These days, there really is a word for everything — especially when it comes to dating trends.
Vice writer Serena Smith has coined this new one, “wokefishing,” to describe when someone essentially tricks someone else into talking to them or going out with them by pretending to be more progressive than they actually are on dating apps.
The term is a twist on “catfishing,” a popular (and toxic) online dating trap where someone pretends to be someone else and the inspiration behind the documentary and subsequent MTV series.
As politics become more important and polarizing, people are starting to notice that their views could be hurting their romantic potential. Thus, whether it be in their dating profile bio or at the beginning of conversations, some are lying about their political alignment to further the relationship along.
Smith sums it up perfectly: “A wokefish may at first present themselves as a protest-attending, sex-positive, anti-racist, intersectional feminist who drinks ethically sourced oat milk and has read the back catalogue of Audre Lorde, twice. But in reality, they don’t give a s***.”
The obvious issue with this is the longer you get to know someone, the more likely you are to learn their true colors. “Wokefishing” may work during the initial conversations, but it’s not a long-lasting solution — as most dating trends tend to be.
For example, a guy “wokefishing” a woman on an app may have “feminist” in his bio but then call her a name if she tells him she’s not feeling the conversation.
Now more than ever, dating apps make it easy to filter through prospective matches based on a myriad of factors, and it’s only a matter of time that politics gets added as a default filter (both Bumble and Hinge already have political filters on its apps.) Dating apps have reinvented the dating landscape, particularly for people 35 and younger, and figuring out the new rules always comes with some hiccups.
Particularly in the thick of the current pandemic and in the aftermath of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it’s no surprise individuals are prioritizing finding partners who share similar values. The Journal of Social and Political Psychology found that “ideological dissimilarity” between couples just won’t work.
While it’s not shocking that a new misleading trend has cropped up on dating apps, it still begs the question of what makes these “wokefish” both so ashamed of being open about their politics and uninterested in pursuing people with similar beliefs.
Want to read about more dating mishaps? Check out this Reddit story about a guy who offered to buy a girl a drink … and then refused to pay for it.
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