Women Cancel Bumble And Embrace Celibacy Following Billboards Encouraging Hookups

Women are uniting to boycott Bumble and embrace celibacy as a response to the app's billboard encouraging hook-ups.

By Nicole Dominique3 min read

Bumble fumbled.

The app has been working hard on its rebrand, with its socials recently featuring exhausted women in paintings and photographs who seem to desire chivalry. The campaign is leaning into the idea that women are absolutely tired of online dating and not having their needs met, and is a direct response to the feedback of female users who said that pursuing men was “a lot of work” or “a burden.“ 

As a result, Bumble unveiled "Opening Moves," a feature granting men the opportunity to initiate conversations, a departure from its previous model of women making the first move. When I first heard about Bumble's rebrand, I gave it the benefit of the doubt – it is a woman-owned app, after all. Surely, they would understand women's plight when it comes to meeting men, right? Turns out, I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

Bumble's pivot seemed to be going well until they propped up their latest billboards promoting promiscuity and rejecting celibacy, with one audaciously stating, "You know full well a vow of celibacy is not the answer."

Another said, "Though shalt not give up on dating and become a nun" in bold, capital letters.

Women Boycott Bumble

The campaign has angered many women (rightfully so), prompting them to speak out and advocate for celibacy while avoiding casual sexual encounters. "Essentially, what you're saying is if a male takes us on a date and buys us a dinner, we owe him our body," said influencer Eman in a TikTok video, garnering over half a million views. "And if we're celibate, that's not valid. You're delegitimizing our celibacy because you want males to have more access to our bodies. And then you think that we're gonna have a positive reaction to that?"

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of comments from women on TikTok declaring that they're done with dating apps. "oh, deleting Bumble immediately," wrote a girl named Molly.

Another user said, "I never realized before that my body was the commodity on these apps," and it's unfortunate that she's right. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, and similar apps commodify people, especially women, by encouraging men to window shop and swipe on their preferred bodies. It's atrocious what these apps have done to real-life relationships and how they've perpetuated the mistreatment of women. It makes sense why so many of them say that a vow of celibacy is the answer to all of this.


"This new Bumble ad shaming women for not sleeping with the men that are on their platforms and hopping off the platforms is the reason you guys need to realize that dating apps were not made for you," noted a content creator named Val on TikTok. "They were truly made for men."

Val goes on to say that based on previous survey responses from male users, the men on there aren't even "looking for a girlfriend." They're just there to pursue women as lazily as possible and to have sex with them. She continued, "They don't have to buy you a drink, they don't, they don't have to take you to dinner. They can possibly swipe a few times, [and] find someone desperate enough to give them something physical. And that is not us because we are being smart."

Bumble, which boasts nearly 70% male users, is demanding that women disregard their self-worth and sleep with strangers so they can make a profit. Sex sells, and celibacy doesn't. Their campaign is a desperate attempt to remain relevant in a society of women finally waking up to the lies of the sexual revolution and its consequences that brought on decades of objectification, hypersexualization, and abuse.

It's a reckless and potentially dangerous ad. A BYU study from 2005 found that 25% of rapists used online dating platforms to target vulnerable victims. Now, almost two decades later – and with dating apps being more accessible than ever – we can only imagine how much that number has increased. In addition, a 2019 ProPublica investigation revealed that over a third of the 1,200 women surveyed by the Columbia Journalism Institute experienced sexual assault at the hands of people they met via online dating platforms.

And it's safe to say that most women probably won't find their soulmates on dating apps. A recent study found that 65.3% of Tinder users were married or in a relationship, and only 50.3% were using the app to meet someone offline.

Perhaps the most ironic thing I've learned about Bumble is that its founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, met her husband on a skiing trip, who was introduced to her by a friend. She also recently discussed how AI would change the future of dating by creating better matches for people as if we're already not all disconnected from each other.

According to Bumble's Q4 2023 results, there was a $32 million net loss on $273.6 million in revenue.

In response to the backlash, a Bumble spokesperson stated: "Women’s experiences are at the center of what we do at Bumble. As part of our recent marketing campaign we included an ad with language around celibacy as a response to the frustrations of dating. We have heard the concerns shared about the ad’s language and understand that rather than highlighting a current sentiment towards dating, it may have had a negative impact on some of our community. This was not our intention and we are in the process of removing it from our marketing campaign, and will continue to listen to the feedback from our members."

*Updated 05.14.2024

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