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Propagating social change: Pakistani women using bumble

Although casual dating for women is frowned upon in the socially conservative and heavily patriarchal society we reside in, attitudes are rapidly changing and online dating applications like bumble are gaining significant popularity in Pakistan. They allow women to make the first move, take control of their own sexuality, and propagate social change by challenging the societal expectations levied upon them.

Bumble gives women a sense of empowerment through swiping left and right, having the power to say "no" which is very difficult to do in real life and it gives them some authority and independence as women are expected to be subtle, submissive, and never the first ones to approach men. The rishta-culture in our society, where the match is predetermined by aunties, with little to no say of women involved is challenged by bumble where the opposite happens. Women have the power to choose their partners, in fact, they can find their ideal match as they are provided with numerous options.

Moreover, women can be straightforward on their profiles, stating their hobbies, interests and specifying what they are looking for in a potential match. The app also enables them to bypass traditional heterosexual dating norms by providing a range of sexual preferences to choose from.

However, some prominent safety issues include incidents of stalking, rape, sexual assault, and pedophilia that arise from catfishing, These areas of concern are the dark side of online dating which discourages people from using the app along with the stigma that society attaches to it of being "vulgar".

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