Women Rating Men

UnknownA new “Lulu” app calls itself the first database of men, built by women, for women. Here’s how Slate’s Amanda Hess says it works:

You sign into Lulu via Facebook to prove you’re a woman (or rather, that you’ve indicated your Facebook gender as “female”). You page through a list of all your male Facebook friends, award them points based on their looks, manners, spending habits, and ambition, then assign them hashtags for their strengths (#SexualPanther, #NotADick) and weaknesses (#NapoleonComplex, #WearsEdHardy). Then, the next time you’re circling a romantic or sexual prospect in real life, just plug his name into Lulu to see what your (totally anonymous) virtual girlfriends have to say about him… Women may then publicly sexualize (#KinkyInTheRightWays) and shame (#BabbyDaddy) the men in their lives without their consent.

The app’s creator, Alexandra Chong, came up with the idea as she talked about a date who wasn’t right for her but might be perfect for someone else.

Maybe it’ll help a few women and men get together. And maybe it’ll help a few good women avoid a few bad men. But I wouldn’t care to be ranked on this sort of forum so I’m guessing that men won’t be thrilled to find themselves on it, either.

As the judge makes her pronouncements from on high, the judged may feel diminished, powerless and at her mercy.

But we women are so used to being judged in that way that it might be hard to resist turning the tables.

Plenty of men, on the other hand, are in a tizzy: “WE are the ones to judge and hold power over how others are defined” some seem to say.

Hess points out the hypocrisy of male Redditors denouncing Lulu as anti-male harassment even as they defend their own right to post and unleash anonymous commentary on unauthorized nude photos of women on the Web. Which sounds a lot worse to me. Yet these guys don’t get that. Probably because they’re so used to being the judges, the ones in power.

How about that Golden Rule: Do unto others as ye would have done unto you. We could all take a lesson in non-judgment.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 22, 2013, in feminism, men, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Interesting. I would worry about defamation and invasion of privacy torts, even if it’s just opinion and doesn’t divulge many private facts.

  2. I don’t think this is the right way to go. Instead of going down to a man’s level why not bring them up. This isn’t going to stop judgment and objectification, it’s just going to justify it for both sides. And what if a girl doesn’t like a guy just because she doesn’t like him and decides to start rumors. It is extremely tempting to turn the tables and stop men from holding the power of judgment. But instead of jumping on the judgment train and feeding its fire, let’s pull on the brakes and reverse its direction. So the first step is to pull the brakes. How? Encourage people to take a women’s studies class. (Preferably not with friends, because being with friends tends to keep minds closed, and keep guys away from taking a women’s studies class for fear of being hated in it or made fun of because of it.) The next step to encourage men to want to change. I think that men need waaaayyyy more female friends that are just friends.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    • The app is cruel but I definitely think that men totally deserve it. I don’t think that women’s studies would help, men will continue doing it untill some major change happens. So instead of just whining about it, we can give them the same. Also I will be happy if things change, however I wish men could pay for everything they have done. This app is not even close to the revenge the deserve which is making them feel the same way we do.

      • The thing is, there are plenty of men out there who are good decent guys. A lot of them are in my women’s studies classes – like the guy who wrote the comment above. No reason they should be harmed in retaliation for things others have done. Besides, then we become the enemy we have fought. We become what we complain about. There has been a lot of improvement over the years and so I know that things can and have changed.

      • There are decent people from both sexes, but even men, who think that men and women should be equal, like things that degrade women and even men, who think that they think that we are not just objects, do things that prove the opposite. Most men do this and really decent men are too rare. I know I should not want that, but making them feel the same way we do sometimes maybe wouldn’t be that bad unless it becomes normal.

      • A lot of both men and women are socialized to see women as secondary. I hope to help people get out of that box.

  3. Alright. First thanks Ms. P for saying I’m a decent guy, that made me happy :). Second, this might be a stretch, but I’m sure that African Americans would like some Justice for the way they have been treated and are still, but in a more subtle way, being treated. However we cannot have a radical change without causing reverse racism and roles just switching. Which might be justice because we white males probably deserve to be on the other end of the stick, but instead of switching the scales so that everyone gets a turn to be on top, we can try to work with those terribly frustrating people to even it out together. I truly believe that the biggest cause that is holding us back from this is ignorance. The lack of knowledge that people have because nobody has ever tried to teach them differently or show them a different lens to look through, or any real positive encouragement.
    And you catch more bigoted male flies with honey than vinegar. No man will truly listen to you if you retort in anger. The only reason I was so determined to take Ms. Platts’ Women Studies class is because I had a very strong female feminist influence in my life that opened my eyes and encouraged me to try to change. One of the reasons my friend was skeptical of taking the class was because our “friends” told us that it was going to be full of women that hate men and are going to “pick on us” throughout the whole class. (Including the teacher). But luckily that wasn’t the case and I truly have learned a lot and am going to try to change our culture as well. But I’ve learned firsthand that when I tell my friends that something they did or are doing is sexist they see it as nagging or scolding and just shut their brains off. I’m trying to figure out a way to get them to open their minds and WANT to understand and change.
    And I’m not going to lie; you are right. “There are decent people from both sexes, but even men, who think that men and women should be equal, like things that degrade women and even men, who think that they think that we are not just objects, do things that prove the opposite.” But it’s hard to break a lifelong habit that has been encouraged by both the men and women in my life. I have heard near equal portions of men and women say sexist things, usually both referring to women.

  4. Wow i find this very interesting I hadn’t heard of this app. But although men seem to do the same thing in different ways I don’t think that this is the right way to approach men judging women. I feel like women set it off for them self’s since they are always judging each other anyways so it seems easy for men to do the same. Not saying that women shouldn’t be judging men but I think turning to a website and letting everyone know how that person is, is kind of harsh

  5. It is indeed an interesting app for women. However, I am surprised that it is not considered to be invasion of privacy. They are not reviewing male celebrities; they are reviewing ordinary men, and it is connected to Facebook, which is a highly private area for most people. I know that some men like to objectify and denigrate women by illegally posting their photographs on the decadent areas of the Internet and commenting negatively on them. However, that side of the Internet is not connected to Facebook like LuLu.

    The fact that such an app exists and the fact that there is no LuLu for men show that the world today is very different from the world in the past. At the moment, this is upsetting to men who enjoyed being dominant. However, the majority of them will accept it in time as the majority of whites accepted desegregation.

    • re: “I know that some men like to objectify and denigrate women by illegally posting their photographs on the decadent areas of the Internet and commenting negatively on them. However, that side of the Internet is not connected to Facebook like LuLu.”

      Those are still public forums. And the women are even more exposed having been photographed either nude or under their dresses or something like that, without consent. I have a hard time believing that the guys on Reddit would be any more okay with having non-consensual nude or partially nude photos of themselves posted on such forms.

  6. Johnny Wilcox alias

    its funny in a way to imagine reading about what girls think of us and how highly or poorly we have done with women in first dates. It could be seen as an improvment tool for bad mistakes we make or the less funny part it could really hurt someon’s reputation. i think we should look at it as potentially dangerous and an invasion of privacy. Imagine the power of this between bad hands searching for revenge!!!!

  7. I feel that this is somewhere along the lines of a Radical approach! I mean, shouldn’t we want to be better people in society and not shame ourselves to a lower level? Why not make a web page that shows the benefits of these individuals and pass our own judgments on something positive rather than viewing the negatives. Its just the same as judging a book by its cover. Why should I believe what someone said about this guy I may be totally interested in? I mean really, maybe its her best friends ex-boyfriend and she’s simply trying to ruin his reputation on a webpage. Its not hard to believe considering their are plenty of bitter women in this world. Its best to make our own judgements rather than expecting someone else to point these things out. I will admit, however, nowadays a lot of men are making a bad name for themselves as cheaters, liars, etc. and I understand that women can be skeptical and even paranoid when choosing a partner. I say stop thinking so much ladies and go with the flow. Let your spirit guide you and if it goes sour what kills us will only make us stronger. We need negative life experiences to grow from. A womens gut instinct is always best too 🙂

  8. Personally, I’m not in favor of this “LuLu” app. If this were done to women, we would be in outrage and feel hurt that people are objectifying us on our looks and writing comments about us. There’s always a possibility of them seeing these comments and that’s pretty cruel. Men, too, feel insecure and although they may not voice it or show it, I think it could cause serious damage to their self-esteem. Yes, some men could use some humbling but there are good men that don’t deserve to be judged. Same goes for women.

  9. what is the bleeding point?! evolution , my backside!! i DON’T care what a guy has to look like to be in a relationship – is it weird if i say my ideal man has to be like a best friend as well as a partner?!

  10. Fernando Kose

    I jut got to know this application called “LuLu”, and it sounds interesting. For me, as a man, it is normal for us in our community to objectify women and grade them based on their appearance, and I believe that women are doing the same thing too. I am not surprised to hear the existence of this kind of application, it just seems normal to me.

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