He sends: “Wanna see my duck?”
Clearly he’s a guy who likes animals, proud to show off his pet to a woman he’s just met. Who wouldn’t want to see such an awesome duck? She texts back “Yep!”
Then he corrects himself: “Dick”. Her response? “Nope.”
This is one of the more tame exchanges on an Instagram account called @byefelipe (warning: strong language).
The account was set up by a young American woman, Alexandra Tweten, in 2014 to call men out on the way they treat women in the online dating space.
She says: “The main reasons for creating the account were to a) commiserate with other women – you can’t be a woman online and not get creepy messages from men – b) letting men know what it’s like being a woman online – it’s not all cupcakes and rainbows – and c) to expose the problematic entitlement some men feel they need to exert over women in general.”
Bizarre, creepy and downright sad
She invited other women to post the text exchanges they’ve had with men they rejected.
The screenshots of text exchanges she posts are alternately bizarre, hilarious, creepy and scary, but ultimately downright sad. (And the grammar is atrocious.)
The account currently has 414,000 followers.
There’s a lot of this sort of thing:
But there’s even more of this sort of thing:
Him: “Can I show you this big dick or not”
Him: “F*** you whore”
Her: “Not wanting to see your dick makes me a whore?”
Him: “Go kill yourself”
In isolation, they’re disturbing, but the way the pattern repeats is extraordinary.
The woman is online looking for love, or maybe just casual sex. With a nice guy.
Whatever your feelings on that, she doesn’t deserve to be told someone should bash her face in when she rejects a dick pic.
A FLACCID ADVANCE
I have probably led a sheltered life because it seems to me that sending a pic of one’s gentleman’s vegetables to a woman you’ve never met – in the hope she will be overcome by lust and invite you over – is a pretty low-percentage strategy.
Threatening to kill her when she rejects such a flaccid advance is utterly abhorrent, and yet as the @byefelipe account proves, it happens an awful lot.
One @byefilipe poster had a simple idea. That the men who sent post-rejection threats should be forced to read them to their own mums. There’s a lot of reality crap on TV at the moment, but I’d pay to see that show.
It’s a similar idea to the extraordinary #MoreThanMean video that went viral a week or so ago, featuring men reading anonymous tweets sent from male sports fans to female sports reporters.
It’s hard to watch yet absolutely compelling; the men reading the tweets absolutely gobsmacked by the rage and threats their fellow man can heap upon women they’ve never even met.
For these men – all sports fans themselves – it’s a shocking glimpse into the online harassment that women in sport or public life experience every day. The men’s acute discomfort is powerful.
t’s the cloak of anonymity that allows these cowardly keyboard warriors to say whatever they want – to hurt, threaten and bully – with impunity.
They would never have the balls to say what they say online to a real woman, in a real bar. Maybe that’s why they’re so angry in the first place.
If what happens online is a mirror of society, we’re not looking pretty.
The Australian government has just released a punchy campaign, Let’s Stop it at The Start, which argues that all violence against women has its roots in disrespectful behaviour, learned from boyhood.
It’s good stuff, but such a shame it’s still necessary, in 2016, for taxpayer money to be used for such a message.
But it is.
A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a number of men recently in New South Wales. Police found a GoPro camera with footage purportedly showing the men laughing as the unconscious teen was sexually assaulted.
It’s the tip of an iceberg of online-facilitated disrespect, abuse and unwanted attention women face every day.
What the hell is going on when the response to a polite “no thank-you” is “Die, b***h!”?
There needs to be a little more “That’s fine, it was a delight talking to you, good luck!” going on.
Perhaps it’s as simple as using the manners our mothers taught us. Never type anything you’d be ashamed to have her read.