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Bumble Apologizes for an Ad Campaign Designed Around Shaming Anyone Who Chooses Celibacy

ERIC BARADAT. Getty Images.

According to reports I've heard but am too lazy/disinterested to investigate, female-centric dating app Bumble has fallen on hard times. As Francis blogged a while back, they attempted a sort of rebrand in which AI chooses your partner for you:


But apparently found that the ladies in their target demo don't even want that much work and responsibility when it comes to choosing a life partner. And presumably would rather do things the old fashioned ways: Arranged marriages. Village matchmakers. Dowries. Being sent off to wed some prince of a rival kingdom in order to prevent a war. Anything, so long as they don't have agency over who they end up jumping the broom with. Or so it sounds. 

Well desperate times call for desperate measures. Which in this case, amounted to a desperate marketing campaign the likes of which Don Draper couldn't have envisioned in his worst martini-steak-and-unfiltered cigarettes fever dream:

Source - Dating app Bumble has been forced to issue an apology after the company plastered offensive billboards across the country that made fun of celibacy. 

On Monday, the company backtracked and apologized for billboards that bore the message 'You know full well a vow of celibacy is not the answer' juxtaposed against an introduction to 'the new Bumble.' 

Some women vowed to never use the app again. …

The app, which has a market capital of $2billion, launched a brand redesign in April in hopes of reviving user interest, which had been lagging.

Both women and men on social media slammed the company for suggesting celibacy isn't a valid personal choice in their latest advertisements. 

Another ad, which popped up on London's underground stations, read: 'Thou shalt not give up on dating and become a nun,' referencing the female Christian group who take a vow of celibacy. 

Online critics blasted the slogan as reflecting patriarchal notions that women should be willing to have sex with men even if they don´t want to.

In an apology posted on Instagram, Bumble said it is removing ads that it called a mistaken attempt to 'lean into a community frustrated by modern dating.' 

Listen, there's no shame in trying, Bumble. Pick any sports cliche, because they all apply. No harm, no foul.  You miss every shot you don't take. Don't skate to where the sexless woman is, skate to where you think she's going to be. The important thing is that you ran it up the flagpole, no one saluted, so you're taking it down. Nice try though. 

The thing is, it was a noble attempt. Sure, the world needs nuns. They dedicate their lives to putting others before themselves and doing God's work on Earth. Without them, we'd have no one to raise money for the poor, run orphanages, give counsel to at risk youth and expectant mothers, feed the homeless, comfort the terminally ill, and teach impeccable cursive writing. 

But every woman we gain to a life of self-sacrifice and the enrichment of others, Bumble loses a customer. Who's going to line up strangers for sessions of commitment-free boning if this keeps up? Sure, they talk about body autonomy and personal choice. But let's not get crazy here. You can't get a decent dating app off the ground if you're just going to let women run around not taking the fellas to Pound Town. Bumble has a business to run, afterall. And the guys who sign up to get their quippy responses past the AI bots aren't going to bang themselves.

So the situation called for a little bit of Reverse Slut Shaming. To remind all you gals in the "community frustrated by modern dating" that there's more to life than their happiness. There's "leaning into" a life of casual hookups. Those "patriarchal notions that women should be willing to have sex with men even if they don´t want to" worked out pret-tay, pret-tay well for thousands of years. All Bumble is trying to do is return you frigid female incels to the good old days of a couple of years ago. Before some of you started realizing unsatisfying sex with internet weirdos wasn't doing it for you and opted for a simple life of waiting until you meet someone the normal way. 

Sure, you might think that's making you happy. But the AI at Bumble has $2 billion saying you're not. And who are you going to believe?