Picture this: You’re on a first date, and the person you’re seeing slides over in the booth you’re sitting in, real nice and close. As the tension builds, they put one hand on your leg — too high up to be just a friendly caress — and lean in to whisper something sexy into your ear: “The attempt, in the last few decades, to graft Marxian economics onto anarchism has been a disastrous mistake, causing us to focus too much on the economic sphere as a site of struggle despite the fact that it sustains the means of production/distribution through its monopoly on the use of coercion.”
Red Yenta isn’t the first socialist dating site to crop up on ye olde internet (a similar platform called OkComrade had a glorious, but brief run in 2014 before becoming defunct), but it is, as far as I can tell, the only one whose interface doesn’t look like a Trojan virus-encrusted Geocities page. As such, it’s home to a modest number of mostly young, educated millennials and street-legal Gen Z-ers whose genders, sexual orientations, and dating styles are as diverse as the meaning of socialism itself.
That, in fact, is exactly what Red Yenta founders Marissa Brostoff, a Brooklyn-based writer, and English doctoral candidate, and Mindy Isser, a Philadelphia labor organizer, were envisioning when they created the platform. Though they both declined to talk to me for this story, rigorous research reveals they came up with the idea after becoming frustrated with the lack of politically oriented dating apps and options for folks who value anarchy over attractiveness. As Brostoff tells Playboy: “You can say on Tinder what your gender preferences are, but you can’t set a filter for politics, so if that’s something you actually care about, you’re just kind of swiping.”
According to psychologist and relationship expert Susan Winter, Brostoff and Isser may be onto something with this whole “politics first” thing. “We live in a very unusual time period in which political congruence and core values have become a basis for dating in ways they haven’t really been before,” she says. “If politics are important to you, then leading with your views is a good tactic for finding a partner, especially for socialists whose political beliefs tend to bleed into their social values and cultural practices in a way more conventional parties’ don’t always. It lets you address each other’s core values, ethics and ideas about the world from the jump, which gives your connection an instant foundation to work off of. Being more specific about who you are and what you believe in at the beginning enables you to filter only those who meet your criteria.”
Looking for something beyond dating apps? Book a consultation with Susan today!