed to conceal until they have successfully lured a woman into their lairs, only to suddenly brandish it like an unannounced pair of nipple clamps. It’s a good thing to know in advance. If a woman doesn’t want to date somebody who doesn’t support Planned Parenthood, dating sites should make it easier for her to screen for that before she wastes an evening arguing about whether Passengers was a good movie or not when she could be at home watching Crazy Ex Girlfriend or reading or scaring the dog with a Korean face mask.
Laber cites Charles Murray, one of the researchers behind The Bell Curve, which argued that there are inherent racial differences in intelligence. There are few things more tedious than spending time with a person who yammers on about Charles Murray, because Charles Murray was a racist and his ideas are racist.
The Federalist piece also presents a confusing portrait of the sort of woman these conservative men are angry will not date them. As a left-leaning woman, I’ve read a lot about how my type are fat unattractive lesbian sluts who are, despite their lesbianism and unattractiveness to men, frequently getting pregnant via having sex with men, and then having abortions. I’ve even seen articles to this published on The Federalist! We’re allegedly terrible. Why would any respectable real tough American-style guy want to date us? Why would our not dating the people who think we are fat unattractive lesbian abortion sluts make any difference to those people? I thought we were disgusting?
The entire piece is tiresome, for the reasons that other iterations of the same idea are tiresome. But it merits comment today because I’d like to offer a helpful theoretical answer for the question its headline poses:
Maybe women won’t date you because you’re awful.
Women refusing to date Trump-supporting men isn’t what caused those men to react and turn to Trump for solace. That women won’t date them is a symptom of their awfulness, like voting for Trump is, among certain populations, a symptom of a specific sort of awfulness.
Heterosexual women might be turned off by a man’s politics, by their philosophy, by their musical taste, by their affinity for talking about gadgets, the most boring thing in the world to talk about. But if the man in question is a nice enough person, if he takes care of himself and treats others with genuine respect, somebody will probably date him. The world is full of lonely people who will let things slide in the name of companionship.
If nobody likes you, the problem is you.
Make yourself great again, and then maybe you’ll get a girlfriend.