Guest post: An open letter to desperate men on social media – Feministing

By Chloe (26.07.13) from feministing.com

This is a guest post from Chelsea Fagan. Chelsea is a Senior Writer at Thought Catalog and the author of the forthcoming book “I’m Only Here for the WiFi”, out next month!

Hi Guys,

How are you? I hope the day finds you well, though I must admit that I imagine you don’t receive an enormous amount of sunlight in the basement-caves from which you are posting your lecherous, unsolicited comments. If I had to pinpoint an image in my mind, I would guess that it’s one of those basement rec-rooms from the 70s, complete with olive green shag carpeting and faux-wood paneling on the walls, with perhaps one of those tiny basement windows which is just big enough to allow the errant millipede to crawl through and get into your Hoarders-esque stash of Doritos.

But I digress.

I’m here today to talk to you about the comments you’ve been posting and messages you’ve been sending — notably on dating sites, but found just about everywhere — which are simply unacceptable. No unsuspecting woman deserves to wake up to see her picture of herself at a picnic, or her profile which talks about her love for Game of Thrones, being bombarded with commentary about how much you want to fuck her with a beer bottle or…

Read More Here

I came across this truly golden letter while reading Feministing.  As I’ve stated (ranted about) before, I truly detest internet users who take advantage of their relative anonymity to post vile and in this case, sleazy, comments on the internet, and because of that, this article really piqued my interest.  I just find it bizarre that men, and sometimes obviously women, are so willing to address strangers in this lewd and insulting manner.  It’s degrading and shows the depth of male privilege or perhaps better put, the privileges some men feel they have.  There’s no way any of the men referred to in this letter would approach a woman in the street and say these things.  Why? Because they would appear disrespectful, rude, idiotic, perverted, etc. which is exactly what many of them are. And yet because they can hide behind an avatar and a username, their eagerness to express their desires to fuck the same woman is entirely unhindered.  I love the internet, I think it’s a fantastic resource but this, sadly, is one of its greatest flaws.  The anonymity it can allow people, the abuse which it facilitates.  I truly believe that equality for women and for other groups of people, such as the LGBTQ community, cannot be achieved until action is taken to put an end to occurrences like these.  And articles such as this one are definitely a step in the right direction.

On another note, I noticed the guest writer is from Thought Catalog. Brilliant site, I’m a huge fan – definitely worth a read and once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

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Death Threats? Really?

Just finished reading an interview in the Sunday Herald with Nicola Sturgeon.  She leads the Yes Scotland campaign for independence, as well as being deputy leader of the Scottish National Party and a big part of her job is utilizing social media to connect with voters.  Apparently she receives a lot of abuse, up to and including death threats, while doing so, particularly via Twitter. I just find this unbelievable.  Most importantly, I find it pretty disgusting that people use the internet as a shield to hide behind while they spread their vicious hate – it’s cowardly, irritating and just plain childish. The internet has such great potential for spreading knowledge, and ‘love’ (forgive me for my hippie moment), it seems such a terrible shame to waste that opportunity by using the incredible resource that we’re lucky to have to try and hurt others. Don’t people have better things to do with their time? But it also occurred to me, if you do insist on using your Twitter account or any form of online communication to make someone else’s day just a little bit more miserable, why not target your anger at someone who might actually deserve it? Send an angry email to the companies who try and keep homosexuality out of video games, or those who run adverts discriminating against women. Tweet a racist football player.  Not a politician who is trying to do her job, and in her view at least, try and make Scotland into a better place.  Considering all the benefits that her party have brought to Scotland, I’m thinking that perhaps she’s not doing such a bad job, and even for those who clearly disagree, can it really be argued that her work has been so terrible she deserve to die for it? There are much worthier candidates of the anger channeled towards her.  I am in no way encouraging anyone to go and abuse others over the internet, or in any other way for that matter, but if you do insist on wasting your time in this way, why not actually do it in a way that might make a difference, or pick a target a little more deserving? You’ll still be a bit of a git if you ask me, but at least you’ll be a git with a decent cause.