ATTENTION: Thanks for your interest in RedMatch. At the moment the project is on hold for two reasons, my poor health and the lack of a co-conspirator with the technical expertise to set up a web site that will do the things I want it to do. Finding a co-conspirator would be a significant step, but my health still requires me to put my part of the work on hold for at least a few months, so I won’t be able to send out the test version until late spring or early summer. I will keep your information and add you to the mailing list when I’m able.
I've been single now for ten years, and recovered from my bad break-up for some time now. Chronic illness makes it hard to meet anyone by accident, since I don't get out that much, but I've told my friends and the universe and half a dozen dating sites that I'm looking. I know that I'm a catch. I'm a highly intelligent, creative, passionate, perceptive, communicative, generous, funny, enthusiastic, emotionally mature and socially committed woman. I love wholeheartedly and intelligently and I'm a great kisser. And I'm not getting anywhere online.
The problem is, I don't care about the things that most designers of dating sites expect me to care about, and the things that matter most to me, don't even occur to them. I'm not looking for gentlemen who enjoy fine dining, new age divas wanting to make magic, or any of the host of people who insist on financial stability, athletic standards of fitness, slender bodies and glowing health. I don't want to be anyone's "special someone." I don't want an activity partner or a friend with benefits. I want a comrade.
Sexual attraction is certainly part of what I want with a life partner, but my chemistry isn't ignited by a predetermined formula of body type, hair color, facial features, or even gender. What turns me on is aliveness, kindness, creativity, integrity, passion, attentiveness, presence, living in one's body, directness, awareness, and good clear consciousness about privilege and oppression across many categories. Mind and heart kindle flesh for me. So I don't even look at the sections about what sort of body I want to cohabit with.
I don't care what ethnic cuisines someone likes, or what they do on a typical Friday night. These things can be negotiated, I do pay attention to the list of favorite books, but as a window into values, not taste. (The absence of any major women writers is a red flag.)
What I absolutely require is radical politics, revolutionary politics, without jargon or sectarianism or cynicism, deeply feminist and deeply hopeful. A shared vision of the world, and a passionate commitment to dismantle capitalism before it finishes dismantling us.
But OKCupid's "The Two of US" feature, which tells you what percentage of questions about sex, dating, ethics and religion you agree on, doesn't report on political compatibility. Sites with multiple choice identities don't go any farther left than liberal. Keyword searches for socialist, communist, anti-imperialist rarely turn anything up. "Left" is just as likely to bring up "left at the altar" as anything ideological. Social justice gets a few hits, but encompasses everything from a vague interest in bettering society to working for a liberal non-profit to being a radical union organizer. It's a labor intensive process to find people for whom politics is not just another preference, along with hiking and art museums.
My parents were lucky. They met at a social gathering of young communists in 1948, got engaged after a lecture on feminist, held hands at the Peekskill riot, when right wing mobs disrupted a Paul Robeson concert, got blacklisted together, went to Cuba together, took on racism and sexism and anti-Semitism, the U.S. occupation of Puerto Rico and the Viet Nam War, organized and agitated and pondered and discussed, laughed, fought, danced and sang rebel songs, and got each other's backs decade after decade for 62 years. Thanks to my great-grandmother, who raised him right, my mother spent the 1950s with a feminist man. It's been a much harder road for me and most of the people I know.
So I've decided to do something about it. My friend Paul and I are starting our own web site, RedMatch, specifically for leftists, radicals, progressive people of all stripes to find one another and fall in love. Like OKCupid, there will be many questions people can choose to answer--about their most cherished values, about class background, ethnicity and culture, migration and nationality, gender and sexuality, relationships and sex.
Instead of the five or six standard options for body type, there will be a whole section on bodies--size and shape and health and the many ways our bodies differ from the ones on the billboards. Our relationship section lets you talk about what you learned last time around, how you handle conflict, what your deal-breakers are, and not only your best qualities as a partner, but also what's challenging about you. When we ask about politics, it goes way beyond labels. We want to know what issues are closest to your heart, whether you like working with small groups or national organizations, whether you prefer to think about the local or the global, and what problem you really wish someone else would take on.
We're open to suggestions. What do you really want to know about a potential sweetheart? In fact...
We Need Testers. I've been staying up nights drafting sections of the future site, in the form of online surveys, and now I need to recruit a large and diverse pool of people to test them for me. To answer the questions and comment on them. I want people of all ages, sexual orientations, genders, relationship preferences who identify as radicals, leftists, progressive, feminist, etc. You don't need to be looking in order to help us out. We want to hear from the happily hooked-up, too. If you'd like to participate, go to the contact form and send me your email address. I'll add you to the mailing list, and pretty soon you'll start getting short surveys to fill out.
Aurora Levins Morales is a disabled and chronically ill, community supported writer, historian, artist and activist. It takes a village to keep her blogs coming. To become part of the village it takes, donate here.
Never miss a post!
Click below to add this blog to your favorite RSS reader: