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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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I think it is a great initiative in allowing women to make the first move, and giving them the power to navigate their dating experience. There is already so much stigma attached to dating apps and how they are notorious for being shallow and inorganic. But as the modern world advances and new ideas gain traction, it is important that women have the freedom to make their own choices and own their voice. I think it is important that we empower each other to embrace our sexuality and take control of how we are being perceived, instead of passively letting patriarchal notions steer the way we live.

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Social media and dating apps have attracted the masses in the modern world, and Pakistan is no alien to these digital advancements. Dating for women is considered indecent and severely negated in a conservative and patriarchal society like ours; however, dating apps like Bumble still find their way into the audience's hearts. This application is unique because it allows women to make the first move, unlike the previously dominating dating apps with mostly the other gender. This application has challenged the prevalent stereotype in the dating community by promoting a sense of empowerment among women to choose, initiate and be independent in their affairs which is a significant step in promoting women's independence and freedom of choice.


Despite such changes,…

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Bumble as a forum does facilitate men and women, both, a lot in terms of finding matches, and also give a reflection of themselves in ways different to the toxic ways in which the society does. Social norms despite being described as someting flexible, this cultue has a high probability of being supressed. The words "vulgar" and "un-islamic" have been used in the past to ban tik-tok, a very different, a very expressive social media platform. It feels like its only a matter of time before such a story is heard about bumble as well, should it get as famous as tik-tok. One might say that any time there seems to be a new culture in the making, the society…

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Another thing that makes bumble stand out is the fact that it gives women the opportunity to make the first move, so that the conversation can only happen if the woman initiates it. This is in such stark contrast with the usual norms where hegemony has normalized only guys making the first move and woman being passive receivers. It eliminates the existing power tension between the genders in the dating area and sort of recalibrates what society expects. It’s refreshing and also means that it limits the amount of creeps that can slide into your messages. This feature is one of the reasons why bumble is considered safer and preferred by women. It also has a feature which blurs out…

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In our society, it has become impossible to escape the shackles of men trying to control and dictate women's lives. In a country where the majority of women do not even have the freedom to select their own partner, platforms like these have given women the agency to choose for themselves and embrace their individuality and sexuality. Although there are some risks involved, like you have mentioned, it is about time that women take control of their own lives. It is also interesting to note how if a girl would uses these apps, how differently she would be perceived in society than if a man was using these apps.

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