So, I just got back from a week in Bali — wait, don’t go! It was for work! I had the opportunity to attend a four-day summit on women and climate change, which you can read more about here.
How does one deal with the cognitive dissonance of being on a business trip in a place whose pop culture reputation revolves around lust and debauchery? Well, if you’re a young, efficiency-minded person in the digital age, you will download an app that allows you to scroll through pictures of men in a 15-mile radius (at a rate of approximately 75 per minute) to find one who you might like to invite to the private pool in your villa. Yes — I am talking about Tinder, the renowned “hookup app” of my doomed generation.
(A brief overview of how Tinder works, for the happily uninitiated: You render a judgment of “nope” or “like” on fellow users based on a handful of pictures and an extremely sparse “About Me” section. If you and another user each “like” each other, congratulations — you have made a match! Then you have the distinct pleasure of being allowed to stiltedly chat with each other.)
If you’re me, however, you will use that app to conduct a little social experiment. I took it upon myself to try to engage Bali’s Men of Tinder in conversation about women and climate change, to extremely varying results.
My initial strategy was to try to start conversations based on shared interests — as one does when trying to meet new people. It was not successful.
D*** never responded to me, but he also did not block me, which happened a LOT throughout this experiment.
If you think that transitioning an open proposition for sex with a stranger into a conversation about women and climate change is easy, you are mistaken, my friend. I can’t say I was always graceful with it, but I tried my best.
I also attempted a couple of “long con” tactics, but that ended up creating some attachment, apparently. Sorry it didn’t work out, L****.
And then, ultimately, the inevitable — I had the misfortune of crossing paths with a tenacious and woefully ignorant (but aren’t they all?) mansplainer in Bali’s Tinderverse. Disclaimer: The conversation below has been edited somewhat because, if not, it would be approximately 20 pages long. Only mansplainers would be willing to read endless volumes of their own misspelled, grammatically disastrous prose! B** also kept trying to talk to me in very poor Spanish, for reasons I could not begin to fathom.
What conclusions can we come to from this experiment?
1) Tinder in Bali is the worst.
2) Tinder is not the best platform to have a productive conversation about the role of women in mitigating climate change. In fact, it’s a pretty terrible platform for it.
3) Wherever you go, you can always find a mansplainer.
No productive conclusions were reached with regard to male interest in women and climate change. I refuse to use this segment of the population as any sort of indicator of the male sex as large, because otherwise I would have to throw myself out of a window.
As they say on Tinder — grossly enough — thanks for playing!