By Bobby Box
Donald Trump’s presidency has been stressful on everyone, so it’s no surprise that his frenzied reign is impacting romantic relationships. In May, we reported that one in 10 Americans have broken up over political differences. For millennials, this figure was double. When it came to Trump specifically, one in three couples confessed they’d had arguments that had a “negative impact” on their relationship. What’s more, almost half of millennials would consider divorce if their spouse voted for him. Two in 10 couples believe the former reality star generates more strain on relationships than finances.
Now, Trump’s political climate is impactong how we date as well. This week, OkCupid announced an update that gives users the ability to inform singles where they stand on Planned Parenthood, the nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care and sex education to adults young and old worldwide. The connection to Trump is clear. In May, the president signed a bill that allowed states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood. This greatly impacts the organization’s efforts as the bulk of federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives goes toward preventive health care and other women’s health services.
“At OkCupid, we feel strongly about championing the causes that are meaningful to our members,” the website wrote in a blog post. “OkCupid’s partnership with Planned Parenthood is really exciting because it enables us to help people connect on the issues that matter to them.”
Melissa Hobley, CMO of OkCupid, continues, “We know that Planned Parenthood is driving conversations, support and education that millions care about. When we looked at the data, we saw that our community on OkCupid was talking about Planned Parenthood, so we decided to make it easy to find the folks who cared about the same thing.” Not only will the badge, available for one month only, highlight a single’s support, but the site’s algorithm will bring these like-minded daters together.
“Over 350,000 people responded,” Hobley told Glamour. “Seventy-five percent of Americans support federal funding for Planned Parenthood and more than one in three women (and one in four people) have visited a Planned Parenthood clinic for health services,” she said. “One in five women will visit a Planned Parenthood in their lifetime.”
According to OkCupid, more than 80 percent of respondents believe the government should not defund Planned Parenthood. The question is generating hundreds of new responses on the site each day. This isn’t the first time OkCupid has leveraged politics on its platform during Trump’s presidency. In August, OkCupid banned white supremacist Chris Cantwell from its service and asked members to actively report others who share his philosophy.
Supporting human rights and sociopolitical causes has become a trend among online dating services. Bumble recently donated more than $28,000 to Planned Parenthood and in March, Tinder announced it would celebrate International Women’s Day by donating to 12 women’s charities.
OkCupid believes “a shared cause is sexy,””which is something we certainly support, but with so much divisiveness and alienation clouding our politcal climate, are dating sites a space that should build themselves around the divides between us?
This question surely divided the Playboy office. One editor posits that “it’ll just expand the echo chamber among single millennials,” adding, “We need to create more spaces for conversation, not eliminate them.” Another disagrees, arguing, “I’m pretty sure that guys who support planned parenthood have values aligned with mine…making them more attractive to me.”
Either way, the update is boding well for OkCupid. Due to the overwhelming response following their announcement, the site has decided to match every dollar donated to Planned Parenthood up to $50,000 and have said they’re actively seeking other organizations to partner up with in the future.