Last week, the New York Times wrote about Lulu, a new app that lets women publicly rate men. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like YelpÃ¢â‚¬”but for guys instead of restaurants. Before you hook up with, go on a date with, or respond to an e-mail from a guy, you can log on to see what the other women in his life say about him. If the dude has a Lulu profile, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see his picture alongside a 1-to-10 score and a list of hashtags, like #SixPack, #HasADog, #ManChild, and #LoserFriends.
Lulu calls it Ã¢â‚¬Å“a private network for girls to express and share their opinions openly and honestly.Ã¢â‚¬Â And women can also designate how they know the guy: ex-boyfriend, together, crush, former hookup, friend, or relative.
Am I the only one who sees the problem here? Imagine the same app designed for guys. It would take all of five minutes for mean-spirited hashtags to start cropping up: #LoveHandles, #Clingy, #HighMaintenance. Or imagine #Loose, #Prude, or #WonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢tDoOral.
Is it really fair to rate people this way? And just because one woman had a bad experience with a guy, does that mean you will? More importantlyÃ¢â‚¬”shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you find out for yourself?
To LuluÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s credit, its designers have done some things right. A girl can only see or create reviews of guys sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s friends with on Facebook. And if a guy doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like his profile, he can have it taken down. But the app also seems to give women a false sense of security. As the site explains, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We created Lulu to unleash the value of girl talk and to empower girls to make smarter decisions on topics ranging from relationships to beauty and health.Ã¢â‚¬Â Smarter decisions? How? Just as anyone whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ever used Yelp knows, reviewers arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always trustworthy. I suppose if you only want to hook up with guys who have a #SixPack, Lulu might help you out. And as for beauty and healthÃ¢â‚¬”well, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not really sure how Lulu addresses those.
Call me old fashioned, but I still believe in chemistry. You meet someone, you get to know them, and you decide for yourself whether theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re a 1 or 10Ã¢â‚¬”not that you need to broadcast that rating to the rest of the world. If you disagree, feel free to hashtag me #idiot on Lulu.