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Today in things that make us scream incoherently

Perpetuating Stereotypes – Woman Used Match.com Dates For $1200 A Month In Free Dinners


 

Get ready to put on your own Lisa disapproval faces, this is going to make you angry. A New York woman has confessed to signing up for the online dating service Match.com because she was going into debt and wanted free food the dates would provide her. Going on five dates a week she “made” up to $1200 a month. This is where we go berserk

The woman, who is now anonymous but given (of all things) the fictional name of the Harry Potter character Minerva McGonagall thanks to the fury her story caused, was perfectly happy to share her story. “Before I barely had enough money to pay for food,” she told Business Insider. “After using Match.com I found I wasn’t going into debt anymore.”

The woman wasn’t going into debt anymore because men were purchasing one meal a day for her. “Her $45k salary was not enough and she needed at least an extra $500 a month and sometimes $1,000 to pay her credit card bills and afford her $1,475 a month apartment in Murray Hill,” writes BI. “Then she discovered Match.com– the perfect site for a broke 23-year-old.”

Her plan involved eating out five nights a week using a rotation of different men from Match and made it a rule not to go out on more than five dates with the same man. She quickly had men buying her not just food but alcohol, even a $200 bottle of champagne on one date.

“[She] went from easily spending $500 a month on dinners alone to having someone else dole out an average of $60-plus per night,” writes BI. “She also stopped eating lunch and opted for a light breakfast to save even more.”

They point out that it cost $50 a month to subscribe to Match but that the amount she saved thanks to the dates made up for it. In her own words, “I mean, a guy buys me three drinks at $15 a pop and that right there made up for my Match fee.”

The woman learned about the advantages of online dating thanks to a roommate and soon her and another rooomate were doing the same. “We made ground rules,” she said, going so far as to make spreadsheets about the men who took them out and what they received from them.

Although it was keeping her out of debt, the woman admitted she wanted to settle down and has herself a steady boyfriend at the moment. “It was exhausting,” she said. “I needed my sleep and I was done playing the game.”

What can I say about this? It’s bad. It’s bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. You may have your own rules when it comes to dating but can we all agree this is reprehensible behavior for someone of any gender? It isn’t stated in the article whether the woman actually had any interest in these men but with a cap on five dates it’s safe to say she wasn’t looking for Mr. Right at all, just a meal ticket. And well, she admitted this was all because of her money problems. It’s tantamount to fraud in my eyes. You can debate what the men where expecting from the date (Match does have a reputation) but the assumption is people are looking for a relationship when they go out on a date.

The story also didn’t delve into what her credit card expenses were. While one person’s frivolity is another person’s necessary coping mechanism (high-speed internet, for example), but one would hope that a person would eliminate their luxuries before they committed a premeditated series of unethical acts. The story did, however, mention she has at least two roommates. I know people living like that in the city and they live just fine without resorting to extorting unsuspecting men out of their hard-earned money. Of course in NYC, it’s entirely possible her portion of the rent is $1,450 (especially in Murray Hill) and not the entirety of it but regardless, this is one of the worst cases of living outside your means I’ve ever seen. It’s also one of the most despicable ways to try and fix your money problems.

I know I’m not the only one who thinks so, right? In fact the article had to be updated after it was posted, “We’ve disabled comments on this post because they were getting out of control. We have also changed the name of the woman in the story because people were taking it waaaay too seriously.” What is there about this to NOT take seriously? Not only is it pretty reprehensible behavior for anyone, it’s also an example of knowingly participating in one of the worst stereotypes misogynists hold on to about women (that we are money grubbing, gold digging leeches), which hurts everyone and the fact that she saw this as a great idea is horrendous. Men may be nice enough and willing to pay for you on dates but you shouldn’t let them just so you can make the rent and share their wealth with your friends.

(via Business Insider)

Previously in Perpetuating Stereotypes

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  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Goes to show how desperate the economy has gotten.

  • Anonymous

    shame shame  I highly doubt she was living within her means, and did this to supplement unnecessary spending.

  • http://twitter.com/DangerDee Dee

    Wow.

  • Anonymous

    Ehhh… I don’t know.  It’s definitely sketchy, but I’m having a hard time working up any serious indignation over it.  Dating is pretty manipulative anyhow, and a lot of those first handful of dates are about trying to figure out what each person is getting out of it.  Finding out that the other person is just interested in a free dinner would suck, but at the same time, so would finding out that they’re only interested in getting laid, or are looking for a (long term) sugar daddy/momma, or that they belong to the Westboro Baptist Church and want to have your second date picketing some kid’s funeral.

    I’m just not seeing the harm to these guys as all that terrible.  If she was bad company, they wouldn’t have asked her out again, right?  So they’re out a few hundred bucks.  That’s the dating game.  You get a lot of losers before you find a winner.  I think I’d feel a lot more indignant if the story was about her leading one guy on for months, letting him pay all the bills, playing off his emotions for financial support, the callously dropping him when she finds someone new and shiny.  Of course, that happens all the time (and not just by women, but that’s the stereotype) so we don’t get indignant about it anymore.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a shitty thing for her to have done, but the outpouring of vitriol she’s getting from the internet is horrific, if not unexpected. 

    Yeah, it’s scummy, but she’s not kicked puppies and murdered unicorns, bloody hell.

  • http://www.kevinislaughter.com/ Kevin I. Slaughter

    Don’t pawn her actions off on “the economy”.. this is basically fraud. A woman making a decent salary is living beyond her means and is intentionally – systematically – fleecing men with the false hope of a relationship.

  • Anonymous

    $45K and she can’t afford food? Uh, I’m sorry. Doesn’t this say she
    lives with roommates? Who contribute to the rent and household? I think
    maybe the problem is that she can’t manage money and likes to spend
    lavishly, rather than she doesn’t have enough coming in.

  • Anonymous

    I really want to call this fraud, but we’re in a society that *expects* men to pay for first dates (and sometimes second, third, fourth…), so she didn’t “officially” do anything wrong. Morally disgusting, absolutely… I just wish it were actually illegal to be that much of a bitch.

  • http://revolvingdoorcommune.wordpress.com Teresa Jusino

    The girl was making 45K a year! I used to make 35K a year when I was working as a publicist’s assistant in NYC, and somehow I managed to eat without needing to con people.

    This upsets me not ONLY because she was out and out lying to people (yes, dating is a “game” but what she was playing was an entirely different game! What she was doing was the equivalent of having someone come over thinking you’re going to play basketball together, and come dressed appropriately, only to have the other person show up in pads and a helmet not having told you they were planning on playing football – and then expecting you to play ANYWAY.), and it upsets me not only because it supports the stereotype that all women want is for guys to buy us things (Correction: we DON’T. “Providing” for us is about more than material goods or financial support – it’s about providing us a support system when we need one, providing us a sounding board, providing us a PARTNER in life), it upsets me because SHE DIDN’T NEED TO DO THIS. She’s making a MORE THAN LIVING WAGE, and she’s complaining that she can’t afford her apt that’s over $1,700 a month (here’s a tip: NYC has other boroughs and Manhattan has other neighborhoods that DO have cheaper apartments/living situations. I know – I’ve lived in them) or afford food (here’s another tip: if you don’t eat out for every meal, there’s no REASON you should be spending $500 a month on meals. Buy groceries! Cook! For goodness’ sake!). Is she kidding? This isn’t about the crappy economy. She has a good job that pays her really well. This is about her mismanaging her money and tricking men into fixing her problems for her. At least if she WERE looking for a sugar daddy, it would be an honest transaction. I would have less of a problem with that. But she was irresponsible in her own life and then lied to strangers to get them to fix it FOR her. THAT’S the problem.

  • http://twitter.com/amongthegoblins K. Traylor

    Can we just all agree that what she did was reprehensible, without accusing her of making women everywhere look bad? When men live up to negative stereotypes, we don’t accuse those individuals of making their entire gender look bad. A lot of the comments here make it sound like this one person’s behavior somehow JUSTIFIES the misogynistic stereotype of the cold-hearted gold-digging woman– which is, frankly, a really sexist thing to imply. The actions of one person don’t say anything about the gender as a whole.

  • http://twitter.com/amongthegoblins K. Traylor

    Actually, I guess it’s the editorial that implies that, not the comments. So I guess this was mostly directed at Ms. Pantozzi.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, yes. It’s just one shitty person, she isn’t an ambassador for the female hivemind.

  • http://twitter.com/WhamCalker CPW

    Married to her, wouldn’t you have to wonder if she had stepped up her game for a long con?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t feel bad for the guys, really. I actually think it’s kind of funny; but then, I’m not the dating type, so this would never happen to me. I’m sure it sucks to be one of those guys. But it IS online dating after all. This is hardly the worst story to come out of that world.

    Additionally, is dating for the money different in principle than dating for the sex? If you mislead your date as to your true intentions, that seems to me the important thing. We all know that there are plenty of guys out there who are looking solely for sex. This story is probably garnering attention mostly because it typifies a stereotype.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed.  I agree with Jill a lot of the time, but I’m not really buying it here.  The stereotype that seems to be coming out most strongly is the one where women hold other women to an absurdly high standard then cut them down when they don’t live up to it.  I’m not saying that’s exactly what Jill is doing, but it seems to fit the vibe of the first article and some of the comments there.

    There’s also an awful lot of assumptions being made about this person, who, by the way, is 23.  How many of us weren’t making stupid decisions at 23?  The article only provides little bits of information about her background and circumstances.  $45k sounds nice, sure, but we don’t know why that isn’t enough to pay her bills.  Maybe she sends a check home every week to help pay for her mom’s chemo.  Maybe she has ridiculous student loan payments (mine are going to make it hard to live on $45k when I graduate, and I live in a MUCH cheaper city).  Maybe she has some sort of mental or emotional disorder and pays for medication and therapy out of pocket.  No need to jump to the worst possible option.

  • Anonymous

    What she did DOES make women look bad because when certain men read about it they make the assumption that we ALL do this. I’m not saying she SPEAKS for all women or that she represents all women, just that what she did perpetuate what some already believe.

  • Anonymous

    For sure, there could be more serious circumstances at play here but if there were, would she go to the media telling her story in this way? 

  • The Lewd Ood

    Nah, she just scammed dozens of guys who were looking for some sort of a relationship.  No big deal.

  • Anonymous

    So nobody’s allowed to be a fat lesbian feminist because then it’ll perpetuate what some men already believe is true of all feminists?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aleya-Vigiogarms/100002890437829 Aleya Vigiogarms

    Actually this is not bad this is pointless. Who cares if she dated a bunch of guys to get free food. People con and deceit people all the time so why are you making her out to be some villain? You guys should delete this story since it is not news and all you are doing is buying to stereotypes by trying to “lecture” her.

    I am very disappointed in you guys. I expected inane shit like this to be on Jezebel but not here.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know–but that’s exactly the point.  There seems to be an urge in a lot of people to fill in these sorts of details, generally in a way that makes the story more dramatic or exciting.  For example, there’s nothing in the Business Insider article that says she went to the media, so why that assumption?  The article isn’t exactly friendly toward her (“match.com golddigger” mutch?).  Maybe Ms. Scinto (the BI author) is a college frenemy and got the information over a late night with a lot of wine.  Maybe her brother was one of the guys tricked and Scinto threatened to write the piece with or without the subject’s help.  We just don’t know.Other things we don’t know from the article: how long this went on, how much money the guys were actually spending ($1200 was based on BI’s calculations), how upfront she was about not being interested in long-term relationships, whether she had other motivations for this, whether she was also having fun on these dates, or how she met her boyfriend (Was he one of the “cons?”  Did she start dating “for real” at some point?).  It’s easy to fill those in with stuff that makes her look like a terrible person, but what does that say about us?

  • Anonymous

    Yes she’s a jerk, I agree, but the comments she’s getting on other sites make her out to be a kitten-eater. Seriously, they’re going nuts over it and it’s sort of scary.

  • The Lewd Ood

    I agree with just about everything you wrote in your commentary.  I certainly wouldn’t paint all women with the same brush used on this evil woman, but I would say that from a male point of view I’ve seen enough gold-digging females in Albany, Boston, NYC and even in rural areas I’ve lived to have a level of concern.  I don;t know if it’s because women are taught from an early age to expect a bounty of material things from guys or what, but for a certain percentage of women this girl’s probably a heroine. 

    Unfortunately for other well-intentioned women, and well-intentioned guys, there are plenty of guys who have no problem with this ideal, too, and are cool with being a sugar daddy to a trophy girlfriend / wife.

    Shoots the works for all of us, I suppose.

  • Anonymous

    That’s really unfair, though, and a total double-standard, which isn’t really the point of feminism. 

    I will call this lady a jerk for doing a jerkish thing, but I’m not going to say she’s ‘letting the side down’ because its confirming some bigot’s stupid opinions. We’re not all on Team Girl, that’s not how it works.

  • The Lewd Ood

    Sorry holmes, but the “everyone does it, what’s the big deal” defense stinks of Tucker Max logic.  And I don’t think you understand just how many people use online dating.  It;s no longer the joke it was in the ’90s.  It;s now a multi-billion dollar industry with millions of users who pay to try to find some sort of a match.  Anyone who F’s with someone’s emotions — whether it’s a guy scamming a girl for sex or a girl scamming a guy for food, clothes, jewels, etc. — without making his / her intentions clear is a dirtbag.

  • The Lewd Ood

    Haven’t checked out the other site’s comments.  Not surprised if they’re being savages, though.  I basically try to avoid all comment sections except for here, Topless Robot and a couple of sports sites because the commentariat at most sites are just angry, angry people.

  • Anonymous

    How is that even remotely the same? Sexual orientation isn’t a choice and usually neither is weight. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/1shewolf JoAnna Luffman

    While it isn’t right at all, she’s not exactly living in a cheap area. My parents left NY state (and a pretty inexpensive area) in the 80s, bringing in $32,000 a year. $45k in NC would be living high on the hog (even with my 3 kids!) while up there it’s entirely possible she wasn’t totally irresponsible with her money, and having issues making ends meet. 

    Travel to work, either cab or paying for your own gas, is insane up there, not counting things like parking meters. I can easily see why she did what she did. 

  • Anonymous

    The language used in this article is unprofessional, brutal, and assumes the readership are totally on board, and that irritates me majorly. “Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad”? Really? I understand the desire to write out one’s frustration as a rant, but this is too much. And it makes me feel really gross, like I’m reading something on Fox News.

    On the content of the article, I don’t think the situation was ‘despicable’ at all. People go on dates to go on dates, there are so many possible outcomes you can never be guaranteed anything. And the fact she’d limit the number of times she’d go out with one guy shows at least some respect for not leading him on (or causing him financial damage).

    And I guess I also feel like if sex work is okay, than I don’t get why exchanging pleasant company for a free meal is suddenly the worst thing ever.

  • Anonymous

    I think respect was the last thing on her mind. At least in the sex work industry things are honest. If she really respected them she would have been upfront.

  • http://www.kevinislaughter.com/ Kevin I. Slaughter

    If she advertised herself as “pleasant company for dinner, you pay”, then it would be “okay” like sex work is “okay”.

    If she used the dating service to deceive her dates, that’s not like “sex work”, it’s like fraud.

    Merely because “some dates fail” doesn’t mean that it’s the same thing as intentionally, systematically manipulating men to eat for free. The end result is the same, the guy doesn’t find a romantic relationship like he was hoping for, but on a normal date, you actually have two people who at least start with the idea of wanting it to work, instead of one being a grifting scumbag from the beginning.

  • Anonymous

    And I will say this, I know plenty of guys who get painted with the “men are pigs” brush or “boys are dumb” because of what one man has done.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps, but the type of men who seriously latch onto this extreme example is probably the type of men who will make assumptions with or without this example, the type of men who would probably twist more innocuous actions into evidence of all women being gold-diggers. And frankly, if someone does buy into that stereotype, they’re both perpetuating it themselves (with or without evidence) and missing out on a lot of really awesome non-gold-digging ladies.

  • Anonymous

     I’m not sure it quite equates to sex work since, as Jill points out, there doesn’t seem to be an upfront agreement about it. But I do agree it might not be as bad as so many seem to be making it out to be, especially since we can’t know for sure what was on her mind. I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt at least on the notion that she was manipulating people who were looking for relationships. Plenty of online daters–myself included–are not necessarily looking for something serious or long-term. Folks seem to forget that short-term and casual dating are a thing, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe these guys knew it wouldn’t last long. And who’s to say she didn’t make a friend or two out of it?

    I’d never do what she did myself, but I definitely don’t have enough information to fully condemn what she did.

  • A Talbot

    I know its wrong to just assume this of a person, but after reading about her, I feel almost as if she didn’t handle her finances correctly and spent way to much money on clothes. I mean, just because you have the credit card doesn’t warrant the right to be spending frivolously. It feels like this woman had a shopping addiction, and because of that, she felt she couldn’t afford to reach ends meet without conning people. Which is stupid really, but that’s just what her situation sounds like to me.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    I’m not at all.  What she did was completely wrong and if I’m to assume she was remotely sane she did out of utter desperation.  She should have come up with a better money saving scheme rather than leeching money off lonely men.  I guess she took the easy way out though =/

  • http://www.facebook.com/pasha.kamyshev Pasha Kamyshev

    I don’t feel bad for the guys, its their own fault for assuming that paying actually leads to anything and attempting to buy their way into a relationship. This is more reason I don’t want to dash any money for the first few dates. She’s certainly perpetuating a stereotype, but so what?

  • http://nakedhobo.com/blog Glenn Buettner

    Her background, her finances, I don’t give a rat’s buttocks about that.  Whatever happened to the fact that lying is just wrong?  Should she be crucified, no, but I like it when people lie and they get called to the mat for it.
    Yep, we don;t know every fact, and we don;t know how every guy that she conned feels, but it doesn’t excuse her lying.

  • Anonymous

    My husband makes around 18k a year and supports us both. We live more or less within our needs and only pay $400 a month for rent but still end up with less than $30 a week after food, gas for the car, and rent. Yet we have never, and will never, resort to anything so despicable. This has nothing to do with the economy. This is all entitlement issues and a poor definition of the word “budget”.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Indeed.  I’m in the same boat too.  I don’t feel the need to exploit people to save money though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317061729 Donald L Clautice Jr.

    Wow. Wow. So because she did it to multiple people it’s ok? Whether she was “good company” or not, she held out the hope to these men that they would have a chance of a relationship, when that was patently untrue. It’s fraud, and if the men sued her they’d break new litigation ground, but I can see that there would be a good chance the men would at least recoup the cost of these dinners. Shame on her.

  • http://twitter.com/StevenRayMorris Steven Ray Morris

    Who pays for an entire meal on the first or second date? These guys got fleeced. More power to her.

  • http://twitter.com/StevenRayMorris Steven Ray Morris

    These men were stupid for allowing this girl to get away without any contributions to the dinner and/or drinks.

  • Oden Shepherd

    I don’t disagree in the dating scene there is a wide range of intentions. But bad intentions are still bad intentions. Just because the dating scene can be riddled with this doesn’t make it ok when it happens.
     
    “I think I’d feel a lot more indignant if the story was about her leading one guy on for months, letting him pay all the bills, playing off his emotions for financial support, the callously dropping him when she finds someone new and shiny.”  — Multiple that by however many men she added to her wall of sugar daddies and you’ll have an idea why the rest of us are upset.
     
    She took something that was supposed to be about finding a relationship and made it her personal dinner bank. She had no intention of pursuing a meaningful longlasting relationship with any of her dates.

  • Oden Shepherd

    Do you say the same thing when the elderly get scammed? Some men struggle between old-fashioned courting behavior and female empowerment. True story.

    This lady had a record system to keep using these men who are still old-fashioned.

  • Oden Shepherd

    “People con and deceit people all the time”
    Because it happens all the time it’s ok? And people who con and deceit others aren’t villains? If everyone had that attitude we would all be sheep and never correct the wrongdoing.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, but she didn’t lead multiple men on for months and months – she led multiple men on for up to five dates each, and I’m guessing a lot of those were fewer.  Look, I’m not saying that what she did was awesome or whatever, I just don’t feel like it’s all that out of the norm, and it’s not worth getting worked up about.  It feels like some folks are taking this really personally without knowing hardly any details at all.

  • Anonymous

    So you think it would be a good idea for people to be able to sue every time they think their date hasn’t made a good faith effort to start a relationship?  Wow.  It would certainly break new legal ground.  TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE legal ground.

  • http://twitter.com/DrNerdLove Dr. NerdLove

    Ignoring the fact that not everyone uses dating sites for the exact same reasons, I do have to wonder about the guys who went on five dates without realizing that something wasn’t quite kosher here. 

    There’s a lot of data that doesn’t seem to be there. We don’t know if she was insisting on high-end restaurants or the guys were choosing them in order to dazzle her with cash. We don’t know if she was suggesting that if they shelled out for the lobster thermador, there might be some action in the near future or if guys were just reading too much into things. We don’t know for sure whether she was approaching the guys first or if it was just guys messaging her on Match and asking her out to dinner. 
    And to be perfectly honest, I don’t have terribly much sympathy for dudes throwing around money to impress a date ($200 for champagne? On a presumably first date?) and then being disappointed that they’re not guaranteed a blowie afterwards.What M. McGonagall did was sketchy as all hell yes, and a better person would’ve tried actually living within her means, but it’s hardly an indemnification of all women ever. Without knowing if she was being predatory or just taking advantage of guys trying to get into her panties, a lot of the OUTRAGE I’ve seen at other sites seems a little overblown.(Disclosure: I run a dating advice blog.) 

  • Terence Ng

    This reminds me terribly of the Futurama episode “Bend Her”. Let the quotes begin:

    Coilette (Bender): Woo! I’m a trophy girlfriend!

    Amy: You can say that again! This gifts have been coming non-stop!

    Coilette (Bender): Bah! Any day now he’ll dump me for a new wad of arm candy. And then I can turn back into a guy and hock all this stuff! It’s just a game!

    Coilette (Bender): I marry Calculon, divorce him, take half his money and turn back into a guy. It’s sort of a two-person pyramid scheme.

    Fry: That’s marriage alright!

    Leela: That is so unbelievably manipulative!

    Coilette (Bender): Come on! You never went on a date with a guy just ’cause you were hungry?

    Leela: Well I, uh, I thought I might like him on a full stomach.

    Coilette (Bender): Nice try, sister. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to meet with my wedding planner.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed.  As despicable as this behavior is, the response has been insanely, pathologically disproportionate.

    It’s funny, I don’t remember the net in this kind of an uproar when my ex strung me along while I paid his tuition.  The difference, presumably, is that there’s a double standard between education and dinner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/YuPing00 Michael Kahn

    I live in NYC. I used to have a 30k salary, and my current occupation doesn’t give me nearly as much money to play around with. I no longer live in Manhattan, I live in Brooklyn, and not the happy Park Slope area, either. When money became harder and harder to come by, and leaving the city not really an option, I changed my standard of living.

    She could have chosen to A) not live in such an expensive area, because, yes, 1.5k a month around Lexington avenue is actually a pretty decent price; B) shopped at a less expensive market (suck it up and go to Gristedes); C) sacrificed on some other random luxury (if you are pulling in 45k a year, and you don’t have compensation for travel, your benefits package blows. Take the subway like the rest of us). Instead, she chose to stay in her incredibly expensive neighborhood, spend more money on ‘dinners’ a month than I do for food/groceries for six weeks, and live a much more comfortable life than she ought to have, all paid for by individuals she was essentially lying to.

    So, from my experience, no, this woman doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt. What she did is just as despicable as you think it is.

  • Anonymous

    If a person is willing to spend $60 to have someone sit across the table from them, it’s hardly extortion to give them what they want.

    Emotional manipulation is wrong, and inexcusable, but dollar amounts don’t prove that. The amount of money involved absolutely does not describe the amount of hurt done. Any amount of effort into a relationship that’s a lie can mean a lot of pain, but someone having a good time, spending it up knowing that it’s a long shot or that nothing serious is going to follow hasn’t been wronged.

    I don’t know, tearing into this lady rings a little close to blaming fashion models for the industry’s standards. They’re getting ahead in an unfair game, but they’re definitely not the ones running it.

    “Men must always pay for dates!” is sexist, corrupt and has no place in  modern society, but taking advantage of that system isn’t the same thing as creating it.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed.

    Even with my limited experience with dating sites, I can tell they are just terrible with letting people see what they want to see. I don’t know if it’s by design, or a flaw inherent in the system, but one person can think they’re saying “I might go on a date, if I like you” and another can read it “I want to have sex right away!”.

    Then of course there’s the built in features that let you find people of a particular age or level of income. Pair rich folks who want 23 year olds with 23 year olds who want rich folks is pretty much exactly what the site was designer for.

  • http://twitter.com/literatewench literatewench

    Had a friend who said there were quite a few nights she would not have been able to eat in college if it weren’t for guys taking her out on dates. She made it clear that she made every effort to be entertaining, fun company. Maybe her story is why I see this as mostly harmless; possibly a sort of familiar, cheerful bias is filtering my view. 

  • Matthew Lane

    Isn’t that the definition of a first date though?

  • Matthew Lane

    “Travel to work, either cab or paying for your own gas, is insane up there, not counting things like parking meters. I can easily see why she did what she did.”

    yes because NYC is not known for its 24 hour a day, 7 days a week public transport. Please don’t make excuses for this person, her actions were sceevy.

  • http://www.kevinislaughter.com/ Kevin I. Slaughter

    So, only the guy who invented murder should be held accountable? Or is it that only the people who make murder illegal should be responsible?

    Your fashion model analogy fails like the rest of your logic here.
    Is it “dating” that’s an unfair game?

    “If a person is willing to spend $60 to have someone sit across the table from them, it’s hardly extortion to give them what they want.”

    But people aren’t paying $x to merely have someone sit across from them, they’re engaging in a mating ritual as old as sexual dimorphism. The normal scenario is that a male is “peacocking” to engage a female, the normal desired outcome is pair bonding. Under normal circumstances, a female will reject initial attempts if they are not interested. Sometimes consent is withdrawn after the mating ritual has begun because they are not attracted to the potential mate for any number of reasons.But this is not that. This is a situation where one of the parties begins in “bad faith” to intentionally undermine the process for ulterior motives – in this case her goal was free food. She is intentionally misleading these men to believing that they have a chance of success in this pair bonding ritual, but they don’t. It’s fraud.

  • http://nakedhobo.com/blog Glenn Buettner

    Ok, look at it this way, you pay $10 to go see the Muppets at a theater advertising that they are showing the Muppets. You get your popcorn, soda, and ticket, walk into the theater, and they show you episodes of Jersey Shore.  Are you upset about being lied to?  Do you want your money back?  You were lead to believe one thing, and got something else.  You were deceived.  It’s that simple, she lied, lying is wrong.  

    True, we don’t know everything that was said and done on these dates.  I see some people on here arguing that we can’t really be mad at her because we don’t know all her circumstances and how much she led the guys on, and then some of the same people go on to make assumptions that every guy was obviously just buying her dinner to have sex.  How can you make assumptions of about one person, but then decry the assumptions about another?

    The woman shouldn’t be hung or stoned to death, but her actions should be held up and we should all say, “No, what you did was wrong.”

  • http://www.commonplacebook.com electrasteph

    Wow. Women are still letting men pick up the tab for dinner these days? That’s seriously crappy. Pay for your own food, fellow females. I do. Why shouldn’t you?

  • Frodo Baggins

    Match.com users can’t be choosers, as the old adage goes.

  • Frodo Baggins

    Oh sure, blame the victims. “You paid for dinner on a date? What, you think women are just arcade machines you can stuff coins into and have your way with?! You deserved to be manipulated and defrauded!” 

  • Laura Valentine

    For serious.  I mean, also: “easily spending $500 a month on dinners alone”.  NYC is expensive, but…learn to cook.  I have two sibs in NYC and they sure as shootin’ aren’t spending $500/mo on dinners, or even on food.

  • http://twitter.com/Astrogea Andromeda Stargazer

    I commend you for bringing some sanity to this. Total fraud on her part. The worst part is that getting her called out on that has brought indignation…really? We should just say that getting free meals from manipulating people’s expectations is all fine and dandy now.

  • Anonymous

    You’re generalizing your idea of what dating should be like to everyone. It isn’t stated that she promised anyone anything but her companionship for an evening. How much money the men spent doesn’t tell you anything about what they wanted or what she offered.

    (Are you using terms like “a female” and “pair bonding” just to annoy me? you can admit it, it’s working. )

    Dating isn’t a biological phenomenon, and discussing it as such is absurd. Dating is a social practice that is a recent development in courtship rituals that have, as far as I can tell, almost always been as much about navigating social status and property ownership as about affection and reproduction.

  • Jennifer Ward

    “Usually neither is weight”? So diet and exercise is completely ineffective now and everyone who’s fat has a thyroid problem? Please.

  • Jennifer Ward

    Actually yeah. Those men have no one to blame but themselves. She didn’t force them to pay; it was their own ideas about gender roles that compelled them to buy that woman dinner. Any man there could have said “No you pay” or “let’s split” but they didn’t.

  • Jennifer Ward

    I do not understand the outrage here. Who the hell cares? These men willingly paid for her dinners. They could have put their foot down at any time, but apparently they didn’t, and I’m sure she was looking for men with money, so most of them would have money to throw away on her. A guy who spends 200 bucks on a bottle of champagne within the first five dates is probably fucking loaded or just an idiot with spending habits just as bad as this woman’s. Why so much rage over a few dollars from men who can spare it?

    Men wasting money on women in the hope of getting ass is entirely the fault of men. They voluntarily shell out. Women can show cleavage and ask nicely but ultimately the man is in control. It’s not like men get nothing out of the experience: men pay to feed their egos, show off their prestige/wealth to women, and hope to get laid. Why aren’t these men getting shamed for having sexist standards? Why are we blaming the women? These men brought the cost on themselves. Five dates does not reach anywhere near to the point of making any kind of promises or obligations in a relationship: it’s being casual acquaintances. This shit’s fair game. And hey, if she’d genuinely liked any of those guys, who’s to say she wouldn’t have stuck around with him? Any woman who does a lot of dating gets free meals if she dates dickbags.

  • Frodo Baggins

    Right, they didn’t because they wanted her to like them. Particularly on dinner dates, and particularly when it’s a first-time meeting, the man is expected to pay. Which I think is bullshit, and you think is bullshit, but most women do not. 90% of advice columns say so, the majority in every poll taken say so, many women who call themselves feminists say so. Given that broad social assumption, what guy, trying out the whole internet dating thing and perhaps a bit nervous, is going to refuse the bill? Especially when the woman is actively trying to get money out of him? Oh, sure, she might not put a gun to his head, but it doesn’t exactly take brute force to emotionally manipulate someone, does it? Especially when she feel zero pangs of conscience about doing so, because she knows she’s going to dump his ass anyway after five dates, and has done to dozens of others.

  • http://www.kevinislaughter.com/ Kevin I. Slaughter

    It’s biological in origin, though as society evolves, so do aspects of it. At its core, though, it’s about pair bonding. Pretending it’s not is just feeding into the delusions of social anthropology.

    Social status and property ownership are part of “peacocking”, they are the display of sexual virility/reproductive health (though obviously they can camouflage the unhealthy, etc.).

  • http://twitter.com/RobinPierce Robin

    So? What’s that saying about two wrongs and them not making a right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Cahill/100001103504102 John Cahill

    I feel sorry for her. Further down the road I don’t expect any successful  relationships in
    her future, she looks at men like a vampire looks at necks.

  • Esther Farmer

    Other than the obvious huge wrongness here, this doesn’t even make sense. So one date bought her a $200 bottle of champagne, but how does that go anywhere to solving her money problems? She wouldn’t have bought that bottle of champagne herself (presumably), and she wouldn’t have been able to sell it on (presumably…what do I know ^^) so it’s not like she saved herself an expense at all, or actually made any money. All she did was exploit some hapless man and get to drink some extremely expensive, extremely pointless champagne.

    Personally I think the Business Insider article put far too much emphasis on the saving money aspect, because unless this woman planned to eat at a posh restaurant every night anyway regardless of her money woes, the only thing she has gained is a full stomach, which would have been easy to obtain with an economy bag of pasta. And oh wow, she was able to skip lunch! …Unless she planned to eat lunch at expensive restaurants (which, judging by the evidence, she probably did, but still) skipping lunch every day would not be that big a saving. Learning to budget with food, and ffs, EATING IN, would. “I mean, a guy buys me three drinks at $15 a pop and that right there made up for my Match fee.” -No. No it didn’t. Those drinks did not give you any monetry gain. That would only work if you were DEFINITELY going to go out and have three $15 drinks no matter how skint you were. Which is STUPID.

    So let’s admit it: this is not a story about a woman cleverly finding a new way to make some extra cash for her rent. This is not a story about someone who started their own internet business alongside their regular job, it’s a story about a woman who made spreadsheets figuring out how much money she had exploited out of men with her friends. And who apparently has no concept of eating on a budget.

    Slightly unrelated, but did they have to give her the name Minerva McGonagall? McGonagall kicks ass. Maybe she could be Fleur Delacour instead? That character always annoyed me by being the only girl who got to be a Triwizard champion but was worse than the boys in all of the tasks. Perfect for someone who perpetuates feminine stereotypes!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AOFTU2AM7WRZZFDC6SPN4XF6KQ Null

    Any system will be used to exploit the people in it by unscrupulous people, whether they be this woman, men who pretend to like women to get laid, women who pretend to like men so they can marry them, divorce them, and collect alimony (given that I’m a poor judge of character, this is probably the reason I will never marry), men who beat their wives or dump them at the age of 50 for a 20-year-old, etc…

    I’m a lot more afraid of alimony or child support I can’t pay and get sent to jail for than wasting the price of five dinners on someone, which is why I can’t get too worked up about this.

    People are animals with large brains. Sure we should always criticize those who take advantage, but always, always, watch your back. Be on the Pill in case he refuses to wear a condom. Don’t trust her when she says she’s on the Pill. Get a pre-nup.

  • http://twitter.com/DrNerdLove Dr. NerdLove

    She was saving money by not having to pay for dinner at all. The point of the article is that she was living beyond her means and didn’t want to have to sacrifice pricy meals or high-priced cocktails in order to pay off her bills, so she found people whom she could convince to pay for her meals. 

    Those $15 dollar drinks that people were buying for her were drinks she would likely have bought for herself. She may not have bought herself a $200 bottle of champagne, but she certainly was wanting to eat at that level without having to pay for it.
    So yes, she was being irresponsible with her money and convincing others to supplement her budget by covering other costs (i.e. dinner) so that she could keep living the life to which she intended to become accustomed.

  • Frodo Baggins

    She wasn’t saying anything about right and wrong, just commenting on the fact that women aren’t the only ones whose behavior is taken as evidence of a general judgment about their entire sex.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ramin.melikov Ramin Melikov

    disgusting woman

  • Richard Francis

    It’s just a form of less respectful, less honest prostitution – but still prostitution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thesecret2011 Veronika Voskresensky

    Oh PLEASE. and what about all the men out there who go out with girls with the sole purpose to get them in bed, and then dump them right after?! (sometimes they invest as much as 5 dates maybe; and then, once they get what they wanted – stop calling and forget all about her.  ?! I’m surprised no one has brought it up yet. FYI – lots of girls do the same, or similar, thing. Big deal.. Grow up, America. This is modern dating world. (In 19th century people had their own ‘games’ too – this is nothing new). 

  • http://www.facebook.com/thesecret2011 Veronika Voskresensky

    A Russian boy, not treating a girl on first day? Whoa.. 

  • Anonymous

    phlpn.es/829r8s

  • Anonymous

    What did she prostitute? She didn’t sleep with them, from what I read.

  • Anonymous

    What am I missing. She went out with 5 different men a week. Not sleeping with them, not taking cash from them. Isn’t that called dating? Get over it. There are so many real atrosities in the real world.

  • Anonymous

    What did she lie about? She went out on dates. 5 at the most with the same guy. If she did that without sleeping with him, good for her.

  • Jilly Sears

    Glenn is so bent out of shape…  clearly he has been a victim many times. 

  • Jilly Sears

    this isn’t a big deal at all.  do we even know what feelings these men had for her?  maybe all they wanted to do was sleep with her…  in that case ..  i guess they are sh*t out of luck this time..  but if they had gotten what they had wanted then everybody would be miserable.  

    give up , Glenn. 

  • Jilly Sears

    give up

  • Wes Mohn

    I think its fine to be able to sue someone for fraud.  I watched this story on ABC news and the next video in the list was about older women being duped by men on match.com who got into their comfort zone and then asked them for money basically.  The story about this woman is seen as funny and valuable (look at how resourceful this woman is!  she found a way to make money by paaying money to match.com) the story about men trying to dupe women out of money was told like a crime story on dateline.

    It is basically the same thing except women dont pay for meals so a man cant fleece people the same way a woman can.

    The crime is in the fact that this woman paid for match.com and purposefully started up chats with guys who seemed they could provide the financial stability she needed.  Not as a boyfriend or husband, but as a guy to pay for dinners while thinking they were involved in a budding romance.  The fact that she is now dating a guy (who she didn’t meet on match) makes it that much worse.  She’s probably been dating him for a year and just did the match thing behind his back to earn extra money.  Its completely dispicable, the men she cheated thought they were dating a girl and had a chance with her, they had no chance at all.

    I can guarantee you that if at the start or before these dates she said to them, listen i’m not interested in you at all, I’m not going to go back to your place and service you for the dinner you are about to pay for, I just dont have a lot of money right now and I want to eat nice sushi tonight, she wouldn’t have received 20% of the free dinners she did

  • Wes Mohn

    theres a news story interviewing her and her intentions are clear

    she lead men on to use them for money, theres no way you can misinterpret that, there was no chance of a relationship even though these guys were theoretically loaded with cash.  If this story were about a man who lead a bunch of women on for weeks and was just simply using them for sex, it wouldnt be covered as positively, and might I add that if the story went that way, the guy would at least be paying for the meals, so he was reimbursing them for the sex.  The woman is taking money and basically offering nothing but fake temporary romance in return.  That is fine and good if you are up front about it and basically advertise yourself as a non-sex escort, but instead she took advantage of wealthy men looking for love in their life

  • Wes Mohn

    yeah who cares if men who worked hard to earn money are defrauded for it by a woman who has a job and a roof over her head because she wants expensive meals

    at least it wasn’t about kittens

    I seriously hope all women who think this is funny/not a big deal or aim to do it themselves get duped by a guy who they thought was into them

  • Wes Mohn

    if the net featured a story about the guy doing this to you and an excel sheet rolodex of other women, he would be treated much worse than this woman.  because men and women would tear him apart, in this case many women are empowered by the woman being such a terrible person

  • Wes Mohn

    I agree, however I feel like the one aspect people don’t think about is that if a woman does this, she can play a man for as long as she wants into thinking they are dating and she isnt just using him for meals, at the end of the day, when she gives up the “game” he’s blown money on her dinners while she has given him literally nothing other than a face at the other side of a dinner table.

    If a man plays a women in the dating game for sex, he’s most likely paying for meals for a few dates (unless the girl is loose or dumb enough to pay for him) and she can choose when to open up physically to him, when she feels he has proven to her that he isnt using her for sex

    On the female side, there really is no playing it slow to make sure that the woman is in it for the right reason, the longer she strings it along, the more money the guy throws into the toilet.

    To me, the biggest problem isnt that this stupid bitch did what she did, its the way the media (aside from this take) has presented it.  I read/watched a few different stories that all present this as a resourceful way that this young woman solved her money problems, rather than look at this despicable person using men on the internet for fancy dates

  • Wes Mohn

    oh I get it, so what you want is for men to never treat women to dinner, right?

    I would love to see a real world consequence of how things would change if this happened, women would be furious!!

  • Wes Mohn

    she lied about her intentions, if you are a member of match.com and are trying to go out on dates with people, there’s an assumed agreement that you are looking to date someone, you are trying to form a romantic bond, or at the very least are looking for a short term thing and some sex.  I assume they have ways of announcing what you are looking for if you’re being honest.

    This girl wanted none of that, the video says she is dating a guy now that she didnt meet online, met 6 months ago.  She merely wanted to use guys who wanted to meet nice young women and treat them well with their hard earned cash.  That’s the lie, she wasnt dating guys and it just so happens that none worked out.  I’d bet she went on 1st dates with guys and in her head said god I would never ever go out with this creep, and then proceeded to pawn them into 4 more expensive dates because she likes expensive things and classy restaurants.

  • Anonymous

    You know, I was having a hard time figuring out why so many men (or people with male usernames) were so upset about this.  Sue someone for the cost of a handful of dinners?  Really?  Who would ever go on a date with a stranger again if they thought they could be sued if that person thought they weren’t genuine?

    Then I remembered something I read a while ago about the difference between what men and women fear on dates.  See, this writer’s hypothesis (and I’ve tested this with male friends) is that the thing many straight men most fear is being embarrassed or humiliated when they go on a date.  I totally get that – I know that I hate to be embarrassed.  And it would be embarrassing to find out that the person I took out to dinner was only looking for a free dinner.  So I think that fear leads men to lash out at women, like this one, who they see as embarrassing men.  Even to the point of making up bad things about her that they have no way of knowing to make her more of a demon.  That way it’s not about their fears, it’s about the big bad evil lady.

    That said, I don’t really consider being embarrassed to be nearly the worst thing that could happen on a date with a stranger.  My worst fear in that situation, like that of many straight women and gay men, is being assaulted.  It’s not a constant thought, of course, but I do make sure that people know where I am and when I’m getting home, that we meet in public places in neighborhoods that I know, that I don’t let them walk me home or give me a ride until I know them better, and definitely not drink too much.

    So you know, I guess I can forgive guys for their hostility towards women who embarrass men on dates, but I do wish they’d put it in perspective a little bit.

  • Anonymous

    PS.  If you’re the kind of guy who thinks that men deserve to be “serviced” if they buy a woman a nice meal, I think you’re a d-bag who deserves to be taken advantage of.  And if I found out I was having dinner with someone like that, I’d walk the hell out and leave them with the bill.

  • http://twitter.com/catdayz100 Florence

    Bad character, and she was morally wrong in using those men.

  • http://acksed.myopenid.com/ Colin

    “[She] went from easily spending $500 a month on dinners alone to having someone else dole out an average of $60-plus per night,” writes BI. “She also stopped eating lunch and opted for a light breakfast to save even more.”

    Save. even. more.

    …Fucking humans. We don’t deserve this planet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.jessop.14 Kelly Jessop

    At least she was honest. The only reason my friends let the man pay is because they want to spend their money on other things. I always go 50-50 and it disgusts me that not everyone does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.jessop.14 Kelly Jessop

    I think you are a psycho for defending this girl’s actions

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.jessop.14 Kelly Jessop

     This is incredibly spiteful. I can;t understand why you are so angry at men being upset at the fact other men have been conned and have turned it back on them. What on earth is wrong with you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317061729 Donald L Clautice Jr.

    Kelly, what’s wrong with her is feminism run amok. When you go on a date with someone, there is an unspoken agreement that there MAY be a relationship somewhere in the future. There was no chance of that, therefore it’s fraud. I said nothing about sexual favors. But this woman thinks, for some reason, that it’s OK to do this to men, but a guy dates a girl strictly for a benefit (sexual or otherwise) and I guarantee she hits the roof. It’s a double standard, and it sickens me.

  • Annie

    lol and after doing that she got pay to tell her story to the media. Very clever!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Won/100001190399188 Mike Won

    Why shouldn’t they? They feed the women by paying dinners they get rejections from women until one agrees. Then the women expect the guy to call after the date. These kind of women put little effort. Who knows maybe these women sucked in bed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Won/100001190399188 Mike Won

    Why not just be honest about it instead of tricking people?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Won/100001190399188 Mike Won

    She made a spreadsheet to keep track and not date more than 5 dates for each men. Are you out of your mind?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Won/100001190399188 Mike Won

    She kept track of men how many dates she went on. Her limit was 5 dates to avoid getting into a relationship. If you don’t see anything wrong with that you lack moral like her.

  • Mike García

    Ok, I’ll try that..

  • “M”

    Nobody is talking about this part. People are looking at that salary of hers as an absolute. Nobody is bothering to consider whether she’s underpaid b/c she’s a woman, whatever job she did, comparative to what a man would have made for the same job. That’s the same systemic sexism that created the “loophole” for her to “exploit” in the first place.

    If women were paid dollar for dollar what men make for the same jobs, we wouldn’t have all this howling outrage … not from men who don’t make what the men who took her out made but believe they’re still entitled to dates, not from men who make what these men make but are secretly afraid women date them for their money because their personalities are so odious … and not from women who are overlooking this part of the analysis but are misdirecting the rage they should be directing at this systemic sexism toward this woman because “she’s making them ‘look bad’” — no matter what high-minded rationale they’re trying to camouflage that misdirected rage.

    (As for the men doing the howling … if women were paid what men make for the same jobs, they’d still be howling, I’m sure; just not about the same thing.)

  • Anonymous

    Girls can justify anything!

  • Anonymous

    Typical girl logic — when you lose an argument, you change the subject and attack out of left field.

    Next, you’re going to pout, and break things that don’t belong to you.

    Give it up. At the very least, “Minerva McGonagall” is a jerk. More likely, she is a criminal con artist.

  • ultramanjones

    SUCKAS!!!!

  • Some Guy

    You missed the point. She could save money by simply not eating out at expensive places all the time and then not have to exploit men who are looking for relationships in the process and save money at the same time.

    She’s not just stupid in that she would rather eat out at expensive restaurants all the time rather than go into debt, she is stupid, selfish and downright sociopathic in that she’d rather exploit people for her own gain rather than make the necessary sacrifices that dare impact her all important social life.

  • Some Guy

    Go out with five people for five dates, people whom you see no future with, though who might in turn see a future with you, and tell them at the end of the fifth date that you were only in it for the meals.

    Tell me how you think they’d react and if they are justified in feeling that way.

  • Some Guy

    I think what is pretty clear is that after one date she knew well enough whether or not a guy was worth developing feelings for, or merely worth getting four more meals out of before dumping.

  • Truth for life

    Sounds like you one of the ones that love getting a free meal . I hope Karma comes along where it toys with your feelings , only then would you understand that its a bigger deal then you think .

  • Anonymous

    It sounds like you know nothing at all about me. I am sorry if you have had an experience that has hurt you to the point where you lash out at people who might sympathize with someone who hurt you. I don’t know what your experience was, but I hope that you are able to grow past it and maybe gain a better sense of empathy from people in different positions from you.

  • Truth for life

    First off , we still live in society if a guy doesnt pay for the meal and drinks then she wouldt go out with you in the first place . Second you know she was also using her looks to string guys along to get what she wanted . Now if a guy did this to women, he would be labeled as a pig and a loser , since it was a women she was being resourceful . Double standard

  • Truth for life

    Yeah and if it was in 15th century or 16th century etc , you would probally be labeled as a witch for this kind of sorcery . Do you know what they did to people who were accused of being a witch ?

  • Truth for life

    You are crazier then Cathy Bates in Misery . Because you are not looking for anything serious that means the men that PAID wernt ? And i dont think you were paying any of your dates now were you ?