Why Women Should Message Guys First, According To Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe
"Everything we do at Bumble is driven by female empowerment. We want to inspire and encourage women to make the first move in all aspects of their lives," Whitney Wolfe, CEO of the dating app Bumble, tells Elite Daily.
Feminist dating? Sign me up. (Just kidding, I'm already signed up and have dates tonight and Thursday.)
Whitney Wolfe is the perfect example of how the best revenge is living well. Wolfe, initially a co-founder of Tinder, left the company after suing for sexual harassment (Tinder settled) and ended up creating Bumble, the more feminist, female-friendly dating app that allows women to safely take control over their dating life.
I asked Wolfe how the concept of women messaging men has changed dating. How do women feel making that first move? How do men feel about getting hit on?
We firmly believe it's made dating a far more balanced playing field. As women, we've been taught to sit and wait for a man to come to us for fear of looking desperate. But that's a very antiquated, sexist way of thinking and we set out to change that. The feedback from our female and male users [has] been overwhelmingly positive. Women feel confident making the first move and men love having the pressure taken off. For our users, it's made a hugely positive difference.
And it's true. I know for me, I've spent a lot of my life waiting for something to happen: a guy to say hello, text, call, decide he likes me.
Bumble reminds women that they have the power in the relationship. It's not about pursuing or being pursued, but about reminding yourself that you don't need to just wait around for someone to choose you.
"Bumble has created a safe and positive environment for women to engage with men. It's not about being an aggressor, but rather about meeting new people on your terms, and based on what you're interested in," Wolfe says.
But for some women, the idea of "hitting" on a man can feel unnatural. Whether it be through societal gender constructs, advice our moms or grandmothers taught us, or self-help books like The Rules, we've been taught time and time again that we are supposed to sit around and wait politely until men decide they're interested.
Wolfe has something to say to people who are still stuck in the archaic notion that men should be the pursuers, or that women going after men is "unladylike":
It's just a matter of education. Once people get a sense of how ridiculous the notion of men having to make the first move is, they tend to see things more clearly ... Women are encouraged to go after everything they want in life except for a partner, and that's nothing short of ridiculous. Our mission is to encourage women to make the first move in all facets of their life, and every day we're helping to change the way people think.
Yes, queen. We can reverse the stigma with sex-positive, feminist apps like Bumble.
But I couldn't help but pause and ask amidst all the talk of feminism: For real, what should I say to start a conversation when I match with someone on Bumble?
A tip from the CEO of Bumble herself: "Try something nice to start, [like] 'Hi, how are you?' Or ask about something that's in their bio or profile pictures — a hobby or interest. Never hurts to send a compliment too!"