Have you ever received unsolicited, aggressive messages from hostile men online? From random friend requests from dudes in other countries, to sexual advances, and corny pick-up lines in DM’s on Instagram, and Facebook? Regardless that these platforms are not for dating, or finding a hook up, men use them the same way to find women online just as they would on Tindr and OkCupid. Believe me I’ve received it all on every platform on social media. If you say the dating scene is better if you are woman…. Well….
You are wrong!
Social media platforms in general makes it easier for men to send profoundly rude dating messages.
I know that my friends who don’t share their personal lives online quite as extensively as I do also get bombarded by unwanted messages online. Unfortunately, this seems to be part of being a woman online in 2015.
Just as you see to your left, Bye Felipe on Instagram received this message – even though she had never met this man before and never showed interest before.
According to Alexandra Tweten , “We can’t win, 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.”
Luckily, I’ve never been subjected to dangerous threats as some of my friends have been subject to in the past. I wouldn’t take lightly or forget that rape and death messages have happened to many men and women alike – and I don’t doubt that they will continue… However just because someone doesn’t straight up violate your safety, doesn’t mean that the comments are inappropriate and don’t make them OK.
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 or taking them to court. But that is an extensive and arduous process that can take months.
Till then there is an organization called Hollaback!, who teamed up Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and reddit to create a safety guide and helpful tips to combat these issues. They consist of how to report harassment on each these platforms, how to arrange and set your settings to best protect yourself.
Their advice is easy to understand and can be broken down into the essentials.
Five of them being:
- Be Direct
- Unwanted Dick Pics
- Harassing Messages
- Trolling Tweets
- Disrespectful Messages On Dating Sites