(Ed note: Folks, meet Angie! She’s kicking off something a little new around here: occasional guest posts! Fresh voices, new points of view, and a little extra time for Alicia to work on her book and Megan to finish the movie. Angie is an engineer by day, food blogger on nights and weekends, and a dater and thinker no matter the time in San Francisco. Take it away, Ang!)
So, you’ve probably seen this article. It’s written by a brilliantly funny woman, Alli Reed, who did a brave and hilarious experiment: she put up a fake dating profile on OkCupid that she dubbed “The Worst Online Dating Profile Ever.”
Her goal? To see if this fictional Worst Woman Ever (or, WWE) would get any responses. Alli anticipated few (if any); she received hundreds. In just the first few days.
How bad is the profile? To summarize: Every reported detail about herself was incredibly inarticulate, shallow, self-centered, and immoral. She lies about being pregnant to get what she wants (including child support). She thinks it’s funny to knock the change cup out of homeless peoples’ hands. She throws drinks in peoples’ faces. She does not know the difference between there, their, and they’re.
It’s quite a masterpiece, actually.
And Alli (at least satirically, perhaps in the spirit of the article) draws conclusions about human males from this experience. She concludes, citing a handful of ridiculous (and hilariously pathetic) OKC interactions with would-be suitors, that men should know they can do better. That men should be brave, not settle, and seek the intelligent and benevolent woman that they deserve. Alli presents a possible excuse for why men go for the Worst Woman Ever: perhaps it’s been so deeply ingrained in American men to be focused on a woman’s looks that anything—literally anything—can pass as an acceptable behavior or opinion, so long as the woman is attractive. (The WWE’s main profile picture for this experiment was an attractive, albeit goofy, photo of a young, tan, brunette; the additional profile photos were not included in the article.)
I, however, have a different point of view: Like some women, some men are just stupid.
Like, inexcusably, undeniably, horrendously and immensely stupid. Just plain ridiculously unintelligent and unendingly dense. She —the real Alli Reed —like myself, probably rarely encounters these people for any length of time in real life, making it hard to fathom that they even exist. But let’s not fool ourselves. The genetic pool of our race does not heed entirely above-average persons. The word “average” exists for a reason. Indeed, by deduction, there are people woefully below average.* This is the group of people—men and women—into which we delve with such an experiment.
Not to even mention that while some people possess sub-average intelligence, they are often still trained, by abusive upbringings or what-have-you, to hone in on certain characteristics in a mate. This fabricated woman obviously has issues: moral, social, and personal. Some dudes (and ladies) love that in a partner. Some people troll the dive bars, dingy dance clubs, and, yes, world-wide interwebs for these exact people. These wonderful members of the general populace who can rival their own madness; who can equal their own insanity; indeed, who may challenge them to an episode of Judge Judy.
And so, while this expedition into online dating is certainly funny and even enlightening, it is anything but surprising. And I’m sure that Ms. Reed could have written a series of articles about possible implications and conclusions of this experiment, both satirical and genuine, but she obviously chose to simply state the facts, amuse her readers, and move the heck on. She did a great job; this shit’s all over Facebook. I’m simply suggesting that there are other results that can be drawn from this which may more accurately explain the phenomenon beyond “these men can do better.” I mean, maybe they can’t.
Either way, I’d like to think that this explanation is at least equally as entertaining as the one presented in the article. After all, their is always more than one way to look at something, LOL.
*Note that I’m not necessarily berating or discounting those less intelligent than others; I’m merely noting that these persons exist and that they indeed may be prone to respond to such a dating profile prompt.