Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Unwanted Advances

In the past 20 months, I have spent a lot of time involved in a couple of different communities.  One is the world of online dating, and the other is the sex-positive/alternative/poly community.  This has provided an interesting juxtaposition, as one of these is extremely focused on and supportive of consent culture, and the other is... well, a minefield of all different kinds of assault of sorts.

I know that some people out there may scoff at this.  Some people will take issue with me describing some of what I've experienced online as assault of any sort.  To those people, here is my question.  I'm about to open myself up and show you exactly what I've experienced from men in the past year.  I used to read a lot of these kinds of things and brush them off as "just jerks" or "just how people are" until I started to really think about it.  If someone walked up to me on the street and behaved this way, how would I feel?  Does it make it any more acceptable that they're doing it from behind a computer or phone screen?  I don't think it does.  It's no less gross or reprehensible or okay just because it's typed and not out loud.

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This is just the ones I took screenshots of, and still had.  This doesn't include:

  • All the guys who have called me sweetie, sexy, honey, etc.without knowing anything about me
  • The guys who have asked if I wanted to see their dick
  • The guys who have sent me photos of their dick without me asking for it
  • The guys who have sent me emails telling me to call them/come over because they are horny
  • The guy who has sent me messages implying that we should have sex in front of my kids
  • The guys who have asked me what turns me on within 5 minutes of meeting me
My point here isn't that the internet is bad, or that online dating itself is bad.  In fact, I have met some great people.  I met my boyfriend through a personal ad I posted on Craig's List and he's amazing.  I have made some awesome friends and great connections through OK Cupid, Craig's List, and even through Adult Friend Finder when I was on there for a bit.

My point is that THIS is what women deal with, on a daily basis.  And think about this.  I'm not even one of the hot, skinny, pretty girls.  I'm not putting myself down here, I love myself.  But if this is what I, an average, plus sized, single mom, deals with, I can't even imagine what women deal with who are more traditionally pretty/sexy.  It's kind of overwhelming to think about.  

We have to change this.  This is a part of our culture, we are somehow letting boys and men think that this is an appropriate way to behave.  That unwanted advances come first, and then apologies come second.  That you don't need to think about getting to know someone or even knowing their name before you literally put your penis RIGHT IN THEIR FACE.  We have to do better.

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