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Feminspire | April 23, 2014

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A Smartphone App That Objectifies Men Benefits No One

A Smartphone App That Objectifies Men Benefits No One

A new smartphone app has taken a hit with social media users and a stab at the fight for gender equality.

This time, the offenders are female.

Lulu is an app that syncs to a user’s Facebook account to gather information about that person’s male friends. As more and more users sync their accounts, Lulu develops a network—resulting in a ton of public profiles that can be viewed by app users. Users then rank these men on looks, dating qualities, and overall character. They answer different questions that result in a formulaic score of 1-10.

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Yes, women are ranking men on a numeric system—you know, the one that is stereotypically used by men toward women.

The ladies have flipped the script, but in no way is it feminist.

It is obviously targeted to female users because there is no room for same-sex answers to questions—the questions and possible responses only apply to male-female relationships. This is another problem within itself, because it implies that heterosexual sex is not only the norm, but also the only option.

However, this is not the issue at hand.

This is objectification of one sex from another. The worst part is that the men featured on the app are not notified or asked for access to their general information or photos.

That’s right, the guys (most of them anyway) have no idea that their image, along with anonymous comments on their looks, personality, and sexual performance, is plastered all over millions of users’ phones.

Now, you know that if this app directed the objectification toward women, there’d be riots.

Women: this is not okay. This app is not allowing women to prove to society that we are all equal human beings and deserve fair treatment. No, it’s only showing that ignorance and backward thinking is among us, too. And it’s just embarrassing.

How can we stand for gender equality and cooperation among both men and women? How can we teach that no one deserves to be sexualized or judged by their looks and sexuality? How can we improve the general relationship between men and women?

Not by downloading Lulu.

News flash: objectifying men only creates the illusion that it’s okay to objectify women.

And guess what? It’s not okay to objectify anyone, ever.

Written by Angela Schifani

  • Rain Stickland

    This highlights the very serious issue of feminism-as-revenge that I see a fair bit. Yes, women are the oppressed, and yes, we’re angry about it. However, if we treat men like this we do nothing to further our cause. Sure they may see us as equal, but only to the lowest common denominator.

    • NWOslave

      “Yes, women are the oppressed, and yes, we’re angry about it.”

      Perhaps you could elaborate on how women are oppressed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/guffy.xux Steve Smith

    Shocking to see a feminist site cover such a thing regarding sexism towards men. Saying that Lulu has been out for awhile and its sexism towards men has been noted but non feminists sites already.

  • http://twitter.com/mlledeejay Deejay

    Really glad to see this covered on here. I hope this app gets taken down for its sexist nature.

  • KRosen

    Hey, a self described Mens Rights Advocate here – I wanted to email you, Angela Schifani, but couldn’t find your email in a reasonable and easy fashion, so I’ll just leave a short comment. Just wanted to say that I appreciate this article. We were shocked to see it on such a strongly feminist site, and a lot of the guys appreciated the fact that you are bringing attention to something that a rare few do – inequalities in our society towards men, in this case, sexual and overall general objectification of men. Thank you very much. You don’t know what this means to some people.
    :) Hope you have a nice weekend, and hope we can do something to stop unwanted sexual objectification for everyone.

  • http://twitter.com/holespider Kenna

    …I’d still use it…

  • Bastet

    Riots” if it were reversed? Really? No, there wouldn’t be.

    Roman Polanski, drugged and raped a 13 year old girl, gets a Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Robin Thicke writes date rape track, gets a spot in the Grammys.

    R. Kelly rapes dozens of underage teenagers, with one caught on tape proving guilt and his reward is to do a duet with Lady Gaga.

    Charlie Sheen, Chris Brown, Sean Connery, Sean Penn, Eminem all known to have beaten women on multiple occassions with absolutely no backlash.

    Etc, etc, etc

    Look, I agree this app isn’t good but lets at least be honest about it. There isn’t even “Riots” against well known pedaphiles, rapists and woman beaters, let alone riots against an app or electronic form of misogyny.

    Yes, it’s wrong and it needs to be taken down. So too does the apalling apathy toward violent crime against women need addressing rather than being minimised, or in this case, made absolutely invisible, to make a point against misandry.