Is doesn’t matter if the man is 50, already had kids, and has virtually no chance of being with a 20 year old.I once read that the reason blond women are perceived as most attractive by scores of men is that blonds have a slightly higher estrogen level than women with other hair colors.

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I tell all my single girlfriends to give online dating a try. Your inbox will fill with notes from 19-year-olds in the ‘burbs, 40-somethings who find your taste in music “refreshing,” addled idiots writing “id fck u,” and a handful of age-appropriate, nice-looking guys who can string some sentences together and like to cook.

You set up a profile, pick some cute photos, write something witty about the things that you love (Beyonce, Hillary Clinton, Battlestar Galactica), list some books you like, and then sit back, kick your feet up, and wait for the messages to roll in.

But every day, when I log into the dating site of my choice, I play the passive role, the receiver of attention, the awaiter of messages.

I go to my inbox and see who wants to talk to me and then I choose to whom I’ll respond.

This is not the behavior I would expect of a feminist, sex-positive 21st century lady. Why would I put myself through the rollercoaster of the drafting, the editing, the sending, the waiting, the hoping, the checking, and the sighing in disappointment when the fact of my gender (and let’s be real; that’s really all it is) means the attention comes to me?

It’s not behavior I’m particularly proud of either. Why don’t I reach out to the dudes with the funny handles and good taste in books, the ones who post pictures with goofy faces and like tacos almost as much as I like tacos? I wish the evidence pointed to something else, something egalitarian and modern, but when I get real with my own online dating M. I’ve sent messages to guys before, sure, but the ratio is small. This is not how I want this work, but I condone it with my inaction.

The Internet could be the great democratizer, the great playing field-leveler.

After all, we each have only the 500-word text boxes and crappy jpegs and clever (not so clever) user names to show for ourselves. Maybe in this environment where we are safely sequestered behind screens, we can get past some of the lingering gender-based “rules” that dominate the “How to Catch a Man” playbooks of yore.

In his book, “Dataclysm,” he points out that who we want to be and who we really are can be two very different things.

Data reveals truths that we might not want to say out loud.

You will peruse profiles and find a few women who aren’t posing in a bathroom with their stomachs exposed.