DON’T put a gun in your profile picture.

Look, I get it; you’ve been raised with visions of guns dancing in your head like a goddamn baby mobile over a crib. You had video games with guns. You played cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians (you baby racists) when you were a kid. You love The Walking Dead. You love to hunt because you like the power of feeling a life draining out of something. You have to feel like God because we live in a world where a penis practically requires a god complex. You joined the military and you felt like a real man.

Cool story, bro.

But, like the story of my last ex-boyfriend, your love of guns should be saved for several dates in, only if the relationship is getting serious. Because the truth is that girls die all the time at the hands of men and you waving your fucking gun around doesn’t make me that comfortable that you’re not just crazy enough to try to kill me.

And don’t give me that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” line — ‘cause if I have a choice for you to bring a gun or a butter knife to the first date, I’d rather put my faith in my odds of being able to survive a butter knife attack than put my faith in the idea that you’re inherently a good person because you say so.

DON’T post pictures of yourself doing extreme sports where I can’t see your face.

Yes, you’re a man! You defy death! You do exciting things! You might even do really stupid ass things just like the Jackass movies to prove you’ll be a man-child for life! You are the living embodiment of Peter Pan! You are so so brave and so so young! God, you’re so great that I probably don’t need to see your face, amiright?

But I’m just gonna need a little reassurance here that you can sit still long enough to take a picture. I’m looking for a fellow Netflix binger and someone to read with me in bed. There’s no hope for us if you’re always jumping out of planes.

DON’T fetishize my job and use it to objectify me.

Real life messages I’ve received from men:

“Damn! Hot for teacher!”

“NO WAY you’re a professor.”

“Fuck, I’m not so good at school, but you can punish me anytime, teach.”

“I wish I was your student! I’d pay so much more attention in class with those tits in front of me.”

Fuck. Off. All of you.

I know that in your sexist minds the only work women should be doing is making you a sandwich and getting on their backs, but this is my fucking career. I went to college for eight years for this. I wake up every day at 5am for this. This job assures me that I never have to depend on the sorry likes of one of you to take care of me.

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And it’s my fucking passion and I’m fucking good at it and all the shit you’ve picked up from pornos about women and work is as fucking bad as an STD. In fact, I’d rather you had fucking herpes — it’s less repulsive and treatable.

My career is my best life accomplishment; it’s not something that makes me more hot, unless you think intellect is hot, which you fucking should.

So the next time a woman tells you she’s a police officer or construction worker or was in the Navy or whatever, just suppress all those stripper fantasies. Smack yourself in the face if you have to. Just check yourself.

DON’T be boring.

Please don’t start the conversation by simply saying “Hey.”

I’m not asking for massive amounts of creativity here — you don’t need to write me a poem or say something witty (though bonus points if you’re funny). Maybe just ask what I teach or where I am in one of my travel photos.

If you’re boring I can’t help myself: I’m going to have to fuck with you.

Real life Tinder conversation:

“Hey”

“Hey”

“hyd”

“Good, how are you?”

“I’m good, just drinking a beer and watching TV. How are you doing?”

“I’m still good, thanks.”

“Lol.”

“Actually, I lied. I’ve been better.”

“What’s wrong beautiful?”

“I’m in the hospital.”

“What? Why?”

“I just went on a Tinder date with a guy with a motorcycle and he crashed it!”

“Omg! Really?”

“Yes! They are going to amputate my toes on my right foot!”

“Lol. You’re fucking with me.”

“I’m not. This isn’t funny.”

“Damn, girl. I’m sorry.”

“Can you pick me up from the hospital later?”

“And then what?”

“What, you don’t think you can love a girl without toes? Asshole!”

DON’T start the conversation with a comment on my boobs.

I’m a person, not a blow-up doll. You can tell me I have nice tits if I ever decide you’re worthy of being in their glorious presence.

DON’T ask me what I’m doing on Tinder.

What do you think I’m doing on Tinder? Looking for world peace? Seeing if anyone wants to bring their cats to a playdate with mine? Scouring for the right sperm donor?

Asking what I’m doing on Tinder is just a nice way of asking if I’m looking for sex or (heaven forbid!) a real emotional connection with someone. (Oh God, don’t say it! Abort mission! Abort mission! Men must not have feelings!)

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Maybe I’ll just want to sleep with you. Maybe I won’t even want to meet you. Maybe I’ll like you and want to date you. But I can’t know that until I get to know you, because you’re a person. Maybe you should take note and start looking at women as people rather than just sex conquests and foregone conclusions. I know it sounds crazy, but live a little.

DON’T abandon grammar.

Remember when your English teacher kept saying that if you don’t learn to use proper grammar you’re going to sound dumb in emails and job applications?

Well, she was right. You sound dumb on Tinder too.

You might be totally normal and fine but you sound like an idiot or a child and you kill my boner. You don’t even have to use it correctly or fancy it up with semi-colons — just try to put a period at the end of a sentence.

I’m willing to forgive this if English is your second language because the fact that you speak more than one language already makes you better than most Americans, but I still hope to see punctuation between two independent clauses and question marks after questions.

DON’T get angry and call me fat if i don’t respond for five minutes or tell you I’m not interested.

One thing women deeply understand is the effects of entitlement — because we’ve lived our whole lives in a man’s world so they’ve practically colonized our brains.

To all the men that called me fat or called me a bitch: I know that the world was promised to you when you were just a wee baby and they saw your wee tiny penis, and I know rejection hurts. I know that equality movements have made you feel afraid that you’re losing your power in this world. (You are, sorry. But it’s going to be okay.) I know you resent that feminists have fought for people to have a voice in our own bodily agency and that you can’t just conquer what you think is rightfully yours anymore. I know that you’ve been taught that a woman’s sole worth is in her beauty so if you really want to hurt her, call her fat.

Hush little baby. Don’t you cry. Hold it all in or write it in a diary. Because when you send it to me you just look pathetic and desperate and entitled and my girlfriends and I laugh at you and there’s plenty of nice men who don’t have a single complaint about the undulations of my fat ass.

DON’T be surprised if I message you first or if I ask you out or if I buy you a drink.

Let’s fuck up the gender expectations together, baby.

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