On the imbalances in the sexual marketplace
The problem is well BEFORE the imbalances.
There is a video on YouTube where someone ” explains the main problem he has with the modern dating market. Why is mating so fraught between men and women? Is Tinder to blame? Why are so many people single? How do you find a girlfriend? Does the manosphere or red pill fix this?”
The first problem that video is REALLY about
There is one big part of the general problem that is immediately visible without even watching the video:
Q: “Why is mating so fraught between men and women?… Why are so many people single?”
A: because you call/frame as/reduce/dumb down intimate (*) human relationships to “(JUST) sexual MARKETPLACE”, of course, to the same level of “how to find the ideal gym”.
Big surprise. Not
What other kind of outcome could you reasonably expect, if you frame the issue in that way?
Unless that title is a trick and bait, because the actual video wants to make the same point I just did, of course (*) as in “intrinsically deeper / more complex than casual, superficial interactions”, nothing more)
People first reading that reaction of mine pointed out that many guys using dating websites “want asymmetrical power relations. Immediately.”
But hoping to extablish, or expecting to find asymmetrical power relations is exactly how one would approach a marketplace, and in that case it would be natural. Not so for human relations
Framing human relations as marketplaces would be a problem in every epoch, with any technology.
When people expect to find mates with digital apps, it can’t but be worst.
Those are environments managed by algorithms that threat everything like a business transaction that must only maximize profits, because algorithms cannot do much more than that, and this in turn only makes the problem bigger,
If dating goes online trying to escape basic problems, it fails. Surely
Of course, the basic problems with dating that one could euphemistically describe as “looking for asymmetrical relationships” have always existed.
However, if dating goes online hoping to escape them, it cannot avoid to become a marketplace, and nothing more than that.
Marketplace is where you go to buy or sell fish, not to find and exchange human attention (regardless of if/when/how that attention ALSO calls for sexual activity). It’s as simple as that.
“But it is just a figure of speech”
Another comment to my initial reaction to that video was that “they are not really using marketplace in the commercial place, it’s a corruption of language, like talking about a ‘the market for ideas’.”
I know that, but it just strengthens my original point. “Markets” are places to trade goods or services. Neither ideas nor sex that is not only and specifically given for money are goods or services. So, if you look for them in a market, of whatever kind, you’ll be disappointed, eventually. As yet another participant to the discussion beautifully put it:
“[Going to a marketplace] seem to be how many people men and women approach dating, and they end up not seeing the person but just the features , ticked or not ticked. This can have terrible consequences.”
And to this I will just add that this misunderstanding would explain a lot of the frustration, in the most general sense, that runs around these days.