There’s a gag-inducing video that went viral several weeks ago featuring a tackily dressed male dispensing some typical compliments to a random attractive woman a la street harassment style. She casually dismisses him without ever acknowledging him—the tried and true avoidance technique employed thousands of women daily who are subjected to this sort of deplorable treatment on a regular basis— and he shrugs off the rejection while sliding into his expensive car. Immediately the woman’s attitude changes and she appears interested in him, just in time for him to shut her down and drive away victorious.
I had to call bullshit (quite loudly), because this has to be staged, right? The poor girl was being heckled by some rando in a loud shirt, but starts salivating when she spots a fancy car?
I guess I’m much more jaded than initially believed.
Allow me to introduce Carrot, a revolutionary* new dating app that avoids all that silly matchmaking and “true love” nonsense and goes right to the core of modern dating: man wants woman, man sparks romance by offering a ritual tribute of a thoughtless, expensive gift, woman obliges man with a date. Talk about taking obligatory gift-sex to another level.
Carrot is aptly named because women are ostensibly much like large, load-bearing beasts of burden with regards to affectionate courtship stimuli. I can only suppose the creators saw a striking resemblance between the plight of women existing under the salacious male gaze and creatures that are admired for their strong physique and favorable grooming. By logical fallacy, it must have been reasoned that both require same nominal pleasantries and just a smidge of flagrant bribery in order to be wooed.
Sarcasm aside, I’m not actually making that last bit up. “Any beautiful girl can be convinced to give you a chance, all she needs is a little incentive,” says Brandon Wade, developer of the Carrot Dating app. He stands behind the validity of his program by because “women love presents like dogs love treats,” and according to the Carrot website, GIFTS=DATES. Bribes include feeding (fancy dinner), savory treats (jewelry), and exciting activities (although horseback riding seems a little redundant). The pickier of the bunch may need additional coaxing, but never fear! Carrot has some suggestions for you, such as offering a round of complementary plastic surgery that is definitely not an insult to the recipient at all.
Similar to sites such as Swinger Nation, this site bemoans all the disproportionate amount of power women hold in the world of online dating by mansplaining, “Women have all the power in the online dating world: they receive countless messages from suitors, while men struggle for even a single reply.” It’s funny, really; any woman who has used any online dating service for any length of time can tell you exactly why their response/ignore ratio is so unbalanced: repulsive or harassing messages and those that show little or no effort (of the vexing “hi how r u” variety) tend to outweigh the amiable responses from people you rule out because you get the impression they are a generally poor match for you. Wade’s formula implies that even the laziest of the bunch are vindicated and are suffering at the hands of powerful women who are in control of their sex lives and dating preferences sans incentivization.
The whole point is to give Nice Guys™ a shot at women who would otherwise reject them in the conventional dating world. I mean, just look at the promo text:
Messaging may get her interested, but bribery will get you a date. Don’t waste time contacting countless singles in hopes that one will say “yes.” The Carrot Dating app gives you the power to date your first choice, not settle for only the ones who replied … Convince singles that spending time with you is worth it by making an offer that they simply cannot refuse.
Settle? You, a person who must resort to buying gifts for a stranger in order to convince them to go out on a date with you, is merely settling for a little mutual interest? Oh, what was I thinking; the only way to charm the women of your prestigious caliber involves money. The phrase “prove your worth” is thrown in toward the bottom, so I’m now wondering if there’s a designated spot on the profile template to include your gross annual income (and if there is, is it a required field?)
Business Insider’s Christina Sterbenz sums up the awfulness by saying, “In fact, this problematic app is teaching men that women are greedy idiots who can’t see through blatant and pathetic misogyny. 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.”
The app has garnered quite a bit of criticism—imagine that!—not only for blatant sexism (to which Wade’s products cry, “Misandry!”), but for encouraging prostitution. I refuse to comment on the latter, because I am no person to judge how a woman uses her assets and in what way, but I will say that it shouldn’t surprise you that two of Wade’s previous projects have included a dating auction site and a sugar daddy service (NSFW!).
This app commodifies and objectifies women by allowing users to dangling a proverbial carrot in front of their targets face. This mentality supports the type of incorrigible bro-havior that suggests women have a secret combination to unlock access to their hearts and private parts. Except this time, there’s no “nice guy tokens,” just cold, hard cash. And maybe plastic surgery.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be moving to Denmark.