Whitney Wolfe is my new hero. She’s the 29 year old Founder and CEO of dating app Bumble with a back to basics approach to Feminism that has me shouting her name from the rooftops. I’ve had my run-ins over the last few years with a select few feminists, pretty much every time I’ve dared offer a male perspective on any subject relevant to women. This always surprised me as there are no two ways about it, I am a massive supporter of feminism – at least what I call ‘true feminism’ anyway.
The full feminism debate is a minefield which as a male writer I’d be a fool to venture into – at least not today anyway. The one and only issue I’ve ever had with feminists, is those who misrepresent its true meaning. The ones who give women a bad name, the ones who twist the very definition of feminism to encourage negativity towards men at every possible turn. We’ve all encountered these individuals at some point in our lives and personally I have no time for it anymore. To me supporting feminism in its truest form is simply common sense, gender equality should no longer be an issue and it really saddens me that these barriers still exist in such a way. Why as a society in 2017 we haven’t come further, is truly beyond me.
So God bless Whitney Wolfe. When I read her story, her beliefs, her outlook and her ambitions, I just thought ‘thank you’, finally someone I can really get on board with. Through Bumble, Wolfe has challenged the status-quo of men having to make the first move and has promptly put women back in control when it comes to dating. As a man, I wholeheartedly welcome this – and no not just because I’m a tad lazy at times.
On a separate note, Wolfe has spoken passionately about the mistreatment of women in the tech world noting that the problem doesn’t start in the workplace and that it in fact starts much earlier in our schools and classrooms.
“It’s not that a company necessarily forbids women from joining. The company is looking for the opportunity for the skilled employee and the one that shows up for this job is a man. There’s not a lot of women applying. The problem doesn’t really start in the office, it starts in the classroom,” she says.
So with such low numbers of female decision-makers in the tech world, how refreshing it is to see a woman spearheading the biggest threat to Tinder’s long-standing dating crown (who are also her former employers I might add).
Bumble’s workforce you may or may not be surprised to hear is 80% female. Many have argued that this statistic sounds alarmingly sexist, however, given the nature and intentions of Bumble I actually find this to be quite refreshing. The fact of the matter is, sometimes us men talk a lot of bullsh*t, particularly in business and particularly in dating, so is it really a bad thing to let our female peers take the lead for once? I have every faith in these women and Bumble from what I’ve seen, is a thoroughly impressive app.
What I really admire most about Whitney Wolfe is her commitment to empowering women and without stamping all over the male population in the process.
“I’m so tired of this notion that women only need to support women, why can’t we all support each other?” she says. “I’ve run into women who can be highly problematic, detrimental and mean, just like I’ve seen in men.” She adds: “We as women, (with) this modern feminism, I’m worried we’re alienating the good guys. It’s not really living up to true feminism, which is really equality for everyone, right?”
As a man, this is all I’ve ever wanted to hear from a feminist. It makes perfect sense – supporting and empowering women without berating men. I’m the first to admit it, a lot of men quite frankly are d*cks. A lot of men from the past, present and future have and will continue to cause a lot of problems for a lot of good people, but to hear someone like Wolfe speak with such understanding, clarity and realism, well, it’s music to my ears.