Saturday Night Live just mocked Tinder’s gender-inclusive update
It was just last week dating app, Tinder, announced they had added 37 different gender options to their app to make it more inclusive and gender fluid.
Yet, over the weekend the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update team caused a bit of a stir after ‘mocking’ the feature during their segment.
“The dating app Tinder announced a new feature this week which gives users 37 different gender identity options,” co-host and cast member, Colin Jost said. “It’s called ‘Why Democrats lost the election’.”
Twitter users were quick to pick up the jibe, notably Sam Escobar, a senior editor at Bustle and a Nonbinary Latinx queer.
Escobar posted the above tweet with a screenshot of the joke, and subsequently wrote a follow-up piece for the Observer yesterday.
“The point that Colin Jost nor Saturday Night Live was trying to make—one later backed up by Jost himself via Twitter—is that the much buzzed about “identity politics,” a.k.a. focusing on the rights and issues pertaining to marginalised groups, trans and gender nonconforming folks in this case, is why Trump won. Soak that in, folks,” Escobar wrote.
“Using identities as a punchline does contribute to the thought that gender is a (mockable) choice. It insinuates that being recognised for the person you’ve known you are your entire life is just a special treatment—and SNL apparently deems this selfish and superfluous enough to contribute to Hillary Clinton’s loss.”
Jost defended the joke in a series of tweets following the segment.
The app change came after many transgender users said their accounts were being suspended from the dating app after complaints from other users.
“No one will ever be banned from Tinder because of their gender. We haven’t had the right tools to serve our diverse community in the past, but that changes today,” a statement on Tinder’s website said at the time of the change.
“We know that we haven’t been perfect in the past,” the statement continued before inviting people that had wrongfully been removed in the past back to the platform.
In June, Tinder CEO Sean Rad confirmed the dating app would roll out changes so people won’t have to identify as only ‘male’ or ‘female’.
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Trans people have previously reported negative experiences on the app – with trans groups warning last year that people are frequently banned from the app or barraged with abuse, after being matched with people who took exception to them.
The app relies on community reports – meaning if enough people report a profile, it is likely to be banned before a review is possible.
At the time, Tinder said it would work on filters to specify more gender identities than just ‘male’ and ‘female’ – which may help stop people being matched up with trans people who don’t want to be.
“For a long time we haven’t done enough to give them [trans people a good experience,” Rad said in June. “It’s harder for them to get what they are looking for. We have to modify our experience to address that.”
“It’s not only good for the Tinder community, but it’s the right thing to do for the world.”