The affordances of desire: on dating apps

Type
Article
Category
Love
social media

Apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid, Grindr, Scruff and Brenda offer affordances that are built into the way they are designed. These affordances import all the assumptions and norms of both those who make them, and adapt primarily to what sells: they turn daters into consumers of each other, and unwitting producers of data for the monopolistic behemoths of the digital world. Dating apps are actively involved in reproducing the traits of contemporary capitalism, transforming our very desires in ways that reshape and homogeneise how we love each other.

Type
Article
Category
Culture
LGBTIQ

Magical girls, queerness and the power of femininity

There is currently a trend within western animation studios whereby queerness in both characters and plot is inching evermore to the centre of children’s narratives. But as creators continue to experiment and expand the cultural canon, appropriate homage must be paid to the often-belittled Magical Girl genre – a medium that effortlessly makes space for queerness both within its themes and aesthetic in a naturally humble way that perhaps only ‘feminine’ stories could accomplish.

Type
Article
Category
Politics

The death cult of Tony Abbott

Abbott’s revealed more than what we already know about modern conservatism – namely that, in its relentless attacks on health, education, and welfare, as well as its racialised approaches to immigration and foreign policy, it does not hold that all lives are equally worthy. It showed his capitulation to a kind of brutal economism more often associated with Randian capitalist radicalism than the religious right.