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BroApp: License To Be A Jerk

Susy Guerrero |
March 10, 2014 | 4:15 p.m. PDT


Bros everywhere can rejoice, or at least that’s what the new BroApp for Android promises.

BroApp allows guys to send scheduled texts to their girlfriends. (Stitch, Creative Commons)
BroApp allows guys to send scheduled texts to their girlfriends. (Stitch, Creative Commons)
That’s because the developers behind this app have created a tool that actually sends preset texts to your girlfriend, making her feel loved and believe that her boyfriend is attentive. The app encourages guys to think they can spend more time with the bros, blowing off their girl, all while sustaining a happy relationship. A win-win situation right? Hardly.

James and Tom, no last names given, are the creators behind this app. According to TODAY, they created it when both discovered that neither of them were spending enough time with their girlfriends. When the app was made, they tested it on their girlfriends, who apparently didn’t suspect a thing until much later. But while guys may be thrilled about this seemingly innocuous gadget, they may want to consider the overarching sexism at play.

For starters, the BroApp overview video radiates male chauvinism. The narrator who evokes the voice of Jonathan Goldsmith from the Dos Equis commercial, demands attention with his voice. He tells his fellow bro that the app will maximize his relationship by sending scheduled texts that can be customized to his girlfriend. She’ll believe her boyfriend is being thoughtful, which will result in happiness on both ends. The narrator says that the BroApp also knows when he’s in a no-bro zone, which just so happens to be his girlfriend’s house. This means that no messages will be sent once the device picks up the girlfriend’s Wi-Fi network.

So what’s the big deal? The app is perpetuating the notion that guys can be complete jerks and get away with it. With this new technology, guys have an excuse to not text their “needy” girlfriends because now they have a system that can do it for them. It’s as if the app is selling duplicity, where guys score brownie points with little to no effort.



I was curious to read some customer reviews after watching the video. One individual expressed his love for the app but wished it could configure multiple girlfriend numbers in order to send messages to more than one girl. Is this the type of guy the BroApp creators intended to target? Has this app opened another door for guys to act more sexist and to degrade women? 

Another troubling issue with the app is the image it creates of women. Wired provides an illustration, albeit to make a point, of what a bro’s girlfriend might look like. In the illustration a girl is in a private moment where she seems to have just received a “text” from her boyfriend. She is absorbed in her own little world under the covers and focused on the screen, wide-eyed, as if the text message was the highlight of her day. And that’s exactly the kind of response a bro wants when using this app.

BroApp personifies the girlfriend as needy and maybe clingy. She’s someone who needs constant reassurance that her boyfriend loves her. The app wants this girl to be naïve and never guess her boyfriend isn’t really texting to know how her day was or that he was thinking about her. The issue at stake in all of this is that the girlfriend isn’t actually taken into consideration; rather, she becomes a joke between bros. 

The creators did think ahead for when a girlfriend suddenly finds herself suspicious and decides to glimpse at her boyfriend's phone.

“In case a gal wants a peek at someone’s BroApp, she’s put on ‘girlfriend safety lock down’ and misdirected to a fake list of gifts the guy is fake-planning on buying her,” writes Jessica Dukes of TODAY. But this simply highlights my previous point of girls becoming the butt of a private joke. 

While sending automated messages to girlfriends may sound terrible, you may actually be doing something similar yourself. The iPhone has the capability of sending programmed messages when you’re out of reach. Just the other day I received a phone call that I couldn’t take. What I did was simply click a button that allowed me to respond to the caller by sending a prerecorded message, without actually typing a thing. Although different from the BroApp, the concept is the same. It’s easy to do and it allows the receiver to feel that he/she is being acknowledged. Additionally, the makers of BroApp have received several requests to make the female equivalent of this app, and it might be called SisterApp. Time will tell.

But in the end, I’m left wondering: what’s the point? If you need an app to schedule text messages and pretend you’re more caring than you actually are, then maybe there’s a bigger underlying issue. Maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship, bro.

It’s that simple. No app is going to solve your relationship woes because when your girlfriend finds out she’s been receiving texts from BroApp, I guarantee you’re going to be in worse hell than you thought you were in the beginning.


Reach Contributor Susy Guerrero here.



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