Ladies, Meet Lulu
Enter Lulu, the "Girls Only" dating app designed to rate men. As founder Alexandra Chong says, "I founded Lulu because my friends and I needed it." Lulu takes the "girls looking out for girls" ethos to the next level. Lulu allows women to leave reviews of their dates, exes, crushes, and friends. In an era of online dating, where a guy can make himself out to be anyone he wants to be, Lulu tries to provide that crucial second — and third, and fourth — perspective. Lulu takes the mechanism of social approval that exists elsewhere on the web and uses it for people. It reminds me of seeking travel reviews. When a traveler has been to a foreign country or island, they can tell you which cities to hit and which to skip, what sites to see and which to ignore. With Lulu, the cities are men. Obviously, just like with traveling, reviews are influenced by personal experience; seldom are they completely objective. A great rating doesn't always make it a great buy — you may still be disappointed with your product after reading all of the five-star reviews or find out that the outlier one-star reviewer who rants about how much a toaster oven destroyed their lives might not have been so wrong. But due to the number of reviews, there is generally some consensus on how good the product is, and it's those reviews that prepare you for what you are getting yourself into and help you choose one product over another.
Since Lulu is new, reviews are scarce so a consensus on the guys has yet to be reached. It will take time and traction for enough reviews to amass in order to absorb a few outliers who might have a vendetta against a guy who miffed them and come up with reliable conclusions.
Personally, I like Lulu, though our team at Acquaintable is divided down the sexes. Far too often I see women blindly swept away by guys who end up stomping on them. And far too often, women stay oblivious to red flags because they really want this guy to be the one — it's the idealism in us. You could consider Lulu a preventative measure — one designed to save women from the heartache that comes from getting involved with a bad seed. Lulu's your anonymous best friend.
What The Guys Think
Obviously, many guys are not thrilled about the "Girls Only" app. The app is only available to those listed as women on Facebook and so to the guys, access to the app is as unattainable as Kate Upton. Never have I had guys practically fight one another to get ahold of my phone — or had men who I have never seen plead with me to rate them a 10. Clearly I see all of the arguments opposing it. It infringes on privacy, it objectifies men, and, uh-oh, girls, aren't you worried about when the guy's version of the app comes out that rates you?
Well yes, but no. First, men have been rating us for decades: in school, in the media, basically everywhere in society. Recently, a coworker said, "It's not fair that Lulu only rates men — is there a version that judges women?" to which our intern responded, "Life. Open your Facebook or any media source and tell me what you see." An app that rates women would only be an extension of what already exists (#ScarletLetter). May I direct your attention to all the "hot-or-not" type websites that have polluted the Internet for over a decade? Keep reading...