Society and Culture
Ladies, the Men of OKCupid Think You’re a Blow-Up Doll
Good morning loves! How many of you have been staying off the internet this week, thanks to my post on Tuesday? LOL none of you. Just kidding! If anything, you’re all hitting the interwebs harder than usual. This Pacific Standard piece is BLOWING UP. The number of response pieces it’s triggered is seriously impressive.
So! I’d say the theme of cyberspace this week is — women face crazy harassment online and it’s seriously a problem. Like, for serious.
So let’s ride that wave, shall we? Because some awesome, hysterical things are happening. Specifically, this.
A dude Reddit user named OKCThrowaway22221 (apparently Reddit is the place where our middle-school, AIM usernames live on?) decided to conduct a little experiment. He had this hypothesis that women totally have it easier in the world of online dating, so he made a fake profile as a lady, and decided to see what would happen.
This guy lasted TWO HOURS. That is all. That is how traumatizing the results of his little experiment were. SO BAD, that he had to quit after only two hours.
In his words, here’s what happened.
“Before I could even fill out my profile at all, I already had a message in my inbox from a guy. It wasn’t a mean message, but I found it odd that I would get a message already. So I sent him a friendly hello back and kind of joked that I hadn’t even finished my profile, how could he be interested.”
Yes, how COULD he be interested? Probably because he doesn’t give a shit what your profile says, champ. He thinks you’ve got a vagina and he wants to use it.
It gets worse. As OKCThrowaway22221 filled in the profile, the messages were literally coming in faster than he could keep up with them. Again, from guys who knew absolutely NOTHING about the person they were messaging, other than the fact that were was allegedly a vagina involved. It got old pretty quick.
“At first I thought it was fun…but as more and more messages came (either replies or new ones I had about 10 different guys message me within 2 hours) the nature of them continued to get more and more irritating. Guys were full-on spamming my inbox with multiple messages before I could reply to even one asking why I wasn’t responding and what was wrong. Guys would become hostile when I told them I wasn’t interested in NSA sex, or guys that had started normal and nice quickly turned the conversation into something explicitly sexual in nature. Seemingly nice dudes in quite esteemed careers asking to hook up in 24 hours and sending them naked pics of myself despite multiple times telling them that I didn’t want to.”
OKCThrowaway22221 found the whole situation pretty upsetting.
“I would be lying if I said it didn’t get to me. I thought it would be some fun thing… but within a 2 hour span it got me really down and I was feeling really uncomfortable with everything. I ended up deleting my profile at the end of 2 hours and kind of went about the rest of my night with a very bad taste in my mouth.”
OKCThrowaway22221 came away from his experiment with a different conclusion than he’d expected — that women actually have a harder time in the online dating world. Yep, it’s rough shit being harassed by gazillions of guys during all hours of the day. Emotional tolls are taken — and hopefully that’s all.
But our friend over at Reddit isn’t the only person who’s conducting online dating experiments. There’s also Cracked writer Alli Reed, who wanted to test her own hypothesis — that men will literally message any woman with a profile. Hoping she was wrong, she created a fake profile for The Worst Woman in the World, AKA AaronCarterFan. Here it is. Prepare to laugh your ass off/puke all over your laptop.
She’s the worst, am I right? No one would ever want to date her! Definitely not. But they did. She got 150 messages in 24 hours.
So, Alli decided to add another approach to her experiment. With her reply messages, she’d have to convince these guys that she was, in fact, The Worst Woman in the World. After all, maybe these guys didn’t actually read the profile?
She bragged about bullying children, she boasted about the skill with which she could fake being pregnant to exhort money from unsuspecting suitors. She even asked one guy to let her pull out his teeth.
NO ONE WAS DETERRED. Everyone still wanted a piece of the diabolical AaronCarterFan.
Alli’s takeaway was seriously kindhearted. Here’s her advice to the douchenozzles who were interested in her evil creation.
“Men of the world: You are better than this. I know many of you would never message AaronCarterFan, but many of you would, and a whole bunch of you did. You’re better than that. There are women and men out there who are smart, and kind, and challenging, and honest, and a lot of other really positive adjectives. You don’t want someone who will pull out your teeth and then sue you for child support; you deserve someone who will make you want to be better than you are, and will want to be better because of you. You deserve happiness, and love, and adventure. Be brave. Don’t settle.”
She’s a really nice lady, am I right? I’d love to be her friend.
BUT. I’m calling bullshit on the idea that the most important thing we can take away from these two online dating experiments is that men are shallow and dumb and maybe have low self-esteem. This is true. Some men do struggle with these challenges. The struggle is real, and we feel your pain, guys. We really do.
But. We’re not talking about destructive relationship patterns or unfortunate, self-sabotaging behavior. We’re talking about internet harassment. So here’s the big takeaway, folks.
Men objectify women to a disturbing degree. The reason they’ll message a woman whose online dating profile isn’t filled out yet is the same reason they’ll message a woman whose profile clearly shows that she’s The Worst Woman in the World.
They don’t care who you are. The fact that you are a person, with real thoughts and feelings, doesn’t matter to them. You’re really just a sex toy. The equivalent of a super awesome blow-up doll. An object.
Feminism in the U.S. has made a ton of major gains over the last century. We’ve earned the right to vote, the right to an education, the right to play sports, the right to hold jobs, and the right to own property. In some states, we even have the right to control our own bodies. Because of all these gains, we’re often told that feminism is done. It’s over. It’s served its purpose, its goals have been met, and we can all ride off into the gender equality sunset.
But that’s a load of shit, designed to keep women from continuing to fight the feminist fight. Society’s true colors come out on the Internet, where anonymity and a lack of accountability invite everyone to drop their inhibitions. You don’t have to pretend to be PC on OKCupid. You can be who you really are, and no one will be the wiser.
You can demand sex and naked photos from a woman you don’t know — and get supremely pissed when she says no. You can be your douchiest, most asshole-iest self.
So loves, do me a favor. Keep fighting the good fight. OKCThrowaway22221 and AaronCarterFan clearly prove that it’s not over.
Hannah R. Winsten (@HannahRWinsten) is a freelance copywriter, marketing consultant, and blogger living in New York’s sixth borough. She hates tweeting but does it anyway. She aspires to be the next Rachel Maddow.
Featured image courtesy of [me and the sysop via Flickr]