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Bumble works in a similar way to Tinder – prospective dates are offered based on location, users swipe right for yes, left for no thank you – but, crucially, women call the shots.
Men cannot initiate a conversation (even if their ‘yes’ swipe leads to a match), and the female party has 24 hours to start a chat before the match expires.
After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and got a job at a start-up ‘incubator’, an organisation designed to help new businesses succeed.
Although she was working in marketing – a less male-dominated section of the tech industry than most – Whitney still felt at a disadvantage.
‘I couldn’t keep up with the tech-speak and know-how.
It wasn’t really my fault; nobody had ever encouraged me to,’ she says.
‘I was mocked by the other kids because I was wearing things that were cool at my school in Paris – tennis shoes and jackets – and doing my hair a certain way,’ she says.
‘Three years later, they were wearing the same – that was when I first understood how trends trickle down.’Whitney’s parents separated almost a decade ago (her mother is now in California, while her father remains in Utah) while Whitney was studying for a global studies degree.
That’s not fair.’It is an unusually wet morning in Austin, Texas, where Bumble is based, when I meet Whitney for breakfast at a boutique hotel.
Whitney began dating Justin Mateen, one of the co-founders.
The relationship ended after a year, Whitney has said, and she claims that Justin subsequently became verbally abusive, allegedly calling her a ‘slut’ and a ‘whore’.
‘When someone feels rejected, they become insecure and can lash out.
Remove that rejection and replace it with flattery – a woman has messaged them – and it leads, generally, to better behaviour.’What if, I venture, by doing all the running, women are emasculating men, robbing them of their innate hunter-gatherer nature?
When Whitney was 11, her father took a sabbatical and moved the family to Paris.