Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last week, I saw on TV for the first time an ad for this "Farmers Only" dating site, accompanied by the slogan, "Because city folks just don't get it." I thought it was a joke at first, that I'd surfed onto a comedy channel doing a spoof ad... (Was waiting for spokespeople ID'd as "DaisyDukes744" or "ginghamgirl" etc.) But no, 'twas for real, as I just learned when visiting their site:

" is a dating site like no other. We exist because, the way we see it, there are basically two groups in America. Group one revolves around four dollar cups of coffee, taxi cabs, blue suits, and getting ahead at all costs in the corporate world....Group two enjoys blue skies, living free and at peace in wide open spaces, raising animals, and appreciating nature. We understand the meaning of Southern hospitality, even if we don't all live in the South. This group makes up America's Heartland – the slice of America with good old fashioned traditional values, values that were never lost by the farmers of our country. These values have also been preserved by the cowboys and cowgirls who still live on the edge..."

Their intro page wasn't as wacky as I thought it would be. It sounded fairly reasonable. Sort of. Until I started breaking down their statements:

RE "Two groups of people in America." Hmmm. I've lived in the country with a rural route mailbox address and a pond and a horse and sliding down the random culvert on a piece of cardboard for fun. And then I've lived in small towns of under 5,000 people. And in cities of 60,000; 600,000; 850,000; and 8 million. Where do I fit in?

Am I in Group One? Let's see: Four dollar cups of coffee: Don't like coffee; wouldn't pay $4 if I did. Taxi cabs: Huh? What in the world is wrong with a cab? Blue suits and getting ahead in the corporate world: I realize that a "blue suit" stereotypically represents a "fancy city slicker" who's out to "screw" the "working man"... And I'll grant that many lawyers and financiers and others of that ilk do indeed maintain this uniform and the "getting ahead at all costs" attitude. But "lawyers and financiers" make up a VERY small portion of city-dwellers.

Am I in Group Two? Let's see: Blue skies: Overrated. I actually prefer some rain in between. Living free: Please, who doesn't like that. Wide open spaces: Depressing to me. I like forests and hills, and I also like exciting city canyons of buildings. Raising animals: This is fine if you're just raising cows for the milk and/or chickens for the eggs. But many farmers/ranchers are raising beaucoup animals for the express purpose of slaughtering them for money. Yuck. Southern hospitality: This is nice on principle. Unless it's completely phony, a smile hiding sadistic tendencies, which unfortunately is often the actual case. I personally found New Yorkers and New Jersey folk more honestly nice and down-to-earth.

Good old-fashioned traditional values: This is "code," I assume, for "Christian God only" and "marriage = man + woman." Having been brought up in a horribly dysfunctional, violent straight household out in the country with a "good ol' boy" Texas father, I must immediately discount the claim that "country" somehow equals "old-fashioned traditional values." In my personal experience, when you live out in the country, the violent person can get away with a lot more because there's no one around to witness what they're doing. (And if the police are FINALLY called, they refuse to do anything... because the perpetrator's "name is on the mailbox"!)

As for small-town or country Christianity: I was baptized a Lutheran, and attended various churches (either with family or friends) growing up: Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist (both Southern and Fundamentalist), Church of Christ, even Mormon (with my high-school boyfriend). These were all pleasant places for me, focusing more on one's relationship with God rather than hatred toward others, as seen on TV today by more radical right-wing church groups. But I can't say that they helped me become more spiritual in any way at all, which is what, even back in high school, I was trying to become. I wasn't just in it for the socializing. As I soon realized most people were. (This realization was akin to learning that there was no Santa. And that my university wasn't set up to help me become enlightened! I was a naive child and young adult.)

Plus there was the "dumb" factor in the Bible, regardless of the denomination: If God created Adam and Eve, and they had only two sons, one of whom killed the other... then how was the world subsequently populated? Cain fucked his mother, and we're all a product of incest? And fossils have been found of dinosaurs. And of proto-modern humans like the Neanderthal. Where's this in the Bible's history of the world's formation? (And that's just the most basic beginning of the ongoing ignorance in the book. I personally stopped believing in its "holiness" when I was 15, upon reading its teaching that women were inferior to men.)

So I've gone off on a tangent... Where was I? Oh yeah, the last thing in the blurb from the FarmersOnly site: "...the cowboys and cowgirls who still live on the edge." OK, maybe this means that they're living on the edge of town, on the edge of "corporate society," or somesuch... I suspect, though, that the wording is trying to make the younger farm-oriented folk who have cable and Internet and have thus seen attractive representations of what's available in the outside world -- but aren't quite up for whatever reason to pursuing anything outside of their comfort zone -- feel somehow "cool" and "edgy" despite their actual complete lack of "edginess."

OH, by the way, RE "...values that were never lost by the farmers of our country. These values have also been preserved by the cowboys and cowgirls..." Oh yeah? Read some history of the settlement of the US West: There was a constant political battle between the farmers who wanted boundaries for their land, and the Big Ranchers who wanted no fences so they could, with the help of their poorly paid cowboys, drive their cattle through, unobstructed. THAT was the battle between the haves and have-nots in the 1800s. Since when did the interests of "farmers" and "cowboys" become one?

Funny that there's no "" dating site. I don't know that there's any sort of comparative defensiveness on the part of city dwellers (well, except maybe on MSNBC). I think that people who live within civilization are much more self-aware, much more aware of irritations that come with living around lots of other kinds of people. And don't transform such irritations into dogma: "two groups"/"Heartland vs. Other"/"Values vs. No Values." That kind of scared, defensive, completely undatable (to me) world view.


mom with 2 children said...

It only works for fence post size women
I'm plus size and no one wants to even be friends
All they want is a one night stand

kelligirl said...

Mom with 2 children,

I've always been a "fence post sized woman" and they still usually want one night stands. I'm almost convinced that most men have a hard time "really" getting to know woman they meet because they're too distracted by attraction. Frankly, I think it comes down to respect. If more women had respect for themselves, more men would have to respect women.

AintNobodyRight said...

I absolutely loved your rant. Well said.

Mustangs with Manners said...

Wow! Ask yourself... If I met the true man of my dreams, treated me with love and respect.... but he lived on a stinky pig farm, even tho I love eating bacon and pork chops and pulled pork.... Do I want to live 25 miles outside of a town? Where when I run out of milk, I have to drive an hour round trip to buy it? Do I want to go through a full week before I see someone outside of family and the mail man? Do I? Do you? Those that answer yes, they are the ones that will find their match on
So you see the ad weeds out those that would be offended, because they don't get it. LOL@You!

Beth Austin said...

"Mustangs," I wasn't "offended because I didn't get it"! :) I got it EXACTLY, but was kind of puzzled by it. As for the "dream man on a stinky pig farm" that you posit: Just personally, I have to look into the deeper psychological reasons why a man would choose to run a "stinky pig farm" for a living. That type of man, or a guy who was a supermarket butcher or a gas-station attendant, I probably wouldn't have much in common with psychologically, regardless of how "loving and respectful" he might treat ME. Most people who work as butchers, for instance, are probably not disturbed by the work they do, for whatever reason. I personally would want to be with someone more psychologically aware. I wouldn't mind the solitude of living in the country today -- I grew up in the country in the '70s and hated the loneliness and feeling of being trapped; today, with the Internet, there's not so much mental isolation.

cc62b914-143a-11e5-b234-a77b9975f9fb said...

why be offended ? in this day and age i find it getting to the point common interests and if you are used to being around farms and have lived that life (i have not) im sure its very different than city life different values etc.totally different lifestyles. i applaud the mom with 2 kids for her comment. the dating site that upsets me is is the 1 for black people only not because im racist but because do you know what would happen if there was a white only dating site have a great day everyone

Chris Thompson said...

So, a man who farms somehow is less than you psychologically? Perhaps a farmer who became a millionaire running his farm as a business. Although he didn't make his money in a traditional office, he still has outpaced you. It's a true view into how shallow minded people are and really how ignorant they are. Just remember the average combine costs 300k+, and many of those dingy farmers are worth more than your average banker. I am glad though for your viewpoints, just less to overpopulate our slice of heaven here in the country.

Chris Thompson said...

Ben, perhaps you have failed to see "". finding the site offensive couldn't be more overly dramatic. However, it does show the slogan to be true. If you are from the city, you won't get it. I can only imagine, without reading your rant, that you are from a large city, probably on the east coast. That's perfect. Please stay in your overpopulated box. We enjoy the fresh air out here. said...

i think the website is for people who like the farm life. if you have never lived the farm life you really would not know what its like. you have men that go on the site that have never been on a farm in their life, just like you have women that go on the site an know nothing about farm life, and just think all farmers are good looking and wear cowboy hats. gapeach

plainsrider said...

I find Beth's post as disturbing as most other idioloques who MOST fall into her catagory if you believe in catagories and having been blessed to grow up on a beautiful Ranch in Oregon raiseing Beef, chickens, sheep, hay, horses and anything else city folks like to consume as they should if they wish there is no grander way to experience freedom like our founders intended than to grow up as we did.
It's when I read ignorant evil moronic blogs such as this I wonder what would happen if all the electricity were turned off for just 1 week in cities across the us? know, no garbage being collected, no toilet to use, no bath 2 times a day or even once per day, no fridge after 2 days to keep you veggies and other parishables fresh and yes it should be in winter so 90 % of the Beth's have no way to heat their dwellings.
Well you better get ready for it because it is not if it will happen but when.
Your president has assured us of that. Our city friends have pre-arranged invites to make it as fast as possible to our Ranch as life on a ranch is always prepared for such terrorist attacks or acts of mother nature but you do not need to live 25 miles out to be prepared but do keep in mind city folks will be cannabalized first. Yes we also have plenty of GUNS and ammo and it is not nor never has been for 100% for hunting pleasure but is just as the builders ment it for taranical government.
I make sure what ever site I visit they know integraty, moral valus and Faith are first with myself, friends or any future friends. Without that I believe you are a loney, empty vessel.
I believe is no differant than any other dating site if used as intended and I don't think it would take a 1/2 brain to figure out it's for those with common interest. Farming and Ranching are only differant in how many things they grow. They are both definately about a way of life and demand those living it have more common sense than City folks. Common sense is getting harder and harder to find. Another differance between farmers and city folks is we have been saving the planet since the beginning of time. It is not a mere poliytical game to us and again you have 1/4th of a brain or a tiny slice of common sense you know for a fact that climate change of anykind made by anything has been around and around for millians of years. Those idialouques need to find something fruitfull to consume there time and boredom.
I could write a book about the differances between country people and city people but from reading your blog a getting enough encite to how you think it would not matter to you or others like you what the truth is. Sometime I think we are lucky most of you don't choose to do any non-biased research cause when you have an agenda it keeps you busy enough you are not doing harm in too many areas but the harm you creat with the global warming acytually harming millions and millions of people all over the world.
Perhaps someday you will discover what life is really all about but it could take 50 or more years to hit reality.
You gals weather thin or fat must realize it is only a health issue and a man that really cares about you would really care less what you weigh. This is why we date for a loooooong time to see if you are compatable. I feel you can weed the sex Phycos out by letting them know upfront it's not what you are looking for. Sorry, but yes I am one of those that believe in marital sex and don't wanna do it unless I am in love.
Beth, remember Wide Open Spaces means to a logical person a place or landscape where you can see between the big beautiful Ponderosas or the High desert that holds vast,spectaciular but rarely seen lanscapes created by God and we are blessed enought o ride a beautiful creature known as a horse we actually raise and train ourselves through all this for sometimes 100 miles in a day.
I just hope you and others who think like you don't post on Farmers cause it would polute the quality of those seeking a true long time relationship.

Beth Austin said...

plainsrider, it's clear to me that you didn't read my original post. You call me an ideologue, but my point was that I felt I personally fell into a category that was not a dichotomy of city/country or left/right, etc., but rather a combination of both. You COMPLETELY failed to understand what I was saying. And, unfortunately, you make yourself look like a stereotypical "country dummy" with all of your misspellings and your knee-jerk views that you clearly have just been fed by someone else. I didn't read a single original thought in your post.

David Hovgaard said...

There aren't two kinds of people in the world. We are all one species. No group of people are better or worse than any other simply because of where they live or how they make their living. To believe that you are better than your fellows is the road to persecution and worse. We are at a time in our country where religious hate is on the rise and may lead to war. We really don't need a stupid website that attempts to make a profit by exacerbating the situation.

Lisa Gibson said...

Hey chris. You may be right with but i rather be in my little box the by two face church going folk who think there the cats meow when they can't even hold a conversation.

Lisa Gibson said...

At least i can hold a conversation with someone. And its pretty piss poor if you need a dating site to find someone. So you stay smelling the fresh air so you think you are.

Nick Krattenmaker said...

These commercials are stupid so very stupid. First of they demean "city- folk" they only advertise as white male and females. I and their logo is a rip PFF of American Gothic which has interpreted to be a father and his daughter which is gross

Lonnie S said...

*NOT FOR GAY MEN* farmersonly is a playground for HATEMONGERING GAY-BASHERS! Unbelievable. The "MEN FOR MEN" section is a JOKE. I would NEVER consider joining this site until they incorporate a "REPORT MEMBER" link to remove all the hateful, GAY BASHING bigots they let signup on their site to promote HATE SPEECH without monitoring them and with no way to report them or have them REMOVED. They kept sending me these emails "Top Profiles Selected For..." and EVERY SINGLE EMAIL has at least ONE of these dumbass bigot's FAKE profiles that are nothing but PURE HATE against gay men. This last HATE email from has member "Durango Ironballls" looking for "18 yr old men African American midgets plz" with a pic from "Brokeback Mountain". This email was actually TAME compared to some of the real SICK ones they've sent me. Their website is a constant reminder of how much straight people HATE me, and not about gay men who want to date me.
Since their client base has found an EASY way to target gays thru, I'm sure it's the same problem with black people constantly getting emails full of profile pics of WATERMELONS, FRIED CHICKEN, DYING ETHIOPIANS, etc with comments referencing "big lips", "love me some fried chicken" and "Sickle Cell Anemia". Why don't they DO SOMETHING? Unbelievable.

Angie said...

What makes ME want to hurl is the commercial where the doofus looking cowboy is talking to his dog (who talks back???) about the "city girl" screaming annoyingly as she runs her horse into a fence. Her shrieks are bad enough (seriously nails on chalkboard) but then we have to watch as three hot, young, fit women ride up to the doofy cowboy presenting themselves as one presents the next dish in a restaurant. You know men make these commercials...really idiotic men who probably have really tiny genitalia.

Beth Austin said...

Angie: Ha! I haven't seen the talking-to-dog or horse-into-fence bits (I posted my initial "Farmer's Only" post a few years ago and in 2016 don't know how they've "updated" their sell.) But your post reminded me of the Spuds MacKenzie ads that were prevalent in the '90s: A Budweiser ad featuring sexy women fawning all over a literal dog. At the time I first saw the Spuds ad, I was in my 20s and hanging out for the summer with my stoner male neighbor. He didn't understand why I thought the Spuds ad was so utterly stupid. I asked him what he would think if there were ads showing a female dog with men acting like they found her irresistible... He didn't have an answer for that. So, yeah: Really juvenile "men" are making these stupid ads! :)