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"I think in the age of swiping apps, there's less ability to overtly discriminate, but there is still a lot of preference for women who meet a certain look," she explains.Even though she's occasionally dealt with guys who went out of their way to say things like "I'm down with the swirl" (BRB, rolling my eyes for the rest of eternity), Sarah also feels like swiping apps are "pretty welcoming of diverse people," especially in cities like San Francisco and New York.An incredible clip from April of this year tackled this issue, branding it "sexual racism." Note: This is way different from having preferences.It's about ruling out entire groups of people because of stereotypes or because you think there's no way you could be attracted to them.Maya, based in New York City, works in the racial and economic justice spheres, specifically when it comes to gentrification.She's tried sites like Ok Cupid, Hinge, and Coffee Meets Bagel, and she's very upfront about her politics in her online dating profiles. "I once went on a date once where a guy asked me if I wanted to watch with him.My hope is that my friends let me play romantic roulette with their love lives because they think my job affords me some top-secret dating intel.In reality, they probably just let me do it because of how much it fascinates me.
"Eighty-two percent of non-black men on Ok Cupid show some bias against black women," Christian Rudder, co-founder of Ok Cupid, wrote in a blog post analyzing the data.
When Maya changed her preferences from only women to men and women on Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel, suddenly her potential matches were Indian guys, even though she'd listed no preference.