Dear Heterosexual Men of The Internet,
Unfortunately the time has come and I have to inform you that I will no longer tolerate your nonsense. I have heard many a woman discuss openly, practices of instiutionalized misogyny. Nasty, unacceptable behaviors promoted by the patriarchy. Until recently my life had been blessedly free of such incident, but in the past 3 weeks you have taken shit to new levels.
First, an important fact:
I realize many of you seem to think there “aren’t any real girls online”. I regret to inform you that this is simply untrue. There are many “real women” (I know what exactly you mean by this, and yes, I am offended by it) on the Internet. I am fully allowed to be online and represent myself in any way I choose.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I like the Internet, I particularly like meeting people on the Internet. Not always to meet in real life, sometimes just to chat with. Why? Because the Internet is a vast and interesting place full of interesting people. And frankly, most people find me too tall to approach in public. In order to do this, I employ profiles of a selection of amusing websites – some of them mainstream, some of them not.
The case I wish to draw attention to today is Okcupid. Okcupid is a fun, playful, free dating site. (Should I be embarassed and unwilling to admit that I use this website? No. It’s 2012. Grow up.) However, in the past three weeks I have noticed some disturbing trends in the way men initiate contact with me on this website.
1. I do not care what it says in my profile, it is NEVER okay for you to use misogynistic language toward a woman you do not know. Honestly, it’s not okay if you know her either – but I’ll accept there’s a time and place for everything.
2. I do not have to like you or message you back, I don’t even have to look at your profile. The Internet is not a bar. If you walked up to me in a bar and said, (and I quote) “Wanna hookup?” I’d smile politely and say, “no, thank you.” However, we are not in a bar, and part of the reason for this is that I don’t want to have to be polite to you when you’re being an idiot.
3. I have every right to use whatever personal selection criteria I choose. You do not get to argue with this. I am certain you all have your own criteria. If I choose not to message you back because you are too young, old, fat, thin, short, tall, married, or honestly ridiculous – that’s up to me. Of course, I am also not required to share my criteria with you.
4. Keep your fucking sense of entitlement in check. I am not required to like you, I am not obligated to you at all. I am not required to tolerate you treating me badly because of what you perceive as rejection.
5. Keep your goddamn insecurities in check. If I don’t message you back, it’s not because you suck, it’s because I’m not interested. It might not even mean that, it might mean that I’m busy. If I don’t respond well to your witticisms or your comments – perhaps I’m just not feeling it. But let me assure you, there are LOTS of girls in the world who might, so write out your full sentenced responses and fight the good fight. Those of you with degrading, inane, 2-3 word comments – I don’t respond because you do suck. You should feel bad
6. For the love of 75-point words everywhere, pay attention to your spelling and grammar. If you are writing a message to a woman who CLEARLY articulates an affection for literature and writes in full sentences, you may want to spell check, you may want to revert from your lizard brained text speak and try something a little more elevated. No promises, just a thought.
I am not overly sensitive, I understand that you’re not all out looking for love, but understand this: I am not an object, I am not something you can barter for, I am not something you can buy, or trick. I am self-aware.
If you come at me with some nonsense I find unacceptable and deplorable and I am silent, go back and read what you wrote. Then take another look at my profile. Do you seriously think I’m interested in “tak[ing] a look at your cock”? Do you really think I’m interested in something so shallow? Just think about it. I’m not asking you pretend to be something you’re not, or want something you don’t. (Yeah, don’t you lie to get me into bed, I am smarter than that, and it really annoys me.) Just do it with some sense of decency.
I realize men are no longer allowed to behave openly like misogynist pigs (that doesn’t stop you in offices, on public transit, in classrooms or street corners) but this does not mean you can throw your bruised egos and desperation at me on the Internet.
Finally, and I mean this, if I come at you and tell you I find what you said to me offensive, don’t you dare withdraw into your 3rd grade cocoon and call me names. Don’t you dare call a girl who didn’t message you back fast enough, or warmly enough a slut, whore, bitch, or cunt. Just don’t.