Carrot Dating - a controversial new app encouraging men to offer women gifts in exchange for a date - has been slammed as sexist and labelled as a form of prostitution.
While I see where the critics are coming from, I don't get how apps of this nature are harmful to women. The concept isn't the problem - it's more how it's being sold that's pissing me off.
"Give a dog a bone and it will obey," is the quite frankly disgusting tagline Carrot Dating uses to advertise its services, so it's no wonder people are a bit teed-off. That, teamed with the image of geeky founder Brandon Wade dangling a bunch of carrots in front of scantily clad girls is enough to make your skin crawl.
But I fail to see what harm is caused to the girls who choose to date a man who buys them a bunch of flowers, sparkly diamond bracelet, or, at the other end of the spectrum, a yacht or plastic surgery! They've independently signed up for it, right?
Love and affection can't be bought, that's for sure. However, who said these users were looking for Mr/Mrs Right? Christina Sterbenz from Business Insider argues: "Aside from being blatantly sexist, Wade's app clearly won't build the chemistry needed to fall in love.
"In fact, this problematic app is teaching men that women are greedy idiots who can't see through blatant and pathetic misogyny." Whoa there horsey! This is the bit where I loose patience.
If a woman wants to date a man because he buys her presents, isn't that her perogative? Also, who learns about the nature of the opposite sex via an app? I mean, come on. If I were to take anything away from this it's that there's a whole load of men out there who are so desperate for a date they'll pay through the nose for one. Nightmare.
Oh, and there's more... Sterbenz continues: "For the record, if you offer a woman a present in exchange for a first date, then you're implying she can be bought, much like a hooker." *Pauses for thought, attempts to rationalise ridiculous statement*. Um, a what now?
A friend of mine is constantly (am I mean constantly) talking about how she'd like to date a rich man, just for a while. She's not bothered whether she's attracted to him, or even how old he is (seriously, she had no cut off point), she says she'd just like to live the lifestyle for a bit. So, by Sterbenz definition that makes her a prostitute, no? Shit, I better swoop in and rescue her before she starts giving out hand jobs in exchange for soy lattes.
It boils down to control... "Women have all the power in the online dating world: they receive countless messages from suitors, while men struggle for even a single reply," reads the Carrot Dating mission statement.
"But by 'dangling' the right 'carrot' in front of beautiful girls, suitors can convince anyone to say 'yes' to a first date."
This is hilarious! Clearly the work of someone who hasn't had much dating success and spends his time developing apps to help other DOA daters. Yes these guys will probably get a few more dates than usual, but a girl can always say no.
As with all online dating platforms this app comes with the usual list of concerns. Who are these people? What are their motives? But is it fair to label the women who choose to use this "service" as prostitutes? No way.