In the perpetually underrated comedy Wayne’s World, Mike Myer’s character Wayne Campbell ponders, "Was it Kierkegaard or Dick Van Patten who said, 'If you label me, you negate me'?”
The answer is Soren, and the declaration hit home for me yesterday.
I discovered that I had been branded by anonymous judges. Some were kind:
#Unicorn (I wish I knew what this meant)
#WillSeeRomComs (Love Actually 4ever!)
#GreatDriver (I don’t own a car, but cool)
#NerdyButILikeIt (My favorite)
#Adventurous… (The ellipses means they’re talking about sex…)
#SweetToMom (My mother would disagree on this one)
Some not so much:
#No Edge (True)
#ManChild (Also true)
#CheaperThanABigMac (Also true... I’m a broke writer; cut me some slack)
#AirGuitarist (Also true, but I consider this a positive trait)
#OwnsCrocs (NOT TRUE! I may own fleece-lined Toms, but even I have limits)
#GetsInFights (I play rugby?)
#TrustFundBaby (see: “broke writer”)
And one in particular was truly slanderous :
#MeanToMyDog (I love dogs more than most people.)
These all lived on the newly-infamous website Lulu, a female-friendly social networking app that lets women anonymously review men who are their Facebook friends.
Yes this is scary as it sounds...
And while I could just keep posting tons of pictures of me being nice to various dogs while not wearing Crocs in an attempt to defend my good name, it’s not worth it. Because the minute I become just a collection of #hashtags and ratings on things like my looks, personality, and talent in bed, I stop being a person. I am an object to be scrutinized, ranked, and filed.
Sure I could ironically start harping about the double-standard that if this was a site where men ranked women like this — which sadly do exist throughout the internet — it would be tarred and feathered as misogynist, but even that’s missing the real point, which is:
WE NEED TO STOP DEHUMANIZING EACH OTHER
People have masked this as female empowerment or a tool for positive behavior modification in men, but it’s just the next evolution of early-era Internet purveyors of superficiality like Hot Or Not or, let’s not forget, the original iteration of Facebook.
This is another example of us trying to compress an entire, complicated, complex, inconsistent, maturing (and immaturing), beautiful human being into a definitive set of data that can be compartmentalized, filed, and searched.
I understand that the wonder of technology is how efficient it has made almost every aspect of our lives, but when it comes to connecting with a fellow human being and discovering all the bizarre, interesting quirks that make them tick, ESPECIALLY in a possibly romantic sense, should efficiency really be the priority?
Isn’t the best part of falling in love the sort of scary/sort of exhilarating falling part?
And isn’t it ridiculous that someone would say I was mean to their dog when, to quote another 90’s icon, Jackie Chiles, that is "outrageous, egregious, preposterous" (see: this picture of my adorable dog below and me not being mean to him).
PS: For those smart men that want to opt-out of this objectification (or for those that want potential mates to find out that they’re a #ManChild on their own time), you can remove yourself from Lulu by going here. You’re welcome.