This morning my eyes rolled as I read the following headline: “OkCupid Stands with Planned Parenthood and Now You Can See if Your Matches Do, Too!”
Now, if you’re on their website/app and want to let all your matches know exactly where you stand (because no woman wants a man who supports the defunding of Planned Parenthood, amiright?), you can do that with their handy #IStandwithPP banner.
OkCupid? How about OkStupid?
It’s a shame that on the internet we are assaulted every minute of every day with polarizing political ideologies and talking points designed to divide rather than unify. It’s an even greater shame that on dating apps we aren’t free from the onslaught of assault. Is there no rest for the weary anywhere??
Seriously. Is it really going to be devastating for you to discover on a first date that your partner supports the federal defunding of Planned Parenthood? Is Planned Parenthood that much at the forefront of your mind that you’d even bring it up on a first date?
It’s like the new religion. Planned Parenthood has developed for itself a near cult following, and it’s becoming not only taboo but anti-everything to speak out against Planned Parenthood or even to question whether our tax money should support it.
For most people, whether or not they support a nonprofit that has no bearing on their everyday life doesn’t seem like the kind of deal breaker you’d discuss on a first date. But because Planned Parenthood has pushed its brand and propaganda so far in the faces of the general population, there’s some kind of weird expectation or pressure that makes people feel like they have to talk about their organization.
But let’s take a step back and consider this. Is it really true that everyone feels the need to talk about Planned Parenthood excessively? Is it that important to most people? Should you talk about it on a first date?
First, millennials are split on this issue, but not the way you might think. In 2012, only 37% considered abortion to be morally acceptable. A 2003 Gallup poll also found that over 70% of teenagers thought that abortion was “morally wrong.” Whether Planned Parenthood likes it or not, they’re still the largest single provider of abortion in America, so as much as they want to be positioned as a woman’s health organization, they’re still seen as the “abortion giant.”
And for those of you raising your eyebrows at the reference to studies conducted in 2003 and 2012 (“don’t you understand the current political climate??”), research as recent as last year indicates that this is a trend: More millennials than not are in favor of restrictions on abortion.
“The survey found 53 percent of millennials believe abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances, with 17 percent of young people responding abortion should never be legal and 36 percent only in extreme cases, such as rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.”
This is in spite of their political affiliation or preferred label. Many identify as democrat and lean left on other social issues, and would more likely choose the “pro-choice” label than “pro-life.”
So if millennials are split, and if the majority doesn’t support abortion, then likely they also don’t support Planned Parenthood and maybe if your market is millennials, consider choosing another organization to support. Unless you want to see a steep decline in users. That’s fine, too.
Second, for people who do fall squarely in the “pro-choice” camp, in all of its complexities and diversity, many just don’t think abortion is important enough to talk about all that much. So yeah, likely it’s not gonna come up on the first date.
NARAL conducted research in 2012 that demonstrated this fact. They discovered that of millennials who identify as pro-life, 51% claim abortion is a “very important” issue, but for millennials who identify as pro-choice, only 26% thought it was “very important.”
This research ultimately caused their President, Nancy Keenan, to resign, stating NARAL needed to do a much better, “younger” job with its marketing.
So if millennials (regardless of what labels they adopt) are trending pro-life, and those who identify as pro-choice don’t really want to talk about it, why would OkCupid choose to take up such a #OkStupid position?
I think there are a few reasons.
First, because of the growing deception around what Planned Parenthood really does. Much has been written on this topic that I won’t belabor now. But the abortion industry is about one thing: Money. They’re not about a lot of things: Women’s health, women’s safety, family, life, and contributing to a healthy culture.
But their marketing says otherwise. To the unsuspecting and untrained eye, Planned Parenthood appears to be the savior of women, the sole provider of health services in a sea of hateful and spiteful old white men who are out to get women. And from this position, they can really advertise and say whatever they want.
Celebrities, organizations, corporations, and companies are practically tripping over each other to show their support of Planned Parenthood. OkCupid is just the most recent in a long line of companies who’ve joined ranks to show their support of Planned Parenthood and thus, in their minds, women. The fact that they’re supporting the opposite is tragic.
Second, they likely gave in to the immense amount of pressure put on celebrities, organizations, corporations, and companies these days to make a political statement. Oh, I’m sorry… what I meant to say was the right political statement. And the correct position to take these days is to support Planned Parenthood.
If they’re interested in growing their base amongst millennials, however, they’d do better to stay away from politics. There’s a reason young people are flocking to social platforms like Instagram now–Facebook is inundated with politics and, on Instagram, there’s practically none. People living in the digital AND information age are desperate for an escape from the constant barrage of politics.
BUT, for those who want to learn what their date thinks about Planned Parenthood before the first date (I mean, what other pressing issue is there, really?), OkCupid could be for them. Because asking on the website or app before the first date would be too easy. Right?