Sex & Dating | July 28, 2020 9:56 am

“Wokefishing” Is the New Dating App Trend to Beware Of

People on dating apps are pretending to be more progressive than they really are

dating apps wokefishing
Instead of reevaluating the problematic political views that are hurting your romantic odds, why not just lie about them instead?
Getty Images/iStockphoto

As we’ve previously established, every few months or so someone comes up with a buzzwordy new name for an annoying dating habit, usually one that highlights the changing nature of romance in the digital era.

The word of the day is “wokefishing,” coined today by Serena Smith, who defined the practice as “when people masquerade as holding progressive political views to ensnare potential partners,” in an article for Vice.

The name, like “dogfishing” before it, is a play on “catfishing,” one of the OG toxic online dating trends used to describe the practice of pretending to be someone else on the internet.

In an increasingly politically charged era, writes Smith, wokefishing is on the rise as app-daters with less-than-progressive political views realize those views may be hurting their romantic potential. But rather than, I don’t know, reflecting on why that might be and considering altering some of those views, these wokefish have decided to simply lie about their politics on the internet instead.

But wokefish can’t hide forever, and their true colors seem to have a way of inevitably slipping out. These are men who make a point of declaring themselves feminists in their dating app bios or making sure to include a photo of themselves from the Women’s March in their profile, only to then laugh at racial slurs the first time you hang out with their friends and then call you a social justice warrior when you call them out on it.

As Smith noted, “any relationship is essentially an ongoing process of learning more and more about your partner” until you either realize they’re a terrible person or just get bored of them. Of course, in the beginning, we’re all on our best behavior. On the first date, we are all the coolest, smartest, hottest Instagram versions of ourselves. Eventually, parts of that facade will inevitably fade or fall away entirely. But when it comes to matters of political views, why bother lying about them to match with a person who probably doesn’t have much in common with you anyway if you disagree about such fundamental beliefs?

In case you haven’t heard, dating apps make it easier than ever these days to filter out prospective matches based on almost any attribute imaginable, including political affiliation. So if you have shit politics, why not just date someone who shares your shit politics? At least you’ll have something in common.


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