“[Seeking] luxury leftist with respect for non-monogamy.”
A new dating service promises to help socialists find “more than comrades” without the risk of encountering a capitalist pig – though some users are still seeking sugar daddies, or mommies, or something in between.
“When you’re dating somebody, you’re not going to agree on everything, but it’s important to agree on some core values,” Caitlin Brown, a 35-year-old user of Red Yenta, told the Philly Inquirer. “Anti-poverty issues are such a big part of my identity that I want someone who can identify with that, and we can have common ground there.”
Red Yenta was created for people like Brown by Mindy Isser, a prominent Philadelphia labor organizer, and Marissa Brostoff, a Brooklyn-based English doctoral candidate at City University of New York. It’s free, of course.
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In their social media posts and ads, the founders like to shout-out the bios of politically eligible users of their service.
“U can’t spell BDSM w/out BDS!” opens one Red Yenta ad, referencing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. “Libertarian socialist (28, she/her) seeks similar (27-35, he/him) to join forces against nonconsensual power dynamics (capitalism, white supremacy, etc.) while exploring consensual ones as friends or more. Send me yr fave song.”
Isser’s first stab at matchmaking was in response to a Washington Post op-ed penned by a Christian woman aggrieved by being matched with a Jewish man. Enraged, Isser started a short-lived Jewish dating service.
With time, ironically, her dating agenda became more ideologically exclusive. Unhappy with the persistence of inter-ideological romances, she tweeted in December a condemnation of socialist men who date capitalist women (calling it her “#1 life annoyance”). Brostoff saw Isser’s post and, having been herself stung by the discovery that matchmaking site OKComrade was used mostly by bots, suggested a collaboration to solve the problem.
Red Yenta is a testament not only to how politics became an inextricable part of dating in this era of hyper-polarization (recent Pew polls show that less than 10 percent of politically affiliated Americans would consider dating outside their political tribe), but also to how self-culling the left has become.
Brostoff celebrates both developments, telling the Inquirer that it is “thankfully, finally, really outmoded” to be turned on by a politically recalcitrant partner. Spousal conformity is the thing now. “We [on the left] have plenty of stuff to fight over,” she added.
The cofounders admitted that sometimes the specificity of the personals — their punctilious division into intersectional and Marxist sub-genres (“tendencies within tendencies,” per Brostoff) — can be confounding. And ideology does not always match desire, as in the case of transgender “socialist” Skyler Cruz, who admitted “appetite for the rich.”
“23, black&puerto rican pan trans girl (she/her) socialist looking for something casual/nonmonog. Fairly reformist, w/ an appetite for the rich. Love biking+dancing in pretty dresses. Let’s sip hot cider btwn kisses while St. Vincent plays! Big nerd/cheap date,” wrote Cruz, who confessed to the Inquirer that she had difficulty fitting all essential traits within the space limit.
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A self-described “sloppy femme skate hoe” and anarcho-communist (Red Yenta encourages the use of anonymous accounts) said she was looking for a “luxury leftist” of any gender who was cool with her sleeping around. She claimed not to have social media in her tweet.
Another woman, avowedly “socialist with anarchist tendencies,” described her ideal man in suspiciously bourgeois terms – clothes, movies, and pets – but promised to be a cheap date.
A gay man, who wanted to be “more than comrades,” added the warning: “vegan if it comes to that.”
Red Yenta is not alone. These are boom times for politically-aligned dating services. For the right there’s DonaldDaters.com (finding the “RIGHT partner” free from “bias, judgment or liberal intolerance!”). For the left there’s DemocratSingles.com (to find the “politically correct match”).
“Singles now, especially millennials singles, are more interested in having similar politics and talking about good politics than actually having good sex,” online dating expert Julie Spiral, whose book “Love in the Age of Trump” has recently come out, told The Hill Tuesday. “Politics has actually moved into the bedroom.”
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