At first glance, you’re likely thinking that the title of this blog makes absolutely no sense. The dangling carrot metaphor is one we use when we want to entice someone with something appealing. Would online training be appealing if you’re trying to entice someone to go out on a date? It might be, according to the latest online dating app available to Apple and Android device users. Don’t believe me? Click here.
Now that you’ve seen the Carrot Dating site, your reaction is probably something along the lines of, “great idea,” or “you cannot be serious!” I fall into the “you cannot be serious” group, because I don’t believe that the premise of bribery is a good way to find romance. Sure, I have no objection to a meet-up for a nice meal, or a fancy coffee drink, but I don’t believe said meal or coffee should be offered up as a bribe. But, according to the self-professed “MIT nerd” Bradon Wade, the man behind Carrot Dating, men like him need to be carrot danglers in order to find love. The former Booz Allen Hamilton employee (the same company that employed a certain exiled American) thought this was an ingenious way to find love for himself, and others like him. Mind you, Wade is also the guy who launched two other dating sites – one for young women looking for sugar daddies, and another for women looking only to date millionaires. My dear, departed, matchmaking Jewish mother would have been so proud.
I’m not the only one who thinks Wade has taken his carrot dangling concept a bit too far. Author and scholar Peggy Drexler has called Wade out on his shenanigans, with an opinion piece posted on CNN.com. Ms. Drexler accuses Wade of being a misogynist, and I completely agree. “By casting men as the chasers and women as the chased, the values and actions encouraged by Carrot Dating promote sexism, violence against women and other gender imbalances that men and women have worked for years to counter,” she states. She goes on to accuse Wade of attempting to “[stir] up controvery,” rather than encourage users to find meaningful relationships. Ms. Drexler’s conclusion is that users of Carrot Dating, and Wade’s other dating sites are “hapless,” and that they are participating in a form of human trafficking. On the other hand, she thinks that “sites such as Carrot Dating satisfy a certain, very specific demographic and serve to connect only like-minded singles. The site may be crass, superficial and self-loathing, but then again so are many people. Why not let them mate? Or at least meet.” Could we maybe have them neutered instead?
I seriously doubt that anyone dangling the carrot of online training to a prospective date would get very far. On the other hand, online training could help this “specific demographic” as Peggy Drexler kindly refers to them, better educate themselves about sexual harassment prevention, and the proper way to interact on social media sites. Even Brandon Wade, in all his nerdy glory, could stand to learn a thing or two about how a woman likes to be treated. Moreover, what self-respecting woman would want to date a guy who thinks that “women like presents like dogs like treats”?
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