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In The Margins: Dating Apps During #Covid19

Look who slid into The Margins…

Ahh! How the tables have turned. Suddenly the stone that the builder refused, seems to look more and more like a masterpiece, eh? Suddenly the crips you dipped on, seem like they might be “interesting to talk to”. You scramble to the margins. Because left in your own company, you are screaming inside. ANY-one else is bound to be more interesting, than you. God, you hate how bored you are… Because you are BORING. Yes, I said it. Many of you, didn’t realise how boring you were or how empty your lives were, before this moment. You didn’t even know who you were. And now, you wish to drown your sorrows in the virtual bosoms of crip women, fat women, non-binary folks, black women, trans women, crip fat women, fat black women, fat trans women, fat black crip trans femmes and all the in-betweens of the dating margins.

 

When facts sound like shade…

How does it feel to realise you’re a jackass? That all the things you thought were true about human interaction and what you “wanted” from a partner – were built on lies, futile distractions, ambient decor, subterfuge and piss? How many dating apps will you sign up to, in an effort to avoid the deafening ache of your own anemic personality? What are you, without the fancy trappings of capitalist show-boating? What are you, without male chauvinist peacocking and mental battling of dicks with other dudes, across the room? What are you, without the faux-superiority of your niche (and thoroughly inaccessible) venues? What are you, without the loud crowds giving you an excuse to not contribute more to a conversation than “You have nice lips.”

Timely repost of a twitter capture, roasting men who gloat over women who did not choose them.
Capture of a timely tweet.

Yes, we also have mirrors, we know what we look like – we just never reply, due to the blinding lights.

P.s. Loud venues for dates are designed to overwhelm the sensory organs and cause a shutdown in the intuitive, rational, common sense area of a femme’s brain. Rendering them oblivious to your pallid personality and your inevitably inconsequential addition to their (actually wonderful) lives.

The Margins you slept on…

Picture of the character Harpo, from the colour purple, played by Oprah WInfrey; a fat dark-skinned, Black woman. with the caption "All my life, I had to fight".

Harsh, you say? For thousands of us (those on the periphery of accepted forms of desirability), this is the big “HA!”, we have been waiting for. You see, we in the margins always knew that we were dope. We had battled an entire media that erased us. Survived families that rejected and suppressed our autonomy. Endured friends that used us as comparison-props, to boost their self esteem. Traversed through endless hours of isolation and reckoning with our true selves. Rebelled against structural oppression. Wrestled with self-doubt, worthlessness and confusion… We have done it all!We came out of the other side, and have been living against the tide, since time became Gregorian. We have BEEN dope, son! We weren’t looking for validation of that fact. We were just pissed off that you were so intent on sleeping on our awesome! Your aggressive dedication to racism, anti-Blackness, fat phobia, ableism, transphobia, othering and elitism, was nauseatingly pitiful. Yet now, here y’all are… Looking for the antidote in our fat, black, trans, crip pussies. Wow. Life comes at you fast, huh?

Brutus Patriarchy Iscariot…

The great betrayer 

What is worse, is that for the first time in a long time, you, the cis het, the men, the ‘masculine sex’,… You will be revealed in all your mediocre, underwhelming, lacklustre glory. You will be discovered for what you really are – socially, emotionally and culturally underdeveloped. Many of you can’t even hold an engaging, mutually rewarding conversation. So many will be purged during this time of ACTUAL COMMUNICATION. *maniacal laughter* Suddenly that ab pic, and the “Cool simple guy. looking for someone who doesn’t take themselves too serious. Fit.” and “Will fill this out later” and “No one reads these anyway. Msg me. cant see likes”, won’t cut it.

A picture of a real example of a messenger chat on Tinder. Where a dude is being invasive, trash and ridiculous, towards a disabled Black femme, and is met with witty disdain.

B. P. I. – The greater betrayer

Your pictures lose their appeal, when no one can actually meet you, love. Suddenly, you might actually have to *gasp* SELL YOURSELF!?! Shocking! We know! A role reserved for women/femmes, is now being forced upon you, in a cruel twist of fate… *single tear* How possibly could you be expected to prove that you are a non-dangerous, rational, thinking, interesting person – with an amicable, engaging personality and the potential to be useful in someone’s life at present or in the future?! Such a wild concept (we know). It’s almost like you are required to beg… Like women. :/

Penis Flavoured Tea…

And there’s the tea. For time in memorium, the onus has been on the women and femmes to prove that THEY had what it took, to hold your attention, be useful to you, amuse you, pleasure you, guide you, indulge you, be blindly loyal to you… If these femmes were in the margins (disabled, trans, fat, black), the bar was in the stratosphere; they were to go where no femme had gone before – into the realm of superpowers! And even then, that would only satiate your curiosity; it would merely be a transient interaction. One that you could easily forget, and tell friends about on nights out; using other peoples lived experiences as cannon fodder. To try and make yourself look like you are cool, in front of the dudes whose penises you try so hard to impress.

The Margins: The unlikely Cure…

But you’re not cool, are you? You know that. You admit it to us when you talk to us secretly, as you hide in our beds, as you cry on our bellies, as we educate you on an issue for the umpteenth time, as we help you make that better decision. Your interest in us is an unconscious recognition of our authenticity, our vitality. We also, no doubt, serve as a distraction, from the emptiness of self. In our weird, in our unconventional, in our challenge to the status quo – you find something stimulating. Little did you know, it was your own lack, magnetising toward you what you needed: A f*cking life. Some f***ing introspective thought. Some f***ing personality. Some f***ing humanity.

A sreenshot of an OKCupid app messenger chat depicting ableism: A Black Femme in a red dress, sits facing the camera. Beneath her is the comment "Why in disable chair?"

Men Are Trash: Corona Agrees

Harsh? No. Tell that to the millions of Black, trans, non-binary & disabled femmes, that receive thoughtless, messages from your brothers (whom you are so quick to defend), every time we log on. Expected to describe our genitals. Expected to number our cavities. Expected to explain our diagnoses in scientific detail with examples. Expected to lower our standards. Expected to list the reasons why we deserve your attention. Expected to beg. Expected to bend. Expected to perform for some amoeba on the internet – who thinks that masculinity or a penis is their license to never grow up, develop empathy or refine their people skills. Corona has revealed your true forms. Here you come, crawling out from under the slime of disgust, at your own vacuousness… And you land here, in our DMs, suddenly able to see us. The irony of apps designed to uphold societal beauty standards being subverted inadvertently, by the upholders of the system that created them.

Plot Twist

Unfortunately for you, the whole time you were pretending to be a whole person, we were actually out here perfecting the art of BEING whole people. So now, we require WHOLE people to interact with; those with the range to develop an understanding of self and the world around them. I wonder how it will feel to discover that: Those in the margins (whom you believed to be a last resort, the bottom of the barrel, an experiment, a dare, some entertainment), are your superiors and the key to your salvation, during this silent time and beyond…

The #Covid19 Dating app Scam…

To those of us in the margins: DO NOT LET THESE EMPTY VESSELS SCAM YOU! Keep your standards. Require them to interact with you on your level. Do not for a second take your foot off of their necks! 

Tolerate no feigned ignorance, no ableism, no transphobia, no racism, no anti-Blackness, no fetishisation, no rubbish jokes, no tardiness, no lack of integrity, no lack of effort, no lack of creativity, no inconsistency, no lack of communication!!

To we, the beautiful ones

We are EVERYTHING! We have always been everything. If they are only just realising that – that’s on them. It is not for you to educate or accommodate folks and their ignorance, at the expense of your own well-being, enjoyment, flirtation, or precious time! ESPECIALLY, in a world full of information. If they are using an app, they can use google. Now go out, live your best lives, like you have already been doing! Have fun! This time, like every other time, is OUR TIME!

The Margins: Three Black and disabled folx (a non-binary person holding a cane, a woman sitting in a power wheelchair, and a woman sitting in a chair) looking seriously at the camera while a rainbow pride flag drapes on the wall behind them. Credit: Disabled and Here
Three Black and disabled folx (a non-binary person holding a cane, a woman sitting in a power wheelchair, and a woman sitting in a chair) looking seriously at the camera while a rainbow pride flag drapes on the wall behind them. Photo Credit: Disabled and Here

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