A mobile phone dating service called “Boy Ranch” has generated a storm of controversy thanks to its portrayal of men as docile animals to be traded by their female owners, and the way in which it allows women to freely traded the personal information of men without their consent.
The most noticeable aspect of the dating service is that it encourages its (female) participants to create a “ranch” of men, who are represented as cows, sheep and horses. Lady ranchers can then make friends and share the personal details of their livestock with one another, in the hopes of finding a prize stud, presumably.
The privacy concerns over the service are considerable. Any woman can freely register a man’s personal details with the service without his knowledge or consent, and entering such crucial details as the whether the creature is rich or poor, his physique, whether he is the eldest son, etc., is all encouraged by the site’s management.
Names and photographs can even be submitted. All these can be shared freely with others using the service.
The comments on the initial announcement quickly developed into a storm of outrage, with criticism on a variety of grounds: “Is it ethical to register men as animals?” “Was this really thought through properly? I think it is grotesque…” “This is sexual discrimination, surely!”
The company responsible, Cyber Agent, claims that its choice of animals is a reference to recent mass media reports dealing with reports of so-called “herbivorous men”, who the mass media claims to be a newly emerged type of highly passive man unlikely to court women in the manner they demand, hence the “livestock” connection.
Cyber Agent thus claims it is quite proper for them to portray men as animals to be traded and led by the nose by women, but offers a sop to critics by claiming it will reconsider the name. It does not give any significant response to the privacy concerns the game raises.
Via Itai News.
There may already have been adult games along these lines for both men and women for sometime, but these are hardly comparable to a mainstream dating service which encourages the unauthorised use of real people’s personal information.
We can only imagine the storm which would ensue had they dared to make a version which allowed men to freely enter women’s personal details and portrayed them as livestock or worse…