The App That Allows Women to Rate Men Has Just Become A Lot More Man-Friendly

Friday, March 07, 2014 - 12:05 PM

On the seventh episode of TLDR, PJ interviewed Maureen O'Connor about Lulu, an app which allows women to rate men based on a set of prescribed hashtags as innocuous as #loveshisfamily and #perfectgrammar, to those a little more...well, evocative, like #f**kedmeandchucked me, or #sleepsinthewetspot.

The idea was mortifying to my charming co-host, who was unhappy about the lack of agency he had with the app, because it allows users to make a profile for him without his consent.

PJ:  I find it so aggravating that someone would make a profile for me that I can't access or change.

MAUREEN O’CONNOR:  This is what makes people like James Franco go insane, right? We’re all little celebrities and cannot control what is said about us.

Well, PJ can relax. Lulu has announced that its app will now be opt-in, meaning you have to agree to have an account created for you. A lulu spokeswoman gave me this statement:

"Our vision has always been to be a private place for girls to share their experiences and make smarter decisions -- starting with guys and relationships. Millions of guys have signed up for Lulu and love getting feedback from the Lulu community. Some guys don’t want to be on Lulu, and we respect that. We’ve decided to be the better woman and only have guys on Lulu who are open to feedback."

I honestly think this is a little sad. Assessing women based on their looks is so baked into our culture that an app which reversed those roles felt refresing. It appealed to my sense of the internet as this lawless frontier where no one was completely safe, but everyone is completely empowered. But then again, I'm married, and I don't have to worry about what might be said about me on an app like that.

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Comments [3]

Mike

I don't really see the relevance of men "signing up" for Lulu. As the previous podcast on Lulu made very clear: men cannot see what is said about them and Lulu went to substantial lengths to prevent that. I don't see what feedback men can be getting from their ratings if they cannot see them.

Mar. 08 2014 01:57 PM
Ryan from Boston

The spokesperson says "Millions of guys have signed up for Lulu and love getting feedback from the Lulu community" yet there is no way a guy can see what is said about him--how is that "getting feedback." Agreed, there's a double standard, but if there were an equivalent website/app, where guys judged girls and left permanent and often libelous attacks, it would be derided by the female community as sexist.

Mar. 07 2014 04:26 PM
Matt from Knoxville, TN

I got my wife to check my Lulu profile after hearing that podcast. Turns out I had several ratings, all of them positive. Since I've been married for years, it means these women were rating a married man. This weirded me out quite a bit. Thanks for doing the show; I never miss it.

Mar. 07 2014 02:29 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. You can subscribe to our podcast here. You can follow our blog here. We’re also on Twitter, and we play Team Fortress 2 more or less constantly, so find us there if you like to communicate via computer games from six years ago.

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