Mamas, Don't Let Your Daughters Date Objectivists

Illustration for article titled Mamas, Dont Let Your Daughters Date Objectivists

When I was a senior in high school, I found out you could win $10,000 if you wrote an essay about Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. It sounded like a sweet deal to me — until I actually read the thing. Turned out this foundational text of objectivism was a sorry mix of bad writing, lookism, and didactic storytelling, all meant to show that we should only care about ourselves. It was basically the antithesis of everything I believed (and believe) in, so I couldn't bring myself to write the essay. Then, about eight months ago, I found out at that my new boyfriend had been the winner of that very contest. He swore he only did it for the money, and we're still together so I must believe him, but it still keeps me up at night — and it would certainly keep me from trolling The Atlasphere, a new dating site for objectivists.Both Salon's Broadsheet and New York Magazine recently mentioned the site, which features personal ads like this:

You should contact me if you are a skinny woman. If your words are a meaningful progression of concepts rather than a series of vocalizations induced by your spinal cord for the purpose of complementing my tone of voice. If you’ve seen the meatbot, the walking automaton, the pod-people, the dense, glazy-eyed substrate through which living organisms such as myself must escape to reach air and sunlight. If you’ve realized that if speech is to be regarded as a cognitive function, technically they aren’t speaking, and you don’t have to listen.

And this:

I love intelligent, sassy girls, particularly those working in consulting or investment banking (but other fields are great too). Really, nothing is hotter than an accomplished girl in a suit, as long as she is willing to settle down and have my children. I want a girl who will support my ambitions against the naysayers in society.

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And, my personal favorite, this:

My name is Daniel. I consider myself to be a born-again egoist and I have dedicated the rest of my life to self-improvement. People see me as a socially inept loner because I tend to avoid superficial conversation but actually I love talking to people who like to think (the problem being I don’t know very many).

My boyfriend (probably in an effort to prove to me that he is really not one of these people) points out that on no other dating site would you see the phrase, "people see me as a socially inept loner." Another odd wrinkle: although Salon blog Broadsheet mocked The Atlasphere, Salon writer Lynn Harris appears to endorse it — if that's what the blurb "My personal favorite [niche dating and social networking site]" really means. For all we know, Atlasphere could be her favorite pizza topping — or her favorite place to make fun of assholes who think they're the center of the universe. Artifact: Free-Market Meat Market [NY Mag] Does My "Fountainhead" Turn You On, Baby? [Salon]

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DISCUSSION

I signed up for this just because I wanted to see the kind of profiles that would ensue on an Ayn Rand dating site. I can't personally imagine anything worse than two hardcore objectivists on a date.

Out of many deranged profiles, this was my favourite (edited, also much of this was in italics, words like 'productivity'):

"I am a NYC Ironworker. I have been lambasted by my so-called 'peers' my age as wasting my life, wasting my potential; however, I am the only one who is truly persuing his potential to the max— studying all things that interest me, persuing knowledge with a fevered passion, and living my life for the sake of productivity, and finding ways to ever increase my level of productivity. That being said, there are many fields that percolate(sp?) my interests... Have you ever seen the steel skeletons that go up on a skyscraper, and the crazy, mythological men who effortlessly walk those steel beams to erect the greatest of structures the world has to offer? Well, that is Me: I am M—— M——, NYC Ironworker, The TRUE Man of Steel....

Professional aspirations: Practice Ironwork for the next 35 years (or whenver my body breaks down to the point where I simply can't do it anymore, which is why I study exercise physiology so intensely); open my own successful chain of Manny's Gyms; write ONE great novel (it will be ridiculously epic in scope and in lesson)....

Favorite music: Most music is absolute GARBAGE— if a music preaches a philosophy that I do not agree with, I will not listen to it."