Entertainment /

OPINION: Here’s Why the ‘Whatever’ Dating Podcast Exploded in Popularity

‘Whatever’ lets no one off the hook for the plight of modern dating culture

Modern dating is an incomprehensible mess that fills even the most well-adjusted people with existential dread. We’ve reached a consensus that something has gone terribly awry in relations between the sexes, but almost no one can agree on exactly what, or who, is the problem. That’s where ‘Whatever’ steps in.

You’ve seen the clips circulating on Twitter. The ‘Whatever’ podcast has quickly become the premiere stage for turbulent back-and-forth debates about the abject state of modern dating culture. Featuring a rotating panel of Millennial and Gen-Z guys and girls (and an inanimate sex doll named “Keke”), this 4-hour-long Youtube broadcast has happened upon the formula for viral content about dating apps, relationships, situation-ships, hookups, marriage, and more.

The tone is hardly cerebral — the show’s main host, Brian Atlas, asks female guests to rate themselves out of 10, give “fit checks,” and asks them if they’ve ever had a sugar daddy. Beyond the obvious draw of gathering a group of attractive college girls and displaying steamy thirst trap photos in video thumbnails, ‘Whatever’ is tapping into a demand for no-holds-barred honest conversation about the dating landscape.

Podcasting about gender roles, sex, and dating in this day and age is a massively oversaturated market if you’re not daring enough to do it from a creative angle.

‘Call Her Daddy,’ hosted by 28-year-old Alex Cooper, is the #1 most popular podcast for women on Spotify.

Here’s a snippet from one of the episode descriptions: “Welcome to Slut Camp, where you will learn how to conceal the slut and trick your man into thinking you are wifey material. Everyone deserves a slut phase with no repercussions!” No explanation needed.

Andrew Tate, former kickboxer and current detainee in Romania, is arguably the most influential speaker oriented toward young men today.

Some would say he is a proponent of hookup culture and pick-up artistry, but his Tweets sound like this: “I am not misogynistic, I believe women should be protected, provided and cared for. I believe men have a masculine instinct to defend and take care of their loved ones as well as society. Young men understand my message.”

What the hell is going on?

And that’s not to mention the plethora of dating reality shows on offer right now that stir further confusion and promote sexual deviancy. For example, TLC hosts ‘MILF Manor,’ a dating show that pairs postmenopausal single mothers with men half their age — the dark, incestuous twist is that the male contestants are their own sons.

The unique appeal of ‘Whatever’ is that it creates the space for conversation where the opinions and choices of women can finally be considered fair game for pushback. Women who lament the absence of mature men who want to settle down and start families are asked about how they intend to keep up their end of that deal.

Many male viewers of ‘Whatever’ are satisfied to see women confront their own contributions to a culture of endless hypergamy and unbridled sexual liberation, accelerated by the use of so-called “dating apps” like Tinder. But women are subconsciously craving an outlet to both voice the challenges they face in the dating landscape, and be called to take accountability for their actions.

The dominant narrative of liberal feminism would have you believe that men bear the majority or even the totality of responsibility for the problems that ail modern dating. However, both sexes share blame for engaging in self-destructive and commitment-avoidant behaviors.

Pitting men and women against each other will only disincentivize them from seeking meaningful, long-term relationships. Although ‘Whatever’ is far from an ultimate solution, its willingness to address these issues in a way that rustles feathers is a good start.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*