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JDate.com Takes an Inclusive Step

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Some years ago, I was shocked to discover that JDate, the popular online “Jewish Singles Network,” did not have a search option for men seeking men or women seeking women. If you identified yourself as a woman, it automatically searched for a tall, dark and handsome man, when what you really wanted was a cute, smart woman. Beyond the absence of a gay or lesbian search option, this presumption of heterosexuality implied the absence of LGBT Jews. Watching the computer fill in a man when I wanted a woman, I felt the way I always feel when well-meaning strangers ask if I have a boyfriend. JDate’s presumption about my interests subtly, but powerfully, disregarded my very existence. What a virtual slap in the face! I immediately shot off an email to the organization in protest, but received nothing in response.

I like to imagine that my protest (along with many others, no doubt) planted a seed that grew into the recent JDate makeover, which permits a “man seeking man” or a “woman seeking woman” search as reported by the New York Times earlier this week in a piece called “A Dating Service Gives a Nod to Jewish Gays.” While the search engine is not as inclusive as it could be (for example, it still maintains binary gender options), it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Correcting the heterosexual bias of JDate is just a step toward correcting the same bias in the Jewish community at large, but it is an important step. I hope the change in JDate is a sign of changes to come. How about more rabbis officiating at gay weddings?



3 Comments

  1. One small step for man seeking man, one giant leap for human kind.

    Comment by David Harris-Gershon — January 17, 2006 @ 10:52 am

  2. I say ‘mazel tov’ to JDate.com for joining the rest of the civilized, non-bigoted world (was that too harsh?). I’m glad Ms. Seltzer was so much more eloquent than myself. Seriously, what a wonderful realization for JDate to make and what a wonderful gift to those of us looking for that nice, Jewish girl…

    Comment by Helena Miller — January 18, 2006 @ 1:45 am

  3. Hello, this weekend is good in support of me, since this occasion i am
    reading this great informative article here at my house.

    Comment by wso kindle — March 4, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

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