On the seventh episode of TLDR, PJ interviewed Maureen O'Connor about Lulu, an app which allows women to rate men based on a set of prescribed hashtags as innocuous as #loveshisfamily and #perfectgrammar, to those a little more...well, evocative, like #f**kedmeandchucked me, or #sleepsinthewetspot.
The idea was mortifying to my charming co-host, who was unhappy about the lack of agency he had with the app, because it allows users to make a profile for him without his consent.
PJ: I find it so aggravating that someone would make a profile for me that I can't access or change.
MAUREEN O’CONNOR: This is what makes people like James Franco go insane, right? We’re all little celebrities and cannot control what is said about us.
Well, PJ can relax. Lulu has announced that its app will now be opt-in, meaning you have to agree to have an account created for you. A lulu spokeswoman gave me this statement:
"Our vision has always been to be a private place for girls to share their experiences and make smarter decisions -- starting with guys and relationships. Millions of guys have signed up for Lulu and love getting feedback from the Lulu community. Some guys don’t want to be on Lulu, and we respect that. We’ve decided to be the better woman and only have guys on Lulu who are open to feedback."
I honestly think this is a little sad. Assessing women based on their looks is so baked into our culture that an app which reversed those roles felt refresing. It appealed to my sense of the internet as this lawless frontier where no one was completely safe, but everyone is completely empowered. But then again, I'm married, and I don't have to worry about what might be said about me on an app like that.