WE’RE almost done with the second decade of this millennium, and while women have made strides in the world, are we making sure that the field is level for them when it comes to the dating game?

Swipe over to Bumble, a social and dating app introduced in 2014. The app was launched in the country last week in Makati, but it has been present on the smartphones of singles for at least two years now. Bumble was created by Whitney Wolfe Herd, a co-founder of dating and social app Tinder. Michelle Battersby, Associate Marketing Director for APAC, said that the app was created by Ms. Herd, driven by personal experience. “She had seen misogyny existing in the world, and she didn’t like that, and she wanted to do something about that.”

While Bumble may work mostly the same way as Tinder does (swiping right to approve a match, and left to reject it) there’s a difference: the responsibility to make the first move is on the woman in heterosexual settings. Matches are also given 24 hours to talk to each other, or else the match disappears. As for singles in the LGBTQ+ spectrum, the same rules remain, but no one has to wait for the other, but the 24-hour rule stays. “You’re not going to wait five days to hear from a guy you’ve matched with.”

Asked if it made any difference when a woman made the first move, Ms. Battersby said, “Men have often approached women first, and women have sat back and waited for the man to approach them. If the man is faced with rejection, often, aggression is the behavior that follows.”

Around the world, crimes related to dating apps have been reported, ranging from theft and extortion to rape and murder (as was the case for American Sydney Loofe). When a woman takes the lead, does it save her life? “We can’t comment explicitly on safety. However, the way that Bumble is… we find that that sets a different tone for the conversation.

“When a woman makes the first move, it actually takes the pressure off from guys. They’re not the ones having to face that rejection, and it means that that aggression doesn’t end up formulating.”

Bumble also has two other settings, both aimed at advancing a person’s goals: there’s Bumble BFF, where a person can find a platonic relationship, perhaps to have a travel or a shopping buddy. And there’s Bumble Bizz, intended to enlarge a person’s professional network, and maybe even find a work mentor.

“On Bumble, we’re all about empowering women to go after what they want.” — Joseph L. Garcia