Solving the “Female Only” problem

A user just emailed me about adding a filter to weed out those heartbreaking listings that are amazing, but at the bottom ask for only females. I’m well acquainted with the problem – you generally read that part after you’ve already fallen in love with the place, and it’s a pretty crappy feeling.

Fortunately, PadMapper can help!

How? Just put -female in your keywords filter (female with a minus sign in front of it), and it will weed out every listing where the word female appears in the text of the listing. I can’t think of many other instances where someone would put the word female in an otherwise sexless description except to exclude males, so this shouldn’t throw out much wheat with the chaff.

Happy hunting!

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  1. Ryan
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    This site is awesome and incredibly useful. Keep up the good work!

  2. T
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Isnt this illegal?!

    • Posted October 21, 2011 at 2:59 am | Permalink

      Meh. I’m not sure about the legality of discriminating on roommates (it may vary from state to state as well), but some women just don’t want to live with guys.

  3. Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    In some ads it will say, share apartment with one male and one female. So in that case it would remove those…. Just a thought.

  4. andy
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    this is beyond awesome!! i’ve always hated craigslist for only being able to use minus-keywords after a regular keyword. i kept wanting to look for “-basement -bsmt” but it just wasn’t possible. and now it is. thank you so much for implementing proper negative search criteria :)

  5. Posted September 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi Eric, great website!!

    I recommend that you filter out the phrase “female only” instead of just looking for female. I’ve seen listings before where a person would mention “male or female” and those would end up being filtered out.

  6. Jason
    Posted October 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I do find a lot of ads where the people posting the ad describe themselves as male or female. I thought about using “-female” but I was afraid I’d miss those places that are being rented by females who are happy to live with males.


  7. WBT
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    This does actually throw out a fair bit of wheat with the chaff. These are ads that say “male or female” or the ones where the poster says she’s female (or how many guys and gals are living in the house), but not discriminating in who’s welcome. Also, there are synonyms (e. g. “gals only;” “no guys”) that slip through; each filter term has the same not-quite-a-great-separator property.

    -That user :-)

    • Posted October 21, 2011 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      Good points! It definitely wasn’t meant to be a perfect solution – it’s more that this is a question I get a lot, and the solution might give someone an idea of how to avoid other things they don’t like.

  8. Eli
    Posted November 4, 2011 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Eric, just wanted to say your website is making my life so much better! Bloody awesome!
    - Toronto, canada

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