After a recent break-up, I did what any 21st century millennial woman would do — fired back up the old dating apps. Hello again, Tinder. Hello again, Bumble. Hello again, JSwipe. So nice to see you again.
I found myself spending more time on that last one. Religion has never been a deciding factor in who I date, and in fact, none of my serious relationships have been with Jewish men, but I’m 31 and actually feeling ready for marriage and eventual kids and blah blah blah and maybe finding someone with a similar background would be nice (you hear that? That high-pitched squeal? That’s the sound of my mother rejoicing with glee 1,000 miles away).
So here I am, swiping away, and finding all the usual suspects: nice Jewish boys at Machu Picchu; nice Jewish boys draping their arms around exotic animals; nice Jewish boys taking selfies at the gym; nice Jewish boys with guns.
Indeed, again and again, I came across Noams and Davids and Adams posing with guns in their photos. Mind you, these were not Israelis’ throwback pics to their time in the IDF. These were men at the gun range, men doing target practice, men holding their shiny guns up like a prize (really makes you miss those men-holding-large-fish photos, huh?).
This is very baffling to me! Of all the things that I’ve come to associate with Nice Jewish Boy (glasses! Phish concerts! calling their mother!), gun culture is not one of them. Maybe I’ve been in a particular Jewish bubble — that of secular, liberal, intellectual, anxious Jews — but doing a quick poll of some Jewish friends across the country, all expressed shock and dismay at this discovery.
One friend suggested this could be a man-childish backlash to Bumble’s recent ban on photos with guns, following the horrific events in Parkland, Florida. As Bumble’s founder stated in the New York Times, “We just want to create a community where people feel at ease, where they do not feel threatened, and we just don’t see guns fitting into that equation.” Could the gun-loving Jews of Bumble be flocking to JSwipe where they can wave their arms in freedom? Or maybe they learned to shoot guns at Jewish summer camp, back when that was a thing.
Or maybe, just like with every other group of people, there are those who just don’t fit the stereotypes we’re used to. Even Jews in New York City.
Frankly, I’m sort of glad to see these men toting guns in their photos — and glad that JSwipe hasn’t banned them yet. It makes my decision process so much easier. Along with shirtless selfies and anyone who says they’re “looking for a partner in crime,” gun photos are an automatic swipe left.