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What the app is this?
NYMag.com recently reported on a nine-month-old mobile app named Lulu. Dubbed “the Yelp for Men,” Lulu provides reviews of men currently on the singles scene where the scorecards are being filled out by their ex-girlfriends, ex-hookups, as well as girlfriends, crushes and friends.
When women raters sign into the app, they are asked to take a quiz based on the guy’s manners, ambitions and appearance. They may also choose among a number of hashtags -- such as #OneTrackMind, #NoGoals or #FartMachine -- to accompany his evaluation. It’s also a Facebook-friendly app -- women are verified through their Facebook accounts, and women select the names and pictures from fellow Facebooking men.
To date, Lulu has over 1 million users (where one out of every four is a college student) and its database holds about 2.5 million reviews. What’s interesting to note is that only about half million of those reviews were requested by the men. And, the guys do not have the authority to comment or rebut any reviews.
Understandably so, the men were outraged. Some call it, “straight-up harassment.” Some say it’s “sex-stereotypic.” One New York read: ““The real-world application is nothing more than a way for spiteful ex-hookups to spew menstrual hatred upon those that have wronged them.”
Amanda Hess, a writer for Slate.com, deemed the app as “creepy.”
In Lulu’s defense -- it hasn’t completely manifested into a man-hating app. In fact, the positive hashtags outweigh the negative hashtags by three to one, and the average guy’s score is 7.5. According to Deborah Singer, Lulu’s marketing director, many women are using the app as a way to “shout about the good guys.”
My immediate thought: How would women feel if there was a guys-only app for rating women?
While the majority of Lulu’s raters are reportedly being complementary -- and I commend them for that -- the idea of rating people is just demeaning. It’s like The Gong Show meets The Bachelorette. But the men on these shows volunteered to be in the spotlight. I’m not sure the same can be said for the men being gonged or handed a rose on Lulu. I’m standing beside Amanda Hess on this one. “Rating men on Lulu isn’t empowering. It’s creepy.”