Bye Felipe
November 3, 2014 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Bye Felipe. Calling out dudes who turn hostile when rejected or ignored.
posted by Talez (168 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
 
Bonus Content: "Why I Created Bye Felipe"
posted by Talez at 11:46 AM on November 3, 2014


A female friend of mine showed me this last night and...*trails off, stares blankly into the distance*
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:50 AM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


Jesus fucking Roosevelt Christ.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:53 AM on November 3, 2014 [12 favorites]


I know it's a typo, but I really like "Felpie" as a name for the sort of person who does this. Felipe sounds too classy, but Felpie sounds like a Glaswegian swear.

"Dud yuh hear buck fram that guy?"
"Aye naw, he didnae work out, and heh turnt into a right felpie an aw"

Collecting these is a great idea. These guys deserve to be shamed.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:53 AM on November 3, 2014 [57 favorites]


I'm genuinely ignorant about this, so question: How are these people texting each other? Don't you have to have a person's phone number? These seem like random chats. Can anyone give an old guy a brief backgrounder on what I'm reading? Thanks.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:56 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Atlantic: Rise of the Feminist Tinder-Creep-Busting Web Vigilante
“We can't win,” Tweten told me recently. “If we don't respond, they come back and say, ‘you're a whore.’ If we do respond, we get yelled at and called names. I hate that men think they can talk to women like that. They should be publicly shamed.”

Other women on the Facebook thread agreed, saying they had similar experiences and wanted to see the perpetrators punished in some way, like through a public Instagram account.

Tweten said, “I’ll do it!”

That Instagram account became Bye Felipe, Tweten’s crowdsourced menagerie of mankind’s worst specimens. The name is a play on “Bye Felicia,” a meme used to signify that someone has left a party, and they won’t be missed. Since creating it Monday of last week, Tweten has received more than two dozen submissions.

Tweten, who is 27 and works for an entertainment company in Los Angeles, has been on and off OkCupid since 2010. She acknowledges that these types of messages come from a relatively small number of users. She’s had mostly good experiences with online dating, and she met her last serious boyfriend on OkCupid.

Still, the crude, unsolicited messages are a kind of a bitter aftertaste to what is usually a fun, if sometimes fatiguing, process. “What in society makes them think that it's okay to message someone like that?” she said. “At the same time, it's funny. You can see the desperation.”

Tweten is part of an growing contingent of women who are dedicated to exposing the shady, hostile, and crass entreaties they get from their digital suitors...
posted by flex at 11:57 AM on November 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


This has made me suspect that "negging" isn't actually a seduction technique, but just fancy language for the fact that a percentage of men will become aggressive, insulting, sour graping, sexist, whining, entitled, vicious, heartless, sociopathological bullies if a woman doesn't give them exactly the attention they want at the exact moment they want it.
posted by maxsparber at 11:58 AM on November 3, 2014 [48 favorites]


How are these people texting each other?

Mostly messaging other users on dating apps.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 12:05 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


So basically, if you're a woman and you sign up for any kind of dating site with messaging, you're signing up for the most poisonous possible combination of bubbling misogyny and fuck-it-I-can-be-as-awful-as-I-want-because-Internet?

Holy shit. I mean, I guess I knew this, because it has been explained to me before, but holy shit.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:05 PM on November 3, 2014 [34 favorites]


Since creating it Monday of last week, Tweten has received more than two dozen submissions.

So few? I've seen similar pages set up for other social media that turn up examples of this behaviour on a daily basis. These are not "mankind’s worst specimens," this is commonplace, widespread behaviour.

"Not all men, but too fucking many.” - Laci Green
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:05 PM on November 3, 2014 [18 favorites]


This has made me suspect that "negging" isn't actually a seduction technique

One nice thing (for me) about the spread of "negging" into every young man's repertoire is that I can now seem unusual and intriguing by being a genuinely pleasant guy.
posted by clawsoon at 12:06 PM on November 3, 2014 [19 favorites]


The Atlantic notes that Bye Felipe is a play on Bye Felicia, taken from the movie Friday.

And the second page has an interesting long pullquote from a male redditor who set up a female OKCupid account after talking to a female friend about how easy ladies had it in online dating. The first message came in before he even finished setting up the profile or uploading a photo. Spoiler: "I came away thinking that women have it so much harder than guys do when it comes to that kind of stuff."
posted by filthy light thief at 12:06 PM on November 3, 2014 [15 favorites]


"Dating" Apps aren't for dating. Expecting anything but hormone driven idiocy from anyone using them is setting yourself up for disappointment.
posted by Yowser at 12:13 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yall stingy.
posted by cashman at 12:14 PM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Are you begging us? Let me try. Umm, You look fat in those pants. How did I do?
posted by Yowser at 12:16 PM on November 3, 2014


Negging. Curse you once more, autocorrect!
posted by Yowser at 12:16 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


What really strikes me is that presumably a lot of these conversations probably resulted from casual online dating websites, (e.g. Tinder) which is very low-stakes low-investment. I can't imagine how awful it must be to get one of these in like, your MWF lecture or your job.

"Not all men, but too fucking many.” - Laci Green

I love this.
posted by Gymnopedist at 12:17 PM on November 3, 2014


On the one hand, I'm really happy that this shit (like that on the catcalling video) is getting dragged out into the daylight, instead of being something women just deal with in secret.

On the other hand, ugh, shit. And so much of it. It's like the Augean stables, but instead of livestock, you have douchebags with entitlement issues.
posted by emjaybee at 12:17 PM on November 3, 2014 [27 favorites]


Since creating it Monday of last week, Tweten has received more than two dozen submissions.

> So few?


That's people cherry-picking the best of the worst, I'm sure the collection will grow quickly enough. Anyway, The Atlantic article also links to other such collections of guys being assholes to women, so there are other, similar efforts underway now.

For your displeasure, other sites, as pulled from The Atlantic: posted by filthy light thief at 12:18 PM on November 3, 2014 [16 favorites]


And the second page has an interesting long pullquote from a male redditor who set up a female OKCupid account after talking to a female friend about how easy ladies had it in online dating. The first message came in before he even finished setting up the profile or uploading a photo.

I kind of wish every guy who uses dating sites would go do this, with the requirement that they have to say "No, thanks" to the messages they get.
posted by almostmanda at 12:19 PM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


Anyone know what the Bye Felipe account picture is from?
posted by BurntHombre at 12:19 PM on November 3, 2014


Anyone know what the Bye Felipe account picture is from?

I thought it was a recent news report where some guy in the background is making odd faces while the reporter is reporting, or whoever is in the foreground, is talking.
posted by cashman at 12:21 PM on November 3, 2014


I'd love to hear an interview with one of these guys a week or month or year or whatever after one of these interactions just to get an idea of where his head is at. Like, does he continue to think "Well, she may have said she wasn't interested, but I told HER she was fat and ugly and a bitch, so I sure showed her, huh?" or does he quickly, as I hope, just cringe in absolute embarrassment at having acted so lame?
posted by The Gooch at 12:22 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]



I kind of wish every guy who uses dating sites would go do this, with the requirement that they have to say "No, thanks" to the messages they get.


I wonder if "No, thanks" could also double as an effective litmus test.
posted by Gymnopedist at 12:22 PM on November 3, 2014


"Dating" Apps aren't for dating. Expecting anything but hormone driven idiocy from anyone using them is setting yourself up for disappointment.

Not all these examples are from dating apps. At least one is from a married woman who has a completely non-dating-related profile on Facebook. This shit gets pulled in way more arenas than Tindr and OKCupid.
posted by pie ninja at 12:23 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Anyone know what the Bye Felipe account picture is from?

Yeah, here's the video (isolated to the kid)
posted by cashman at 12:23 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a recent news report where some guy in the background is making odd faces while the reporter is reporting, or whoever is in the foreground, is talking.

Yeah, this thing.
posted by deathmaven at 12:23 PM on November 3, 2014


Ugh, this is horrible. I can see how playful teasing in person can be flirting. But "negging" or "teasing" someone in a text loses all context, body language and intention.

Lots of people suck, always been that way, but now you can suck anonymously.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 12:24 PM on November 3, 2014


This shit gets pulled in way more arenas than Tindr and OKCupid.

I've gotten weirdly smiley messages from dudes--exclusively dudes-- on
MeetUp, where my profile photo is 90% desert and not identifiable as lady (besides my name.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:27 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've gotten weirdly smiley messages from dudes--exclusively dudes-- on
MeetUp, where my profile photo is 90% desert and not identifiable as lady (besides my name.)


maybe they're just really into deserts
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:34 PM on November 3, 2014 [12 favorites]


Yeah. This is exactly why I always turn off chat when I use a dating site (or else use a site that does not have chat capabilities). But unfortunately I can't prevent this from happening with ex-coworkers I had exchanged numbers with for work purposes. I'm one more incoming text away from submitting my own example...
posted by E3 at 12:40 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


so, on the graph, at what point do the lines of helpful internet and hurtful internet cross going opposite directions? Because it seems to be converging awfully quickly.
posted by edgeways at 12:43 PM on November 3, 2014


It doesn't just happen on dating sites - it happens a lot on LinkedIn, too.
posted by winna at 12:45 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


> I've gotten weirdly smiley messages from dudes--exclusively dudes-- on MeetUp, where my profile photo is 90% desert and not identifiable as lady (besides my name.)

> It doesn't just happen on dating sites - it happens a lot on LinkedIn, too.


Yup, I think most social sites are used as dating sites by certain individuals. I remember the repeated comment Discogs is not a dating site, and a co-worker recently told us about a weird message she received from someone she knew through local work circles on LinkedIn that was pretty much an opening set up a date.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:47 PM on November 3, 2014


Never used these dating sites or apps, but it seems like this is more about trolling and messing with people vs. looking for a real hookup or the love of your life.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 12:48 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Collecting these is a great idea. These guys deserve to be shamed"

Probably true, but I can't help feeling that the growth rate in virtuous public shaming impulse isn't necessarily great for society either.

Bags of douche, to be sure. But depressing all around
posted by C.A.S. at 12:49 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


'Good luck in life you trapezoid head' sort of wins
posted by you must supply a verb at 12:52 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Public shaming is not ideal, no. Ideally, we could tell their moms.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:52 PM on November 3, 2014 [29 favorites]


C.A.S. - public shaming is important not because it will change the behavior of those guys, but because it shows the decent men that women aren't making this shit up. Look at what DirtyOldTown said above - he didn't really grok that it was this bad for women he knew. This is really important in combating misogyny. Assholes like these will never change for women, but sometimes they will listen to other men.
posted by desjardins at 12:54 PM on November 3, 2014 [55 favorites]


There needs to be a public service announcement that nicely explains to guys how they'll get laid so much more by not being creeps.
posted by item at 12:56 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I signed up for OKC and before I had even put up a pic or any meaningful info beyond "female," I was getting solicited for sex. I ignored those messages and got a few "fuck you, you fat bitch" type responses (again, no pic or personal info). It's easy to dismiss those guys as trolls that I wouldn't want to hook up with anyway, but it is such a grind to have to deal with those over and over and over for no other reason than I happened to be born female.
posted by desjardins at 12:58 PM on November 3, 2014 [23 favorites]


I think public shaming is a good defense against the private shaming these guys are trying...
posted by armacy at 1:04 PM on November 3, 2014 [30 favorites]


I'd love to hear an interview with one of these guys a week or month or year or whatever after one of these interactions just to get an idea of where his head is at. Like, does he continue to think "Well, she may have said she wasn't interested, but I told HER she was fat and ugly and a bitch, so I sure showed her, huh?" or does he quickly, as I hope, just cringe in absolute embarrassment at having acted so lame?

Having spent way too much time dealing with gamergate assholes, no, they feel no shame or embarrassment at all. They seem to think real women should be like what they see in porno or video games - blank ciphers, tits on legs - or in other words, gagging for their man meat all the time. If they don't immediately respond with offers of a blowjob when approached with a simple 'whazzup', then they're frigid and/or a man hating feminazi.

And obviously, forcing a Real Man to have to waste his time trying to 'flirt' with such a woman means that she needs to be put down, hard. And he didn't want her anyway, because she's fat and a bitch and she should go away and die in shame.

So yeah. They don't see women as well, real, and certainly not a human being who deserves not to be treated like shit just for existing and not handing over sex on demand. Some don't even extend that courtesy to the women in their own family.

It's a scary, nasty flipside to many men that most men never see - these guys can appear pretty normal, if a little crude round other men, because they see them as other people. But when alone with a woman? Especially one they think owes them sex (i.e. most of them)? Yeah, it's really, really not pretty.

"Bro's before ho's" is not just a phrase, it's how far too many guys actually think.
posted by ArkhanJG at 1:10 PM on November 3, 2014 [63 favorites]


Good grief. I just...I can't...
Sometimes I'm really, truly ashamed to be male. I just can't comprehend how these be-testicled idiots get that way. It's just unimaginable to me.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:17 PM on November 3, 2014 [8 favorites]


I can't help feeling that the growth rate in virtuous public shaming impulse isn't necessarily great for society either

I guess I'm not feeling it as public shaming so much as 'bringing it to the attention of people who don't know'. I mean, the dude mentioned above who set up a female okcupid account and was shocked? Most people don't go to those lengths to check their perceptions of reality (not sure if that was his intention, I didn't follow the link, but I get the impression that his mind was changed by the experience). The stuff these guys are saying to other humans is unfuckingthinkable and light needs to be shed on the fact that it actually happens. I see this as exposing reality, not public floggings.

but for the record, i would not be opposed to public shaming for some of the people instagrammed on bye, felipe and their ilk, although i'd be happy for someone with other ideas - non-public-shaming ones included - to act on them and make this shit stop. i promise to stop telling people about the dehumanizing, terrifying, violent and disgusting shit that gets said to me when it stops happening, i guess?
posted by you must supply a verb at 1:20 PM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Exactly, Thorzdad. For me, this was like seeing the first images of Louisiana after Katrina. I knew it would be bad. I'd been told by people I had no agenda against and total support for that it would be bad and I believed them without reservation. But seeing it with my own eyes... it's worse than I imagined.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:22 PM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


A lot of it seems to come down...not just to the obvious gross misogyny, but a sort of fundamental impatience. Like they take a couple steps down the path they know is the most likely to get them somewhere -- being nice and friendly and polite -- but when this doesn't instantaneously relieve their loneliness and frustration something snaps inside them. They seem to go, "FUCK IT THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK THIS WOMAN OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T CARE AND NEVER WILL," and they just set fire to everything.

I've seen guys struggle with this in areas that have nothing to do with dating, too -- new skills, new jobs, anything that has the potential for rejection. It's really sad.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 1:23 PM on November 3, 2014 [33 favorites]


Sometimes I'm really, truly ashamed to be male.

Why? You didn't write these.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:23 PM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Same reason it's embarrassing to be white sometimes. Our kind really sucks sometimes. And we wish we could do more about that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:25 PM on November 3, 2014 [12 favorites]


Is there a searchable database for these folks' names so you can do a quick background check before responding? I mean, either way it seems like you're going to get the nasty followup text, but if you could see a history of their behavior you could maybe block them.
posted by GrapeApiary at 1:29 PM on November 3, 2014


Same reason it's embarrassing to be white sometimes. Our kind really sucks sometimes. And we wish we could do more about that.

Oh come on now. Assholes come in all colors. Whiteness doesn't have anything to do with it (privilege, maybe, but not color).
posted by leotrotsky at 1:30 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't see how there's any way to get the message out there that this kind of behavior isn't okay except through public shaming. It's not like each woman can just respond going "Hey it's not okay to talk to people like this." and he'll go "Oh, gosh, I'm so sorry, what was I thinking??"

I agree that it seems related to the fact that it seems like a lot of people have an extremely short fuse that goes from zero to RAGE in seconds.
posted by bleep at 1:32 PM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


Some enterprising dating site should introduce a feature where your recent message history becomes visible to anyone you initiate contact with.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:33 PM on November 3, 2014 [57 favorites]


I think it's a felicitous mistake to say 'this is trolling, not hooking up' because here's the thing: misogyny. I don't much care if it's trolling or trying to date, the end result is misogynist shit-trucks making places hostile to women. It's a null and void space to argue in because the treatment is the same - get rid of the perpetrators.

I did always like the woman who sent the facebook creeper conversation to the arsehole's mother and grandmother. Not quite public shaming but effective.
posted by geek anachronism at 1:33 PM on November 3, 2014 [29 favorites]


I didn't say whiteness had anything to do with this, leotrotsky. I just gave another example of feeling crappy not because you personally did anything wrong, but because you're part of a group that has a bunch of assholes and feeling like you're "one of the good ones" doesn't really take away the crappy feeling.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:34 PM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


an interesting long pullquote from a male redditor who set up a female OKCupid account after talking to a female friend about how easy ladies had it in online dating. The first message came in before he even finished setting up the profile or uploading a photo. Spoiler: "I came away thinking that women have it so much harder than guys do when it comes to that kind of stuff."

This made me think of a guy I met recently who'd finally switched his OKC profile from straight to bi (even though he'd rate himself maybe a Kinsey 2), and said the change in volume and content of incoming messages made him completely rethink his prior assumptions about women having it easy on dating sites. (And this from a guy who was actually looking for casual hookups!) I sort of wanted to hug him for saying that, but also I bet his incomings were still so much less crude than if he'd been a woman.
posted by deludingmyself at 1:35 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


In before some tiresome asshole somewhere writes a callout of this saying it's like, overtly focusing on men of color because felipe is in the name and therefor it's racist.

Really, i know it's going to happen. I can write the article in my head right now just like i could with the ten hours of street harassment thing.
posted by emptythought at 1:35 PM on November 3, 2014 [8 favorites]


Oh joy. These kinds of guys. I've had way too many encounters with this sort. My favorite is one fellow who wished that my partner-at-the-time would cheat on me, get AIDs/STDs in doing so, give AIDs/STDs to me, and that I would die slowly, horribly and alone -- because I rejected him. Because I told him I wasn't going to end my relationship of 4 years to move across the country and be with someone I'd never met in person because he, a self-proclaimed gay man, found himself suddenly vagina-curious.

FWIW, every time a creep has given me a "Bye Felipe" reaction, he was always a self-proclaimed 'nice guy' who angrily stewed about why he was alone and no one wanted to date him.
posted by stubbehtail at 1:49 PM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Never used these dating sites or apps, but it seems like this is more about trolling and messing with people vs. looking for a real hookup or the love of your life.

speaking as a woman who's received these - no, they're indeed looking for a hookup.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:50 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I suppose the good part is that by outing themselves as aggressive assholes on chat/text, it doesn't happen in person where it would be actually dangerous. But I really wonder about people like that -- are they just as aggressive and entitled in person or is it just a (weird and misogynist) act?
posted by Dip Flash at 1:54 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


see also my favorite subreddits /r/creepypms and /r/niceguys

I suggest moisturizing before reading, as the all the cringing could lead to wrinkles
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:01 PM on November 3, 2014 [8 favorites]


I thought it was me - my social anxiety ADHD fat old self attracting this shit. Am I gonna tell my (mostly married or single by choice) girlfriends? Nope, because clearly I did something to attract this shit. More than once I've politely, kindly responded to tell someone that I'm not interested and the vitriol has been astounding, along with the - if you weren't interested, you shouldn't have replied, or you're so fucking patronising by being polite in your rejection. It's got to the point that if a man responds nicely to a rejection, I doubt having rejected him, because he is a kind and good and decent soul.

I really thought it was me. Age 47 and I'm learning that street harassment and arseholes on dating sites are ubiquitous.

I have a recent text where an old hook up was looking for more, and I said thanks but no thanks, seeing someone exclusively, and he said, where the fuck did I ask you about that, don't want to fuck you, you're a whale, you're a pig with STDs.
posted by b33j at 2:02 PM on November 3, 2014 [21 favorites]


I really thought it was me. Age 47 and I'm learning that street harassment and arseholes on dating sites are ubiquitous.

This is a meaningful comment to me. On all these posts we always have "what are we teaching MEN though" or "men gonna MEN" or for other topics, "the way to teach straight/cis/white people is..."

I'm not saying that's what's happening here, but it tends to drown out the fact that a lot of times it's women getting a context for their own experiences through the experiences of other women.
posted by sweetkid at 2:06 PM on November 3, 2014 [29 favorites]


So, why "Felipe"?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:09 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think us guys see this all the time but don't really get involved because it doesn't affect us, or we chalk it up to there having to be some story behind it, because nobody can be that ridiculous.

Instead, guys learn to do this, and the cues are everywhere. Guys get socialized, basically, to do anything to get a woman's attention, no matter what it is, and keep going or keep it moving, until you get what you want.

My "favorite" popular media piece of the moment, which is one among tons, is the Old Spice ads. It's not even a guy - just a collection of head / legs / torso or something, that literally just flings itself at a woman, and the woman is written to instantly be permissive of it all. There are a couple of these commercials. The messages are out there, and a lot of guys listen to them, and tell other guys to listen to them. I hate it.
posted by cashman at 2:11 PM on November 3, 2014


So, why "Felipe"?

It's close to "Felicia", which is the character in Friday, that annoys Smokey and Craig, and they tell her "bye", as in get gone, after she asks to borrow Smokey's car, and then approaches Craig (Ice Cube) for stuff.
posted by cashman at 2:12 PM on November 3, 2014


Another aspect that is disappointing is how low a bar this sets. It's like getting a degree because you where the only one to show up to class.
posted by The Power Nap at 2:15 PM on November 3, 2014


21 minutes from hi nice to meet you to physical threat of violence. Jesus, I hope she called the cops on this guy or least got him banned from the service.
posted by mathowie at 2:16 PM on November 3, 2014 [9 favorites]


I really thought it was me. Age 47 and I'm learning that street harassment and arseholes on dating sites are ubiquitous.

This is a meaningful comment to me...


Seconded. To me this is what what has been painted here as "public shaming" is really about--women talking to each other, or "consciousness raising" if you want to get all second wave about it. (Though I am also not above a little schadenfreude at the expense of internet harassers.)
posted by sunset in snow country at 2:27 PM on November 3, 2014 [20 favorites]


21 minutes from hi nice to meet you to physical threat of violence. Jesus, I hope she called the cops on this guy or least got him banned from the service.

Yes, if there were any clearer indication that a dude thinks women are just video game avatars you can stick your dick in, I can't think of what it would be.

21 minutes! That's 21 minutes in which that stuck-up bitch actually considered herself worthy of doing anything other than jumping whenever some patchy-goatee wearing shitheel on the internet snaps his fingers. If you are eating lunch, taking a shower, actually working at your job, talking to someone on the phone, answering emails, or god forbid, sleeping--what do you think you are, human?
posted by like_a_friend at 2:49 PM on November 3, 2014 [20 favorites]


Same reason it's embarrassing to be white sometimes. Our kind really sucks sometimes. And we wish we could do more about that.

"Our kind"? Well, to hell with that. I don't believe in collective guilt, I don't believe in trans-generational guilt, and I sure as hell don't believe in racial guilt. You get into a bottomless can of worms that way, and a world of trouble.
posted by IndigoJones at 2:49 PM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


To me this is what what has been painted here as "public shaming" is really about

There's also a good point to be made that public shaming is only some outrageous thing you should never do that's worse than all the evils of whatever the person being called out did... when it's a woman calling out a man.

Seriously, every time in the past 6+ months i've seen "public shaming" get trotted out as some war crime, that was one of the main metrics.
posted by emptythought at 2:56 PM on November 3, 2014 [28 favorites]


So basically, if you're a woman and you sign up for any kind of dating site with messaging, you're signing up for the most poisonous possible combination of bubbling misogyny and fuck-it-I-can-be-as-awful-as-I-want-because-Internet?

I wish it was just dating sites, because I could avoid those easily. Some days, it's also just walking down the street. Or going to a coffee shop. You know, daily life.

To bring it back to the internet, though -- this is how a lot of women experience almost any online site that doesn't have both the policies and moderation in place to boot these assholes. Dating sites seem to encourage the worst, but it's really everywhere. It would be here if the mods didn't work so hard at creating a better space than that.

Man, I even remember a thread on Metafilter where we we discussing harassment on a non-dating social networking site and a member suggested that the woman should have known better than to be a member. Not that that's what you're saying, but there really are people who believe that women who say anything online are literally signing up to be abused and therefore can't reasonably expect anything better.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 3:16 PM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


I can't help feeling that the growth rate in virtuous public shaming impulse isn't necessarily great for society either

Screw that, this is how we de-normalize this behavior. I mean, you may not think that society says it's okay to act like this, but a huge amount of men do. So changing that is actually making society better. These men are doing something they should legitimately be ashamed of. Since clearly, the women involved telling them they are assholes isn't doing anything, public shaming is the only way to make them feel shame.

If you randomly send something to somebody, it's up to them what they want to do with it. That decision is on you.
posted by lumpenprole at 3:19 PM on November 3, 2014 [24 favorites]


Has there been any study into whether men exhibiting this behavior are actually mentally ill? In these examples, the men don't appear to realize that the person they're speaking with is a real human being. Or is it that men are hardwired to reflexively dehumanize other people, to make it easier to defeat them in war?

It's just very strange. The switch from friendly wooing to vicious hostility is so abrupt as to suggest a tenuous grasp on reality.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I find that this phenomena is found on Growlr, too.

Sometimes, yes, I have noted that you've messaged me, and I get tired of trying to tap out one more semi-literate response on the fucking glass nightmare of a wireless telephone screen, and my profile says exactly that. I am not 14 and do not stop the world to answer every fucking "woof" or "grr" or "I want to see your private photos" that comes across my screen while I'm in my truck, and the delay in response doesn't not make me a stuck-up prima donna.

Plus, if you send me, by way of introduction, all the way from Bavaria, a nude photo of yourself apparently eating actual shit out of a dog bowl, my reticence is not snobbery on my part. Well, actually, it is. NO FUCKING INTRODUCTORY PHOTOS OF YOURSELF NAKEDLY EATING ACTUAL SHIT OUT OF A DOG BOWL! I get that Growlr isn't exactly the afterparty for a TED talk, but Jesus Fucking Christ what is wrong with people?

Straight people ought to be glad that, at the very least, they're mainly getting unsolicited dick photos, because there are horrors in the world. HORRORS.
posted by sonascope at 3:24 PM on November 3, 2014 [29 favorites]


El Sabor Asiatico, I'm pretty sure they're just assholes.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:27 PM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


The switch from friendly wooing to vicious hostility is so abrupt as to suggest a tenuous grasp on reality.

I find the switch pretty scary and unnerving, but I think it's explained by the friendly wooing being a thin veneer over the true state of vicious hostility. Throw in a dollop of wounded pride and profound insecurity and mmmmm, what fun!
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:31 PM on November 3, 2014 [13 favorites]


Has there been any study into whether men exhibiting this behavior are actually mentally ill? In these examples, the men don't appear to realize that the person they're speaking with is a real human being. Or is it that men are hardwired to reflexively dehumanize other people, to make it easier to defeat them in war?

It's just very strange. The switch from friendly wooing to vicious hostility is so abrupt as to suggest a tenuous grasp on reality.


I totally get the impulse to try to provide an explanation for this ridiculous behavior, especially if you're not used to said behavior, but I don't think one is necessary here. Women see stuff like this all the time. Seriously, all the time, from men who probably seem sane enough to you because they're not treating other men like this.

We could get into a debate about whether dehumanization is hardwired into the human race in a general sense, but when it comes to men dehumanizing women, it is very clearly a social phenomenon. "Men don't appear to realize that the person they're speaking with is a real human being" sounds to me like a longer way of saying "patriarchy."
posted by sunset in snow country at 3:35 PM on November 3, 2014 [81 favorites]


I regret that I only have one favorite to give to sunset in snow country's comment above. These guys aren't mentally ill, they're NORMAL. This is a normal way for men to behave. (Not an acceptable way, don't think I'm saying that. Just, if we're defining "normal" as "something a notable percentage of the population does," then yep, it's totally normal.) It's #notallmen, it's not even most men, but it's a large enough percentage that you can't write them off as sick or aberrant.
posted by KathrynT at 3:54 PM on November 3, 2014 [41 favorites]


> Lol presumptuous slut... With a face like that no wonder hardly anyone contacts you ya fuckin pretentious hipster slag. Go eat a gender neutral ginger bread person and save the world lol

> Um you messaged me first

> Go and cut your face off with a broken bottle


What the fuck?!
posted by limeonaire at 4:07 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Has there been any study into whether men exhibiting this behavior are actually mentally ill?

If they actually are mentally ill, then there are a hell of a lot of mentally ill people out there.

Although this does bring up an interesting point - has anyone ever attempted to get "misogyny" listed in the DSV-thingy?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:29 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


The incident that made me swear off online dating wasn't as horrible as any of this, but it's always made me uncomfortable.

In 2009 I met a guy on okcupid; he seemed decent enough. Around my age (late 20s at the time), educated, and an engineer who had recently relocated to the area for work at one of the larger and well-known manufacturers in the area. He wasn't gorgeous, but he was nice-looking. We went on one date, where we went Dutch because I'm super weird about people paying for me (thanks, ex-husband and several ex-bfs who've claimed I owe them money at the end of a relationship), and we had fun; dinner and then drinks and Wii tennis at a local bar. We agreed to meet the next week to play actual tennis.
Here is where I should explain that I'm not a spectacular tennis player, but I'm athletic, and at the time I was super-fit following a rigorous lifting schedule and diet. Also, I had in my profile "I HAVE MANY TATTOOS. IF YOU ARE NOT ATTRACTED TO WOMEN WITH TATTOOS, YOU ARE NOT ATTRACTED TO ME."
So, no one had ever explained to me that when participating in a sporting/recreational competition with a prospective male date, one should always let him win. Not only did I not let him win, I ran him off the court without really trying.
This did not go well.
He refused to walk me back to my truck, told me I wasn't worth his time, wasn't attractive, and when I got older, my tattoos would get saggy and be as ugly as the rest of me and drove off.

Some days I get a little frustrated with my SO, whom I've been with for 4.5 years, because omg so ready to really start a life together...but...I will gladly put up with his indecision because he TREATS ME AS AN EQUAL. A person that he respects. He doesn't patronize me or talk down to me or belittle me or any of those things. He tells me I'm important and beautiful and a good person and asks my opinion and advice a lot. And both of us are far from perfect, but good lord did I luck out when we found each other.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share. That whole exchange with that engineer guy has always, along with a lot of other stuff (like two of my exes who told me I "wasn't as attractive as girls they normally dated but that [my] personality made up for it;" my current SO says I ought to have punched them both in the dick) has always made me wonder why I wasn't "good enough."
posted by sara is disenchanted at 4:45 PM on November 3, 2014 [35 favorites]


So, no one had ever explained to me that when participating in a sporting/recreational competition with a prospective male date, one should always let him win.

Grrrr....okay, my own brother once, while he was in his cups, tried to give me "dating advice" to the effect that "guys don't like it when you are that argumentative and opinionated about stuff."

Fortunately, I was sober, otherwise I probably would have said something like "really? Because I can think of six of my exes who not only did like that about me, it actually turned them on. In fact, here, lemme give you their numbers and you can see for yourself..."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:52 PM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


The switch really indicates what they have a tenuous/non-existent grasp of is the idea that women are human beings, and moral subjects. That explains the behavior just as well.
posted by obliterati at 5:00 PM on November 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


So, why "Felipe"?

It's close to "Felicia", which is the character in Friday, that annoys Smokey and Craig, and they tell her "bye", as in get gone, after she asks to borrow Smokey's car, and then approaches Craig (Ice Cube) for stuff.


Meh, I hope this "Felipe" thing doesn't catch on. IMO it just adds to the notion--inadvertently (perhaps) put forth by that recent catcalling video--that this is largely a racial problem.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:07 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Has there been any study into whether men exhibiting this behavior are actually mentally ill? In these examples, the men don't appear to realize that the person they're speaking with is a real human being.

When I was working out how to live with the memories of my father sexually assaulting me (I was 8), I came to the conclusion that he didn't consider me to be a real human being. Both he and my mother felt that children didn't have feelings that were worthy of consideration, but he also didn't seem to have any respect/liking for women in general (including my mother, even during the early stages of their relationship - her first sexual experience was him raping her).

I've experienced this sexually charged verbal/linguistic abuse since my breasts developed. I was a nerdy shy kid, dressed like a boy, didn't swing my hips (oh god, look at me trying to show how I didn't deserve it because I was not sexually exhibiting myself - how ridiculous - even if I had been, I wouldn't have deserved it). People men yelled at me from cars, boys at school would yell at me, try to touch my breasts. Even as a mature, motherly, respectable person walking with my well covered 12 year old daughter (look, doing it again, but maybe part of this is saying - what the hell do I have to do, to avoid this shit) - more of the "show us ya tits, bitches".

Dating sites - first ever guy I was talking to sent me a movie of himself wanking. I did not ask for it. They just do it. Sometimes I thought they did it because they'd like women to reciprocate the same way, but that gives me an unfairly low opinion of their intelligence.

That all said, some of my best friends are men. (Ha! Yeah, I know, right?) Actually, my very best friend is Michael, and I met him on a dating site, and we weren't suited for romance, but we text every day, and talk for two hours at a time, and I can tell him (and do), everything. I've talked a bit about the street harassment video with him. I have another mate (ex-lover) who I correspond with by email daily. I have two brothers who I think the world of. My son is a fantastic human being. My male colleagues are good, decent people.

This is very much a not all men thing. I don't automatically assume because someone has a penis that they're going to be arseholes. It's not a class thing either, not entirely. I can't predict who's going to do it. I'm not going to quit talking to men because some of them are dicks. I'm not going to let them beat me. I'm not going to let them stop me from engaging with guys.

You know how women keep on being taught how to avoid rape? I see a lot of how to avoid catcalling/harassment showing up (not here). I want to know how to shut these guys down, without putting myself in danger. And I'm thinking the "public shaming" is a co-operative effort to say Hey arsehole, shut the fuck up, and crawl back under a rock without the people who have been abused being in danger of more crap.

I'm thinking we're due a new internet meme (art, cartoons, t-shirts, photos with bold capital Arial text, whatever) where a bunch of creative people show that this is not acceptable.
posted by b33j at 5:08 PM on November 3, 2014 [14 favorites]


I've written and deleted this a couple of times, because it plays into some narratives I'm not entirely comfortable with, but men on dating sites are a large part of the reason I only date women. And my experiences weren't even as bad as the ones on Bye Felipe. NB I am super aware that writing off men entirely as romantic partners is not something that most bi women want to do, but it's working out great for me.

Also the "invisible to straight people" option on OKCupid is magical
posted by zeptoweasel at 5:17 PM on November 3, 2014 [11 favorites]


Has there been any study into whether men exhibiting this behavior are actually mentally ill?

Whether there has been or not, that seems dangerously close to some sort of "oh they can't help it it's a disease don't shame them!" ploy i could see some gator types trying to pull.

This isn't a disease, it's behavior that is encouraged and socialized from a fairly young age. Not so much the anger and lashing out, but the performative keep-trying-until-you're-for-sure-shot-down aggressive approach to flirting with/hitting on women. I saw it start happening regularly in middle school, and being persistent with it and good at having some witty retort to any potential no-thanks/shutdown which was essentially a "sikk burn" internet style was seen as having a higher level of skill and social prowess than your peers.

This is not a mental illness of one person, it's an illness of society. And i'm not entirely sure what caused me to opt out of it, but it made me uncomfortable from my early teens in a sense of "but wait, why would you keep trying to talk to someone who obviously doesn't want to talk to you and isn't interested?"

There's a huge push to accept this narrative that women are supposed to act like they don't want to talk to you less they seem easy and are therefor sluts for not trying to fight you off. It's supposed to be some wrestling match and a challenge, and you're supposed to win with total domination. This is part of that message that started getting passed down from the most aggressive bullyish bro-types even when i was like 12.

I might not be the most eloquent wordsmith to describe the whole thing and write some analysis on it, but i think it's honestly not that much different from indoctrination that happens in all kinds of social groups, fandoms, etc. It's basically "you will be cool within this thing and get the validation that you want if you follow along and accept that these are inherently true". Except it isn't just some neckbeards opinions about Doctor Who or whatever in a relatively small group of people, it's everywhere.

Blaming it on just an individual persons weakness or something seems wrong somehow. Is everyone who accepts that sort of messaging easily, or is suggestible or whatever wrong? I mean i'd be willing to accept a yes in certain contexts, but you can't really just say that and then move on. That doesn't really get you anywhere.

It's sort of a hate the game, not the player, until they demonstrate that they're actually invested in the game and not willing to listen to why it's fucked.
posted by emptythought at 5:28 PM on November 3, 2014 [16 favorites]


Also the "invisible to straight people" option on OKCupid is magical

I turned that off on mine so that my straight lady friends could give my insanely verbose (surprised?) personal the perusal from a third person perspective with reasoned critiques, and suddenly guys listed as "straight" started sending me messages. Sheesh.
posted by sonascope at 5:28 PM on November 3, 2014


OH SHIT


A friend of mine just had an IRL "Bye, Felipe" moment:

In today's episode of Street Harassment & Intimidation: a man walked out of my office building in front of me and held the door open. I said "thank you" and kept walking. He then started yelling at me that he had to talk to me. I kept walking. He chased after me, yelling all the while. Then he shouted EXCUSE ME DID YOU EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT I DID FOR YOU? I replied "yes, I said thank you" and kept walking, at which point he ran in front of me, stopped, and threw his arms wide to prevent me from going any further. And told me "listen, bitch, you owe me more than a thank you."


Fortunately, there were a number of witnesses, so she was able to shout GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY I DONT OWE YOU ANYTHING, MOVE NOW to, uh, continue walking.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:59 PM on November 3, 2014 [16 favorites]


"guys don't like it when you are that argumentative and opinionated about stuff."


Who cares what those guys like?
posted by louche mustachio at 6:05 PM on November 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


And told me "listen, bitch, you owe me more than a thank you."

*BLINK*
posted by MissySedai at 6:09 PM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh, goody, yet another woman who should have rolled over and spread her legs for him immediately because he gave her a compliment! Because that's totally how it works!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:21 PM on November 3, 2014


"So basically, if you're a woman and you sign up for any kind of dating site with messaging, you're signing up for the most poisonous possible combination of bubbling misogyny and fuck-it-I-can-be-as-awful-as-I-want-because-Internet?"

Yes. Though that pretty much applies to being a woman in general, really.

"Our kind really sucks sometimes. And we wish we could do more about that."

Yes, I wish you could too.

"Men don't appear to realize that the person they're speaking with is a real human being"

Of course not, we're the enemy.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:24 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


fuse theorem: "Meh, I hope this "Felipe" thing doesn't catch on. IMO it just adds to the notion--inadvertently (perhaps) put forth by that recent catcalling video--that this is largely a racial problem."

Yeah, I read "Felipe" as explicitly Latino too, that's why I asked, it just seemed weird.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:47 PM on November 3, 2014


As far as I can tell, guys know this shit isn't right. But the ones I've seen do ridiculous things like this have fallen in line with the thinking that it is okay to do, and then move on to the next woman, until you find one willing to submit to the advances. The patriarchy/socialization has guys feeling like they must - well it's like Romany Malco and Seth Rogan talking to Steve Carell in the 40 year old virgin. It's a big game. Women are objects to be conquered. Spit game, do some trying, then move on to the next. Be a dick - women like that.

Healy in There's Something About Mary - he says outlandishly ridiculous things to her when he "meets" Mary for the first time. Things that were just completely against the way she lived her life. And yet her character is just written to scratch her head and accept it all. At the end, she has multiple stalkers in her apartment, one with an actual protection order out, and it's supposed to be some big scene where she's choosing between them, and the stalker and Healy are to be completely viable options. Healy goes on dates with Mary, spends time with her, kisses her, etc.

I haven't seen Coming to America fully in a while, but Darryl is a complete jerk, but is with Lisa, thanks to money. He does all these jerkish things but she's with him, and written to permit it. I don't have time to fully go into everything but note that it doesn't matter that the guys don't end up with the woman - these men don't view that as success - marriage - being with the woman and having sex/relations is the success. And wealthy assholes keep greenlighting these stories that pass down this idea.
posted by cashman at 6:52 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


And wealthy assholes keep greenlighting these stories that pass down this idea.

I'm sorry, I don't follow. does Hollywood have a.responsibility to green light only films with a morally upright didactic message?

in real life it's not uncommon for assholes to end up with women so I'm not sure what is wrong with depicting it on screen.
posted by jayder at 7:03 PM on November 3, 2014


Some days The Screwfly Solution seems less and less like science fiction..
posted by Nerd of the North at 7:09 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


I tried responding to guys I wasn't interested in, to politely explain that I wasn't interested. I only did that a few times.

When I do respond to someone I'm not interested in I immediately block him after hitting send.
posted by bunderful at 7:29 PM on November 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


I tried responding to guys I wasn't interested in, to politely explain that I wasn't interested. I only did that a few times. When I do respond to someone I'm not interested in I immediately block him after hitting send.

Nobody deserves to be harassed for any reason, online or in person. Ever. Period.

However, sending someone a "no thank you" message is totally unnecessary, to the point where it actually winds up being more hurtful than simply not responding. I know it shouldn't be this way, but the best way I can explain it is such : if you don't respond, you're just simply not responding. But if you respond with a "no thank you", you're actually rejecting him. I know, I know, totally stupid. But that's kind of how it is. I feel like some may send "no thank you" messages because they feel it's the polite thing to do, but really, if something is going to be perceived as hurtful, is it really polite?

Perhaps you may think it's rude to not respond to a message, but I assure you that is not the case. You're never obligated to respond to somebody, and in many (most?) cases it's probably better not to. The only good reason to respond to someone is if you're actually interested in them.
posted by evil otto at 8:00 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately evil otto, some men take it the other way: if you look at the original post there are multiple examples of women being abused and harassed when they don't respond to guys. In one case there's a 23-minute gap between the first message and the abuse, which includes threats of violence. Up above, flex also quotes a similar example.
posted by Pink Frost at 8:06 PM on November 3, 2014 [30 favorites]


If I was a woman trying to date online, I'd just block any guy who didn't do it for me. No response, no engagement, and no opportunity for him to hurl abuse at me. Just block the rejects, and hope they don't realize they're blocked.

Then again, it's what I do on Google+ when I'm circled by fake-looking profiles. :)
posted by starbreaker at 8:11 PM on November 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yep, what Pink Frost said. When I was still on OKCupid guys would send me scolding messages (at best) whether I responded or not. We're damned if we do, damned if we don't. At one point I said fuck it, I'm just gonna go about my business, and like starbreaker blocked early and often. Some asshole's fragile emotional state is not my fucking problem.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 8:17 PM on November 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I mean that whole thing makes no sense to me. The engineer in me wants to think there's got to be a technical solution to this. Like, if women blocked the men who harassed them, and then the men got kicked off the site after being blocked X number of times. But then what would happen if a harasser came back with another email address? I suppose if it were a mobile app, you could tie an alias to a phone number. It's a lot harder to get a new phone number. I wonder why Tinder doesn't do this. Or maybe they do?

Of course, nobody deserves to be harassed, and I'm not saying it should be womens' responsibility to knock these losers out of the gene pool. But as cathartic as the public shaming is, I can't imagine it's going to have much of an effect. I really hope somebody solves this problem.

It would be funny if we just wound up going back to the whole yenta/matchmaker system. And I'm only kind of joking about that. I mean really, is OkCupid all that superior to having actual human matchmakers? Imagine some kind of hybrid, whereby they use "hot or not" selection like Tinder, match algorithms like OkCupid, but then it's up to an actual human matchmaker to make the connection? I feel like Eharmony does something like that, but they're pretty narrowly targeted towards conservative-ish religious people who want to start a family.
posted by evil otto at 8:18 PM on November 3, 2014


I'm sorry, I don't follow. does Hollywood have a.responsibility to green light only films with a morally upright didactic message?

in real life it's not uncommon for assholes to end up with women so I'm not sure what is wrong with depicting it on screen.


It might be nice if said asshole weren't also the heroes of the film.
posted by maxsparber at 8:21 PM on November 3, 2014 [13 favorites]


This is unfair to diva-boy.
posted by goethean at 8:28 PM on November 3, 2014


The engineer in me wants to think there's got to be a technical solution to this. Like, if women blocked the men who harassed them, and then the men got kicked off the site after being blocked X number of times.

At least on paid sites, the last thing they would want to do is kick off paying customers. How the math works for free sites may be different, though; in that case you would think that straight, single women would be a sufficiently valuable commodity for the site that they would have an incentive to remove the grossest users, but clearly that is not the case.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:34 PM on November 3, 2014


This is a derail but the kid in the instagram account's avatar is really cool.
posted by desjardins at 8:47 PM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


The engineer in me wants to think there's got to be a technical solution to this.

I get this, I do. And by the time men first hear about stuff like this, I can only imagine how resigned we women must sound, and how frustrating that must be. But the thing is, we've already been through all this in our heads, we've all tried to find a solution, individually. If there were one, a woman would have thought of it already. That's why we sound so defeated when we talk about this stuff.

But as cathartic as the public shaming is, I can't imagine it's going to have much of an effect.

The catharsis is the point, IMO. See this comment from b33j, where she realizes at 47 that it's not her "social anxiety ADHD fat old self attracting this shit." That kills me. Every woman I know--and the women I know are by and large badass educated feminists--once thought that she was alone and that this, this constant harassment we are on the receiving end of by virtue of being female, was entirely her fault. For not smiling. For smiling too much. For messaging them back. For ignoring their messages. Whatever. When we are silent about this stuff, we are so easily fooled into believing that we brought it on ourselves. When we talk about it, we're able to place the blame where it belongs. Believe me when I say that this is needed.
posted by sunset in snow country at 8:54 PM on November 3, 2014 [38 favorites]


Yes, bringing these interactions out into public says to other women, "You're not alone, it's not your fault, and this treatment is not okay."

I think the women-as-sex-vending-machines mindset has a lot to do with this treatment. These men think/have been told that if they're just cool enough, macho enough, alpha enough (whatever strain of misogyny they've fallen under) then free pussy will rain down upon them. So they message women, or street harass them, and if their coolness or macho or alphaness isn't instantly rewarded by fawning acquiescence, then they've been completely insulted, revealed to be a fraud, denied their due (whichever) and react with violent anger, like someone kicking and shaking a machine that stole their money and didn't give them a soda. It's fucking grotesque because it completely denies the agency and humanity of the women they're interacting with.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:13 PM on November 3, 2014 [22 favorites]


Nobody deserves to be harassed for any reason, online or in person. Ever. Period.

However,


No, no, no. There is no "however". You really were better off just stopping after your first sentence.

Did you even look at the site? Women can't win. You ignore a guy? You're a bitch/whore/cunt/slut/fat/ugly. You say thank you, but no thank you? You're a bitch/whore/cunt/slut/fat/ugly. AND you should kill yourself.

Have you ever answered your phone and had a dude looking for someone else on the other end? You say "Sorry, I think you have the wrong number.", and maybe they apologize and you say "No problem, bye now.", and it's all done? Lucky you. I often get another call moments later, asking my name, asking if I'm single, asking if I want to meet up for a fuck. "You have the wrong number." is met with a tirade of bitch/whore/cunt/slut/fat/ugly. Simply hanging up gets another callback, and even if you just let it go to voicemail, there's more bitch/whore/cunt/slut/fat/ugly. And threats! Those are the best part! And then you have to go to your cell provider's page and fuss with blocking the number. Filing a police report won't do, women being so flighty and hysterical and all that a cop will just roll his eyes and send you home. If you don't want to be threatened, never answer your phone, you know.

How many times a day do you get circled on G+ or sent a Hangout request from some dude you've never met before? How much time do you have to spend blocking them? And their sock puppets, when they realize you've blocked them, but they're determined to have your attention? How many random messages do you get on social media that are dick pics or "Hey, sexy!", followed shortly by bitch/whore/cunt/slut/fat/ugly/kill yourself/I'll beat the fuck out of you/I'll kill your dog if you ignore them? How many times a day do you have to clean out your COMPANY'S social media boxes asking you for a date, for sex, for attention?

Nobody deserves to be harassed for any reason, online or in person. Ever. Period.

There's no "however". There's no "but". There's no "You're hurting our feelings if you say No, Thank You." There's no "Ignoring us is rude!"

Nobody deserves to be harassed for any reason, online or in person. Ever. Period.

Stick with that and be an ally. And when we drag these choads out into the sunlight from under their grody rocks, STAND WITH US instead of saying "Oh, but public shaming isn't going to have an effect." It DOES have an effect - the effect of showing solidarity with others who have to deal with this shit. It's slightly less overwhelming when you know you're not alone.
posted by MissySedai at 9:26 PM on November 3, 2014 [75 favorites]


Perhaps you may think it's rude to not respond to a message, but I assure you that is not the case. You're never obligated to respond to somebody, and in many (most?) cases it's probably better not to. The only good reason to respond to someone is if you're actually interested in them.

Really? On the rare occasions I've instigated contact, I wait for a reply. There's no suggestion on dating sites that should ignore requests for contact, in fact, you're often rewarded for responding to every message. Ive also had responses from men saying they appreciate not being left hanging. Are you sure you're right about this?
posted by b33j at 12:26 AM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


The engineer in me wants to think there's got to be a technical solution to this.

I think this is a pretty common reaction for decent guys when we finally have our eyes opened. But no, there really isn't.

The problem runs far too deep into our society for that. Simply put, far too many men think they're in some kind of giant game of 'who gets to have sex with that woman' against other men. Women aren't the opponent, they're the ball.

Fundamentally, they see women as unreliable sex vending machines. Demonstrate they have money by buying a drink or a meal for her, say some superficially nice things for flattery, act like you're interested in what she thinks about something... And now she should hand over sex, like a good vending machine. If she doesn't, then she needs to reminded of her place, and why the fuck isn't she handing over the goods to someone so obviously deserving. What a bitch, christ, doesn't she even know the rules? Or is she rejecting them because she thinks she's too good for them? Screw that, he'll show her exactly what he thinks of that.

Hell, just going to all that effort of expressing an interest in her deserves his reward. Like, he sent her a dick pic. That's showing off his most important asset! She should be flattered for the attention!

Not horning in on another guys girl is not out of respect for her, but because his guy friends are people, and there's a bro code - she's owned by him, for now.

This is really not something we can actually fix, much as we wish we could with a magic wand.

Far too many guys fundamentally feel contempt for women. And our society is structured in such a way that we tell them that what they're doing is actually OK! The media we watch, the whole way we're often brought up, it's all about sex, the tricks and moves we have to play to get it, and the women who are the gatekeepers of it.

That women have sexual agency, that they are people too with their own desires and wants, that their story matters just as much as ours? That's not something far too many men ever actually think.

And women will have been dealing with guys like that her whole life. Everywhere she goes, no matter what she does, she's risks encountering guys who want sex, and see it as their due to some degree. And once you break their script, don't do what they want, then the contempt comes out, the facade of niceness drops.

So what can we do, as men who aren't just giant dicks?

First, we listen to women. This is a secret war, in many ways. Women are told to grin and bear it, how to soothe mens feelings, how not to set them off, how to protect themselves. With the ugly undercurrent that if something bad happens, then it must be her fault for being there, for wearing the wrong thing, for saying the wrong thing.

So we say fuck that, and just listen to their stories; and more importantly, accept and believe that yes, it really is that bad. That every woman you know will have stories of harassment. Quite a lot of them will have been sexually assaulted. And yes, alas, many will have been raped. We don't splutter and protest 'not ALL men' and try to minimise or dismiss how bad it really is, and tell women what they should do - they've had far more experience of this that we will ever know. We listen, and we believe. We accept that though we think of ourselves as actually nice people, we're an unknown quantity to women who don't know us. They have no way of knowing if we're actually nice, or just wearing it as a mask to get sex, and we'll turn on them when they don't acknowledge us saying 'hello'. So we give women we don't know space, we respect the shit they have to put up with and not add to it, and don't make it about us and our feelings. Hell, we do that for the women we do know too.

Second, we stand with them, and say, this is fucked up. We do not accept this is how things should be. That women are people too, and they should get to live their own damn story, just as men expect to. And we say so in public, and be glad to do so. That this is our fight too, that women are not all alone in a society that protects and supports the men who have contempt for women. We can't really experience what they put up with from entitled shits who wear the thinnest veneer of niceness; but we can show support, we can help bring this into the light, and most of all, let them know they're not alone.

Sometimes, guys will listen to us, because we're men. Even in small ways, not putting up with sexist shit when we see it is good, because that's how the assholes came to think the way they do; that its normal, and that every man thinks that way about women. Sometimes that anger and contempt will turn on us; we'll be pussy whipped betas, social justice white knights who are just trying to get laid like them. But those who haven't fully drunk the koolaid? Them we might reach, a little bit. Be a counter example of how men can treat women. And if enough of us are public about it, if enough of us stand with women, if we make shocked men - they had no idea it was that bad! - see what reality is actually like for women?

Well, it won't fix it. It's too big to be fixed in our lifetimes, I think. But we can try to make it an unacceptable way to behave in public, and have decent men police other men for shitty behaviour - because right now, very few do. And we can hope we can reduce the violence against women that's the ugly counterpart of this attitude of contempt and hate for women who don't do what they're told.

But often all we can do is say 'We believe you. It's not your fault. And you're not alone'. And do our best to make their day less shitty, not because they're women, but because they're people too.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:37 AM on November 4, 2014 [51 favorites]


The engineer in me wants to think there's got to be a technical solution to this.

I think this is a pretty common reaction for decent guys when we finally have our eyes opened. But no, there really isn't.


I don't agree. I mean, you're basically saying that online dating sites cannot be improved in such a way that creates a safer environment for women. Sure, you can think that, but you have no more evidence than I do when I say that I think sites could be improved in that way.

You have to keep in mind that Western courtship practices have changed a lot in a short period of time. Online dating, in its present form, has only been around for like 20 years. 20 years! That's basically nothing. And the medium of online dating has changed drastically in that time, across many iterations. So when you tell me that you don't think there can be a technical solution to this problem, I respectfully disagree.

Just look at Tinder. I mean, not that Tinder is this great wonderful thing, but it's the first hookup app that's been able to draw a sizable female crowd. And it achieved that level of popularity by requiring the matches to be symmetrical in order for a party to initiate contact. Yes, Tinder is widely abused -- I'm imagining many of the conversations in the OP are from Tinder -- but keep in mind, it's not designed to filter based on personality. You get fewer messages from people you aren't physically attracted to. Tinder does this rather well.

Can you filter based on personality? Well, certainly OkCupid tries, although they don't have any sort of "hard" gateway, like preventing people with < 75% match score from contacting one another.

I think it would be interesting to start a site called "three strikes dating" or something. It would be just like Tinder, except when a user gets reported 3 times for truly, truly, truly offensive stuff, they get banned from the site. And you could tie it to cellphone number or credit card or something else that's hard-ish to fake, so they couldn't just make another account. Of course, something like that would be a moderation headache, and you'd probably have continual debate about what constitutes "truly truly truly offensive", but if you could make it work, I think a lot of women would appreciate a site like that.

Does my idea have holes? Sure it does. Nobody knows if it would succeed, because it hasn't been tried yet. But the point is, it could succeed. So no, I'm not just going to say it's hopeless.

As for the rest of your point, yes, obviously, society needs to change. Every day I see men do things that make me embarrassed for my gender. But that doesn't mean we can't nudge people in the right direction with various forms of positive social engineering.
posted by evil otto at 1:15 AM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Although this does bring up an interesting point - has anyone ever attempted to get "misogyny" listed in the DSV-thingy?

DSM.

1) Most of the people writing the DSM are male.
2) Misogyny is culturally normalized enough that it wouldn't qualify as a delusion by any stretch of the imagination.
3) Misogyny isn't a problem for the person with the symptoms, nor does it render them unable to function, nor does it set them apart from general society, nor does it cause emotional distress, so it's unlikely to even be considered.

We touch on the edges of it with Intermittent Explosive Disorder, but honestly since the rage is mostly aimed at women, most of the men in power won't care. Right now they mostly seem to be focusing on telling trans* people what they should feel, reorganizing the personality disorders again, and making mental illnesses more drug-adjacent.

"Men don't appear to realize that the person they're speaking with is a real human being"

Of course not, we're the enemy.


We're not the enemy. We're the ball. Ever since Anita Sarkeesian said that, I've been like "OMG THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE."

Balls can't say no. A woman saying no is differentiating herself from an object to be acted upon, and so needs to be destroyed.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:29 AM on November 4, 2014 [17 favorites]


Really? On the rare occasions I've instigated contact, I wait for a reply. There's no suggestion on dating sites that should ignore requests for contact, in fact, you're often rewarded for responding to every message. Ive also had responses from men saying they appreciate not being left hanging.

With all due respect - so what? Your way of dealing with things does not match everyone else's, because they all have different things other-life things to deal with. Some sites "reward you", but others let you outright filter messages out based on certain defined factors. And anyway, no one is under any obligation to engage with anybody, for any reason, period.

Are you sure you're right about this?

....I think people,know their own minds enough to know what is right for them, and I think they deserve the courtesy of not having their preferences for dating site activity challenged. I also think they deserve an apology, to be honest.

I think it would be interesting to start a site called "three strikes dating" or something. It would be just like Tinder, except when a user gets reported 3 times for truly, truly, truly offensive stuff, they get banned from the site.

Whose definition of "truly offensive" would we use?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:32 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Does my idea have holes? Sure it does. Nobody knows if it would succeed, because it hasn't been tried yet. But the point is, it could succeed. So no, I'm not just going to say it's hopeless.

Even if this were true - and I do not believe that it is - it would be actively counterproductive. Public shaming in the vein of "Bye, Felipe" has a bare minimum of three positive outcomes:

1) As has been stated many times above, women get to know that they are not alone. They can find out that it's not really about them in particular, something they did, something they need to change about their own behavior. Understanding it's endemic is important.

2) It lets us guys who do not hate women know that the problem isn't just as bad as they tell us, it's really much worse. Really, before I came to this place, I had no idea. Nobody ever talked to *me* like that... but, you know, past a certain critical mass it was impossible to deny that this is everywhere.

Again, understanding it's endemic is *important*.

3) It lets guys who do hate women know their asshole screeds might, without warning, become the next viral thing everyone's laughing at forever. I doubt very much that will stop most guys from doing this because I believe their impotent fury comes from a place of truly jaw-dropping hubris and stupidity, but it might give pause to a few. Maybe after it's happened to them once already.

Better filtering software - as a direct alternative to this - just sweeps it all under the rug again. This problem flourishes when we pretend it's not there. We need it out, talked about, laughed at. We need people who hadn't really thought about it to do so. Societal changes come from changing the group consensus on what's right, and that only happens when the status quo is challenged in uncomfortable ways.

So... yeah. Even if you're right, that would not be helping, not really. Sunshine is the best disinfectant, and all that.

However, sending someone a "no thank you" message is totally unnecessary, to the point where it actually winds up being more hurtful than simply not responding.

There is so much wrong about this that I'm not sure where to start, but I want to try:

The thing I'm getting from your posts is that you want better outcomes for women, but you want them in a bloodless fashion. You don't seem to want anybody's feelings hurt. You know, let the computers separate these parties so nobody comes to blows.

The thing is, these guys really were going to go off no matter what. The reaction of a normal, healthy psyche to 'no thank you' is something along the lines of, 'aw shucks, thanks anyway.' It's very useful information: it tells us to just move along, ask someone else. It's not hurtful, it's no Rejection with a capital-R. It's just... you know, 'keep trying.' People that are going to take that hard are not mature enough to be involved in the dating process in the first place, and there is no response that would truly help them because they are in the wrong place to begin with. Honestly, even a 'yes, let's meet' wouldn't make this better for them. They're not ready.

Dating is about rejection. It sounds cruel, but that's actually a critical step in the process. Most people are not suited to be in close quarters with each other for long stretches of time, sharing bills, sharing life events. More than that, a lot of folks don't get do-overs, not once there are children and mortgages and such. It's important to be choosy at some point in there, and say 'no' to most prospective partners.

People that react to that with horrible outbursts are simply not mature enough to be participating in it. Being able to regulate one's emotions is part of what distinguishes a grown up from a child. People that do this can have no good outcome until or unless they grow out of it, and nobody ever grew up by being coddled.
posted by mordax at 3:39 AM on November 4, 2014 [24 favorites]


"I don't agree. I mean, you're basically saying that online dating sites cannot be improved in such a way that creates a safer environment for women. Sure, you can think that, but you have no more evidence than I do when I say that I think sites could be improved in that way."
I mean, sure there is an interesting social engineering question in here, where geeking out about designing spaces that select against this kind of bullshit and work to make healthy interaction a more natural state is a totally valid response to discovering the extent of this. We even have some volunteer OKCupid moderators who comment regularly and who might stop by to geek out about it with you from a place of more knowledge and experience.

However, this is not primarily a social engineering problem and engineering solutions will never be able to address the root issue, which is entirely cultural. This post is about a cool thing on the internet addressing this problem from a cultural perspective, working to de-normalize the bullshit for both the women and men stopping by while making it clear how widespread and vicious it really is.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:34 AM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


But if you respond with a "no thank you", you're actually rejecting him.

And this is bad because...?

I mean, yes, you're actually rejecting the offer. If I guy takes a polite but honest rejection from a woman as some sort of blanket condemnation of the very core essence of his being--well, that's on him, not her, isn't it?

I mean, if you apply for a job, would you rather just never hear anything back, or would you rather get a polite but honest rejection letter? Getting rejection letter after rejection letter is no fun, but I think most job seekers would prefer to get some sort of response and would think better of a company that sends a rejection letter than a company that can't even be assed to respond. Why is it different for men pursuing companionship from women?

(Please note, I don't intend this metaphor to extend to an implication that woman have any sort of societal obligation to reply politely but honestly if they're not feeling it)
posted by drlith at 4:44 AM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


EC, I was questioning whether the other poster's view of the behaviour i appreciate was always rude, given my own preferences and those of some people I'd spoken to. I was not saying that my way was the best way, or the only way. But thanks for the due respect. You will both be happy to know, that against my personal preferences, judgement and ethics I tend to not respond to people rather than send them a personal message. It always makes me feel a little sadder though, because instigating contact can be risky for the ego, and never knowing why people aren't interested (too freckley, too weird, too outrageous) can be troublesome, and I think people who have risked their ego are worthy of acknowledgement.
posted by b33j at 4:55 AM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


But if you respond with a "no thank you", you're actually rejecting him.

In my history at dating sites, I almost never responded to messages when I wasn't interested. I'm starting to believe that "no" is a word a lot of these dudes could stand to hear more often, though.
posted by almostmanda at 5:47 AM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


I mean, if you apply for a job, would you rather just never hear anything back, or would you rather get a polite but honest

As noted earlier, and as brought to light by Anita Sarkeesian, it isn't like applying for a job. Women are 'the ball'. For these people it's like a guy going to throw the ball and the ball refusing to fly. These guys have chosen to operate like women are objects, and when they initiate something, the woman should react appropriately, like it was physics.
posted by cashman at 5:59 AM on November 4, 2014 [13 favorites]


Years ago, I had to deal with a sleezy, creepy dude at work --- he was a courier, he came to pick up/deliver to my office twice a week. He asked and asked and kept on asking me out, no matter that I most assuredly did not ever give him any encouragement; he finally came up with an idea that he thought would be the perfect first date: "spend this weekend in a puptent with me, an' I'll teach you how to gut a deer!" Yeah, thanks. I blurted out the only thing I could think of to say: "I'd rather spend the weekend in the puptent with the deer, and gut you."

The good news is, that apparently finally got through to him, and he immediately swapped jobs with someone else so I never saw him again.
posted by easily confused at 6:07 AM on November 4, 2014 [24 favorites]


Egad, I'm glad to be old.
posted by JanetLand at 6:52 AM on November 4, 2014


Why am I so annoyed that even though I (along with several other women) wrote a kind and well-intentioned reply to evil otto explaining our experience with these harassers, he chose to argue with another dude about technical solutions?

Nobody knows if it would succeed, because it hasn't been tried yet.

There are female developers, and I'm sure they've also tried to find solutions. (I can poke holes in yours easily, because you're looking for solutions to a problem you have no experience with. Reminds me of those guys who came up with the date-rape-drug-detecting nail polish.) But look, one part of the problem is that, yes, it hasn't been tried, because society doesn't value women enough to bother trying. Easier to push it back on them, to make it their fault, to let them deal with it alone. All the psychological framework is already in place. But okay, say we do try, we somehow use technology and data to create a dating site where women are never harassed. So what? Some women in this thread have stories of being harassed on Facebook. Is there a technical solution to street harassment? And so on.

It sounds like I'm just cutting down all your ideas to be a negative asshole, but I promise you, I'm not. I'm saying that a single site or app, engineered to be harassment-free for women--I mean, even that would be nice, but it would be meaningless, because we would still face this crap in every other part of our lives. Finding the root of all this evil in our culture and changing it is not something that has a technical solution, but that's the only thing that would have a lasting effect, and so we're all working toward it incrementally as best we can by having these conversations and trying to educate others. Coming in and trying to cut off the Gordian knot with technology (as men do all the time) comes off as though you think you know better than all the women who have dealt with this all their lives, and that gets really frustrating for us.
posted by sunset in snow country at 7:50 AM on November 4, 2014 [28 favorites]


Why am I so annoyed that even though I (along with several other women) wrote a kind and well-intentioned reply to evil otto explaining our experience with these harassers, he chose to argue with another dude about technical solutions?

I'm annoyed, too, it's very frustrating.
posted by sweetkid at 7:53 AM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


By the way, I didn't mean to disparage ArkhanJG's excellent comment by pointing out that he is the dude evil otto chose to respond to. He has a lot of great suggestions for things men can do to really help instead of choosing to treat women's pain and frustration as a mental exercise, and I suggest rereading that part of his comment.
posted by sunset in snow country at 7:54 AM on November 4, 2014 [11 favorites]


I'm saying that a single site or app, engineered to be harassment-free for women--I mean, even that would be nice, but it would be meaningless, because we would still face this crap in every other part of our lives.

Disagreed. If that's the case, then why bother trying to improve anything at all, since nothing short of a full-scale shift in society is sufficient to make peoples' lives better? I think you can point to numerous instances where small changes in technology or social mores have made big differences in peoples' lives. For example, it was a big deal when women could start wearing pants to work. Did that alone take down the patriarchy or close the wage gap? No, but I'm sure those women appreciated being able to wear pants to work.

As for internet dating, I think it's quite possible that some element of the medium (in its present form) brings out the worst in some people. I mean, lots of guys featured in the OP may be knuckle-draggers regardless, but we're all familiar with the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theorem. I don't think it's revolutionary to contend that introducing some amount of accountability into the situation could improve peoples' behavior.
posted by evil otto at 8:45 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


When I was younger, I did have this attitude that ignoring me was rude and I was at least owed a response. The more I saw of a woman's perspective of this interaction the more I reduced that attitude.


Part of this attitude I think comes from the uncertainty. When you get a reply, the uncertainty is over. If you never get a reply, the uncertainty is prolonged.

I notice in some of the "Felipe"s message they claim to know their message was read. Does this mean these dating apps send you some sort of "So-and-so has read your message" notice? It seems to me the app designers tried to fix that uncertainty with a technical solution. But then the Felipes seize on this for proof that they've been ignored.
posted by RobotHero at 8:46 AM on November 4, 2014


EmpressCallipygos, I think you completely misread (misattributed?) beej's comment. beej has been making good contributions to the thread by being open about her on-line dating problems and I can't think why you would react to her like that unless it was a misread.
posted by Squeak Attack at 8:54 AM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


There are female developers, and I'm sure they've also tried to find solutions. (I can poke holes in yours easily, because you're looking for solutions to a problem you have no experience with. Reminds me of those guys who came up with the date-rape-drug-detecting nail polish.) But look, one part of the problem is that, yes, it hasn't been tried, because society doesn't value women enough to bother trying. Easier to push it back on them, to make it their fault, to let them deal with it alone

So this is a totally stupid suggestion that wouldn't help, and the only reason it hasn't been implemented is because a sexist society "doesn't value women enough to bother trying"? That seems self-contradictory.

I think you're being a little unfair to evil otto, here. I didn't see him suggesting that his hypothetical technical fixes would eliminate all sexism or harassment from the world, simply that it might make this one particular sphere of male-female interaction a little more safe and welcoming for women. That seems worth trying--and you actually seem to agree that it would be worth trying per the second half of your comment above.

There's no doubt that the vile behavior evidenced in the linked site has profound roots in a deeply misogynist culture and that clearing some percentage of these assholes off of internet dating sites wouldn't fix that. But there's also no doubt that clearing some percentage of these assholes off internet dating sites would be a nice thing to do.
posted by yoink at 8:54 AM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Finding the root of all this evil in our culture and changing it is not something that has a technical solution

What about robots that detect misogynists and smack them upside the head
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:02 AM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


Are any of the dating sites using learning algorithms? I mean, facebook knows what kind of ads you click on.

What about making a site where you didn't get to browse? You fill out a questionaire, it tells you who to date next. After the date, you fill out another survey, and over time it learns what you like and dislike.

It could even tell the creeps, "Dude. Nobody likes you and here's why. Try working on these areas."
posted by ctmf at 9:05 AM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Part of this attitude I think comes from the uncertainty. When you get a reply, the uncertainty is over. If you never get a reply, the uncertainty is prolonged.

Sure, I get this, but this is like the Margaret Atwood quote: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” Men may experience discomfort at uncertainty. Women face the uncertainty that if they do reply, they may be threatened. My fear of being threatened trumps a man's potential discomfort, so I don't reply to men I'm not interested in.
posted by desjardins at 9:17 AM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


ctmf: more recent dating apps like Coffee Meets Bagel and Hinge are going in that direction, i.e., removal of choice in browsing. CMB gives you one match per day, and Hinge 8, I think? It's a clever and counterintuitive (to Americans) trick that at least reduces the number of women who could be simultaneously harassed by a single dude. It's not a solution, but I imagine it's marginally preferable to the flood of creepy messages you'd get at a place like OKC.
posted by obliterati at 9:19 AM on November 4, 2014


desjardins: "Part of this attitude I think comes from the uncertainty. When you get a reply, the uncertainty is over. If you never get a reply, the uncertainty is prolonged.

Sure, I get this, but this is like the Margaret Atwood quote: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” Men may experience discomfort at uncertainty. Women face the uncertainty that if they do reply, they may be threatened. My fear of being threatened trumps a man's potential discomfort, so I don't reply to men I'm not interested in.
"

I wasn't trying to justify it.

I brought it up because if the app sends you a message when someone reads your message, that feels to me like the app designers trying to solve the problem from a man's perspective, and failing to solve it from a woman's perspective.
posted by RobotHero at 9:48 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I mean, which dating sites and apps do you expect to be leading the brigade in making women feel safe? Have you seen the leadership at one of the most successful apps, Tinder? The CEO was just demoted and the CMO ousted for their part in a sexual harassment suit. Of course they don't care if their app promotes sexual harassment. They can't even recognize it themselves, or if they can, they know the male tendency to treat women as objects/images is the exact thing that drives their product and made them their money. There's no reason to change a formula that's working.

Sure, they lost their titles at Tinder, but they're still extraordinarily wealthy and certainly famous in their circle. They promote and live this culture. They are not going to ask their developers to make women feel safer. Their entire idea is predicated on normalizing these sorts of interactions.
posted by pineappleheart at 9:54 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


evil otto, no one is ACTUALLY saying that there might not be some value in trying out new approaches to online dating. They are trying to express to you that your focus on trying to "hack" misogyny is missing the point of the importance of looking at it dead on.

If someone kept robbing your house every two weeks, you would feel kind of violated and upset, right? And if someone said "I have a great idea-- we'll do an extensive construction project that will hide all your valuables in the WALLS so that thieves can't access them!! we will make your house look empty and shabby, but it will secretly have treasures tucked away where only approved visitors and residents can find them!!" instead of "that sucks, how can I help you deal with how terrible this is," or "what can we do about the crime rate in this neighborhood and this wider city," you might be less than impressed with their powers of empathy.

A dating site where dudes who acted this way were prevented from doing it anymore is a laudable goal. But for that goal to be the only takeaway from the project being discussed here is to miss 95% of the point.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:00 AM on November 4, 2014 [20 favorites]


Ahem, this was the link I meant to use.
posted by pineappleheart at 10:00 AM on November 4, 2014


Grrrr....okay, my own brother once, while he was in his cups, tried to give me "dating advice" to the effect that "guys don't like it when you are that argumentative and opinionated about stuff."

He's right, sort of. Insecure guys don't like that. I prefer it when women (well, when anyone) feels strongly enough about something to voice and opinion, defend the opinion, and discuss the opinion. It's nice to see people acting like people instead of convenient furniture with warm parts, which is how it seems people like this see women.

Every time I think I'm unsure about myself and insecure, I try to remember: other people having points of view doesn't make me angry, doesn't hurt my feelings, and doesn't make me like them less. The douchenozzles who do act that way are insecure beyond any measure of insecurity I might have.
posted by grubi at 10:18 AM on November 4, 2014


This isn't a disease, it's behavior that is encouraged and socialized from a fairly young age.

YES. THIS A MILLION TIMES. I never look at how these assholes act without remembering THEY LEARNED THIS SHIT and IT WAS POSITIVELY REINFORCED.

Also, I bet they're all mama's boys.
posted by grubi at 10:40 AM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


And told me "listen, bitch, you owe me more than a thank you."

The very reasoning that is reflected in the most recent episode of The Walking Dead. I volunteered to do something normal (not "decent" or "going out of one's way": it's just normal), and now there's a weird social contract in my head that says You Owe Me Big Time.

I guess I'll start doing that to every guy I'm nice enough to hold the door for. See how they like it.
posted by grubi at 10:43 AM on November 4, 2014


STAND WITH US instead of saying "Oh, but public shaming isn't going to have an effect." It DOES have an effect - the effect of showing solidarity with others who have to deal with this shit. It's slightly less overwhelming when you know you're not alone.

Exactly! The public shaming isn't for the perpetrator; it's for the rest of us watching. And those people who grew up with a shitty message about females fed to them and reinforced in institutional, societal, cultural, and familial ways might just get an education. This shitty-ass behavior these assholes do isn't out of the blue; it's the result of those influences and pressures. I pity these guys only insomuch as they are longtime victims of ignorance. But I still hold them in contempt for what they've actually done, victimhood or not.
posted by grubi at 10:53 AM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Bye Felipe", pronounced "bullet dodged".
posted by Beti at 12:01 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, I think many many many of those women are still getting hit with a bullet.
posted by JanetLand at 12:16 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Has there been any study into whether men exhibiting this behavior are actually mentally ill?

I have a 12 year-old son, and this incredibly quick zero-to-rage thing is something that I have seen him do.

I mostly chalk it up to development -- i.e., waiting for his prefrontal cortex to finish growing. But the easy availability of stuff he likes on the Internet (like sports highlights and browser games and Minecraft videos) makes me wonder if we are all just becoming too accustomed to getting what we want, when we want it.

(Also, this is vile. It makes me shudder for what my daughters -- and sons -- will face growing up. Every time I am wistful for being born too soon to experience space travel, I remind myself that I am lucky to have finished high school well before social media booby-trapped the whole place.)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:50 PM on November 4, 2014


Have you ever answered your phone and had a dude looking for someone else on the other end? You say "Sorry, I think you have the wrong number.", and maybe they apologize and you say "No problem, bye now.", and it's all done? Lucky you.

Actually, now that you mention it, yeah, I've gotten wrong-number texts from guys before who refused to believe that I wasn't the person they were trying to reach, and got hurt that I was trying to play them...or something.

For example:

Dude: Hey.
Me: Who is this?
Dude: Carlos. who was you textin last night
[12 minutes elapse]
Dude: You dont remember
[a couple hours go by, as I'm at work]
Me: You have the wrong number, sorry.
Dude: All okay. you must thought i was some other dude. at lease remember the name of people you do it to

Like...no? I didn't text you to begin with—look at the phone number and figure it out. But apparently that wasn't a thing in his skill set.
posted by limeonaire at 1:07 PM on November 4, 2014


I think you completely misread (misattributed?) beej's comment. beej has been making good contributions to the thread by being open about her on-line dating problems and I can't think why you would react to her like that unless it was a misread.

Oh, no, I got it alright- the gist was that Beej feels strung along if she sends out a message and doesn't get a response, and her empathy - which is noble - is leading her to feel that the guys who send out a message and don't get a response feel the same way, and she wishes that politeness would win the day.

I was actually responding more to her "are you sure that's the right thing to do," which smacked of her jumping from a "this is just what I do" statement to a judgemental-sounding "so I don't understand why y'all don't also do it". And the thing is: it's true that people would all be letting each other know "sorry, I'm not interested"in an ideal world, but as this thread has borne out, we do not live in an ideal world. So each individual woman is best at gauging whether she wants to take the "sorry, I'm not interested" route, or just not engage.

And, all too often, it is indeed best to just not engage.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:40 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


[EC'S brother] is right, sort of. Insecure guys don't like [opinionated women].

I mentioned that I avoided making him call my exes to ask them "did my sister turn you on when she got opinionated" because I was sober. "INsecure guys don't like that, maybe" is in fact what I did say. :-)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:45 PM on November 4, 2014


Also, I bet they're all mama's boys.

Wait, why? Their mom's taught them to threaten women? I thought it most likely they would be "daddy's boys", because the father would be their male role model?
posted by FJT at 7:16 PM on November 4, 2014


I was actually responding more to her "are you sure that's the right thing to do," which smacked of her jumping from a "this is just what I do" statement to a judgemental-sounding "so I don't understand why y'all don't also do it".

Yeah, I read that more as her saying "you're being awfully doctrinaire about this is how it's done, let me describe how I do it for contrast" to the person she was responding to. Given that reading, I thought you jumped on her for no reason.
posted by Lexica at 9:50 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Hannah Simone of New Girl was saying on Conan how guys were going off at her in bars when she politely declines their offer to get her a drink. So she just pretends not to speak English so they'll get frustrated and leave without being rude assholes.
posted by discopolo at 12:25 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Whoa I thought I was the only person who used that trick!

The hardest part is not visibly reacting when they say something to test whether or not you are faking it.
posted by winna at 4:11 AM on November 5, 2014


The engineer in me wants to think there's got to be a technical solution to this.

Rape is not a data problem
posted by eviemath at 4:12 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


While the internet gives new methods and forums for the same old misogyny, this is on a continuum with the old, "oh, if he's pulling your hair/putting bugs down your shirt/teasing you/bullying you/throwing rocks at you that must mean he likes you" style behavior. A large part of why it happens on the internet is that we teach children (of all genders) the "boys will be boys" line and don't teach children (of all genders) about nonviolent communication and healthy relationships. So there are a not insignificant proportion of boys (and girls, sadly) who instead pick up the message that misogyny is not inherently wrong, you just have to be careful about context and who's watching because feminazis or something stupid like that.
posted by eviemath at 4:21 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was actually responding more to her "are you sure that's the right thing to do," which smacked of her jumping from a "this is just what I do" statement to a judgemental-sounding "so I don't understand why y'all don't also do it".

Yeah, I read that more as her saying "you're being awfully doctrinaire about this is how it's done, let me describe how I do it for contrast" to the person she was responding to. Given that reading, I thought you jumped on her for no reason.


Agreed, EC, definitely seems like you misread and jumped on her for no reason. I thought the doctrinaire comment was the one b33j was responding to, not hers.
posted by sweetkid at 7:34 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


While the internet gives new methods and forums for the same old misogyny, this is on a continuum with the old, "oh, if he's pulling your hair/putting bugs down your shirt/teasing you/bullying you/throwing rocks at you that must mean he likes you" style behavior. A large part of why it happens on the internet is that we teach children (of all genders) the "boys will be boys" line and don't teach children (of all genders) about nonviolent communication and healthy relationships.

The thing that infuriates me about "boys will be boys" is that we don't use that to excuse any other kind of antisocial behavior. Oh well, vandals will be vandals! Thieves gonna thief! Terrorists be terrorists! Nothing you can do, you know? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by desjardins at 7:55 AM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


The thing that infuriates me about "boys will be boys" is that we don't use that to excuse any other kind of antisocial behavior.

Because human beings might be affected by those. We're not fully human beings, so things that only impact us are not serious.
posted by winna at 8:32 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, I bet they're all mama's boys.

I'm a fucking 'mama's boy' and my mother taught me to treat women as actual human beings at all times. I really wonder what you mean by that.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:17 AM on November 5, 2014


I'm a fucking 'mama's boy' and my mother taught me to treat women as actual human beings at all times. I really wonder what you mean by that.

I think she probably meant mama's boy in that his creepy mom told him no woman would ever love him as much as she would and that he is the most special boy in the world and that girls would be crazy not to drop at his feet and swoon. And that women are sluts and tricksters and liars, etc.

It's crazy how many moms jump to defend their sons when their sons treat women badly then pin the blame on the woman or girl. Or when moms of sons get misogynistic and competitive and judgmental towards women. It's disheartening.
posted by discopolo at 12:37 PM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


I think that perhaps the nature of text based conversation, and some cultural differences (I am Australian) may well have given some of my posts a level of passive-aggressiveness or disingenuousness that I didn't intend. I am not certain there is a one size approach that fits all, especially in the light of my daughter (22) on her first international adventure - currently in the US and sharing anecdotes with me (she is probably out of the loop on street harassment and definitely with online dating) about her experience of being catcalled.

I think we tend to assume experiences in countries with shared media and language are similar, but there certainly are marked differences. It may well be appropriate for me in Australia to say thanks but no thanks, and receive negative feedback from a small proportion of guys (which I will be annoyed or hurt by out of proportion to the offence), whereas it could conceivably be ridiculous for me to expect anything but harassment in response to rejection in online dating sites in other countries. If it is that clearly obvious, then my comment of course would have appeared to have nuances that I didn't intend.

A great thing about metafilter is that even misunderstandings like this (if I am right about this being the issue) are polite and not a personal attack, and there is community support/discussion for those of us naive and unaware enough to give false impressions and who may feel inadequate in defending a position.
posted by b33j at 2:20 AM on November 7, 2014


Also, in my neck of the woods, "with all due respect" means none is due at all, but we're a funny lot of cynical, irreverent bastards.
posted by b33j at 2:23 AM on November 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wait, why? Their mom's taught them to threaten women? I thought it most likely they would be "daddy's boys", because the father would be their male role model?

No, it's this weird idealization of their mothers along with cultural bullshit about women being lesser creatures. I don't have the particulars figured out (although I'm sure someone else has) but most of the biggest mama's boys I've known have been the most sexist, at least with regards to traditional gender roles. It might be a whole "mama was nurturing enabler so that's what women are meant to do — give men what they want".
posted by grubi at 8:49 AM on November 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think she probably meant mama's boy in that his creepy mom told him no woman would ever love him as much as she would and that he is the most special boy in the world and that girls would be crazy not to drop at his feet and swoon. And that women are sluts and tricksters and liars, etc.

That's gotta be part of it. I'm certainly not talking about guys who love their moms and talk to them frequently even as adults.. I'm talking about guys who idolize and out mom on a pedestal and simply CANNOT STAND the idea that any criticism be aimed at their mothers ("She's a saint!"). I love my mother and am very happy having a terrific adult relationship — we're friends now, something I never thought possible — but she's a person. She's worth criticizing. She's imperfect. And if you don't see my mother as wonderful, well, eh. To each his own.

But I have a hard time understanding the mindset in which mothers are idolized. It's odd as shit to me. And it's not a healthy way to be.

It's crazy how many moms jump to defend their sons when their sons treat women badly then pin the blame on the woman or girl. Or when moms of sons get misogynistic and competitive and judgmental towards women. It's disheartening.

Yes! That's part of the nutso dynamic! If my mother heard I was being sexist to any woman, she'd be the first to tear into me.

I didn't learn to be a feminist by accident. I had (among others) a mother who demonstrated daily the feminist ideal: a human being who has agency — genitalia and tradition had nothing to do with it. And luckily I also had a father who demonstrated it as well, by never having brought any mention of gender into a criticism of my mother. They would argue and fight (still happily together after 40 years, though!) but misogyny was *never* an issue. My dad only ever treated my mother as a peer, an equal. And when those are the daily examples you have growing up, a feminist point of view is the default.
posted by grubi at 10:16 AM on November 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


If my mother heard I was being sexist to any woman, she'd be the first to tear into me.

Oh, yep. If either of my Monsters ever let loose with sexist anything, I would END them. They've been taught better.

As it is, they've learned well. Their SOs are absolutely delighted with being treated like real people, and they speak up when their friends are assy. Younger Monster had a friend over one night to play...I dunno, whatever the fuck the latest shooter was...anyway, his friend kept yelling "Whoo! We TOTALLY RAPED THEM!" I was on the way downstairs to Have A Word with the young man, when I heard the distinct sound of palm being applied to the back of a skull. Yep, Younger Monster dope-slapped him.

"Hey, dumbfuck. That is NOT what that word means. Stop using it like that." His friend muttered something I couldn't hear, and Younger Monster's reply was "No, it makes light of actual rape. Don't be a douche." A moment later, he said "If my Mother hears you, she's going to turn you into a smoking grease spot, and you'll deserve it."

I had to tiptoe back upstairs to go be quietly proud of him.
posted by MissySedai at 10:40 AM on November 7, 2014 [16 favorites]


This is why I feel the problem is a cultural/societal/familial one. The more reinforcement of the right ideas about women (and all people), the less likely we have widespread issues like the ones we talk about. It's hard as hell to pull it off, but it's the only way to make a permanent change.
posted by grubi at 10:42 AM on November 7, 2014


This is why I feel the problem is a cultural/societal/familial one.

I tend to agree. It's a mixture of all three, really, and it's not helped by the fact that many men who are otherwise allies are often silent when one of their fellows runs down Misogyny Lane.

Hell, I just had it happen to me last night. A nearby village inexplicably uses their tornado sirens to signal the start and end of Trick or Treat. This village is in a completely other state, but happens to be within sound-carrying distance - I frequently ride my bike to it in the summer time to go to the orchard. So on Halloween, it was windy as hell and raining heffalumps and woozles here, and we heard tornado sirens. As one does in the Midwest when one hears tornado sirens, we grabbed the dogs, got everyone inside...and found no NWS warnings. As one might expect, people called and texted the local news stations to ask "WTF?"

One of my city's news stations reported on it and posted to Facebook yesterday, explaining that it was that village's "Halloween Tradition", and that the Village Supervisor said that they do it because "People need time to close their doors and turn off their porch lights if they're not giving out candy." My response to the story was that tornado sirens are meant to signal actual emergencies, like, oh, tornadoes, and maybe the Village of Bedford should consider using clocks to know when Trick or Treat is about to start. It's not unreasonable for people, when observing high wind and heavy rain, to think "Oh, shit, tornado!" when they hear the sirens.

Enter the Village White Knight. "Why don't you just pay attention to your own county, and leave our tradition alone? Bedford Proud!" I asked him if he didn't understand that we can hear his county's sirens in our county, and the weather here was in fact conducive to tornadoes, and why was he proud of the misuse of an emergency siren?

His eloquent response? "Spreken sie BITCH?" (Don't EVEN get me started on his poor spelling THERE. Grr.) And when I asked if he could articulate something more than complaining about my gender, the answer was "Cunt."

Did one dude speak up? No. Not one. There were at least 30 men participating in that thread, and not a fucking one of them could be bothered to say "Calling someone a bitch isn't an answer to the question." Village White Knight, in fact, went about the entire thread calling any woman who questioned the misuse of the tornado sirens bitch, cunt, whore, cumguzzler. NOT A SINGLE MAN SPOKE UP. Maybe some of the men in the thread were pissed about his shenanigans, but not one could be bothered to so much as peep at him.

That's a problem. We need to stop socializing our boys and men to give that kind of behavior a pass, and teach them to speak up.
posted by MissySedai at 11:14 AM on November 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


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