Based on the technofeminist perspective, I examine how dating apps disrupt yet reproduce existing gender dynamics in China. Female dating app users offer multiple interpretations of why they use dating apps: as a laboratory to experience sexuality, a springboard to romance and marriage, a third place between home and the workplace, and a door to new worlds. They also face several challenges in using dating apps, including resisting social stigma, assessing men’s purposes, and handling undesirable sexual solicitations. In the light of women’s struggles in contemporary China, I argue that, while dating apps might be a feminist tool, they conceal the structural gender inequality embedded in the sexual double standard, marriage expectations, and state policies.
"Liberating or Disciplining? A Technofeminist Analysis of the use of Dating Apps Among Women in Urban China." Communication, Culture & Critique, 2018.