A Dating Site That Puts Women in Charge: Why It's Not as Feminist as It Sounds

A new online dating site allows women to, essentially, “shop” for men, as YourTango.com recently reported. AdoptAGuy.com launched in France in 2007, aiming to cut down on the creepiness that online dating can engender for some women, and now it’s come to the United States. Basically, it works like this: You sign up and fill out a brief profile, including your “shopping list” of desired attributes in a mate. Pretty standard Internet dating stuff, with one caveat: A guy can only approach you if you’ve put him in your “cart.” (And yes, it’s called a cart, and it works just like online shopping.) You can search for men based on age, social type (intellectual, executive, bohemian), and style (chic, eccentric, rocker).

It’s slick and clever, to be sure. The site looks great, graphically, even if it does resemble a very pink banquette. (We get it! It’s for ladies!) The logo — a little stick man falling into a stick woman’s shopping cart — is cute. The interface is witty: “bonus pack” options on searches include “celeb look-alike” and “rich and dying.” There’s a feature board of “daily specials” and a running tab of “adoptions made.” The concept behind AdoptAGuy also adds up scientifically. Women are proven to be the choosier gender, so it makes sense, biologically, to put them in charge from the start. This all adds up to a brilliant marketing angle in an increasingly crowded online dating marketplace. If there’s one way to attract female customers, it’s to put them in charge; if there’s one way to attract male customers, it’s to provide a lot of women. See Ladies’ Night specials for proof.

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