How I Changed the Mind of a Sexist Jerk on OKCupid

From Sexist to Empathetic in 12 Messages

There is no shortage of men saying wildly inappropriate things to me online*. When I can thinking of something funny to say back, these men usually end up as a part of (or the butt of) the joke on my Instagram. Most of the time though, it’s just a heavy burden to bear. The burden of these men and the way they speak to me (the way I assume they speak to all women, or at least all fat women). These men, who are your friends, your brothers, your future boyfriends, say terrible things and sometimes not that bad things and a lot of the time only-sort-of-bad-mostly-just-lame-things to me and most of the time nothing comes of it.

Which is why I can’t help but celebrate the few times I change someone’s mind. Because isn’t that really why I allow men to sharpen their knives upon my bones, the chance that I might make the world a better place and find some joy in this misery? Or, something more optimistic but less cool sounding.

And thus, I give you, a conversation I had recently on OKCupid, in which I changed a man’s perspective (with commentary).

*women are not obligated to educate you on feminism (that’s what google is for)
*women don’t owe you anything (not their time, not their manners, not their knowledge)
*for examples on why this might be try googling #byefelipe or searching it on instagram

He Said, She Said

It started out much like it always does. Man laughs at a joke written by another and assumes he himself must be hysterical. Calamity and lack of empathy ensue.

For context: my OKCupid profile is really just a list of jokes I’ve written

OKCupid first message

 

Sweet jesus. Did this dude actually just message me to say he wasn’t sure if my (brilliant) jokes are hilarious or just my sweet tits (tits being the least gross way I can characterize what he actually said)? The answer is yes. Yes he did. Even crazier is the fact that he thought this would go over well with me. Like who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of casual demeaning to start off any romantic relationship, amirite.

 

OKCupid first message

 

Ah yes, the age old “I’m not unfunny, you’re just uptight” defence (not uncommonly used by unfunny men everywhere). Followed almost immediately by the “you must have issues with your body because it’s not like me, a stranger, talking about it in a totally gross and offensive way could be at all bothersome.” This dude was on a roll, picking up speed while hitting all the bullshit ways in which terrible men gaslight women into thinking they’re crazy or too-sensitive or don’t deserve even the most basic amount of respect. You know, the kind of guy who says “I don’t take this seriously,” as if you can shirk the responsibility of treating strangers like shit simply by maintaining a lackadaisical attitude (here’s looking at you trolls).

 

OKCupid first message

 

The link I messaged him was to this tweet:


And just like that the tides were turning. Or, so I thought. I mean, he’d realized that perhaps his joke wasn’t quite the Seinfeld-esque banter he’d originally thought but did he really get “it”? Did he really get that it wasn’t simply a case of a joke falling flat but an entire flawed ideology about the treatment of women?

 

OKCupid first message

 

Ah, the age old “no one else has complained” defence. So many excuses, so little time, amirite?!? The truth is that he didn’t get it–not really, not yet. And so, I tried to explain it to him. I tried to explain without sounding bitter and jaded (because no one listens to you if you’re angry or bitter *eye roll so hard I pull a muscle*), about the ways in which women might have chosen/been forced by social pressures to absorb everything from the violent tedium to the violent fists of men (all in a real quick OKCupid message). Keep it light babe, keep it light.

 

OKCupid messages

 

And he got it. MY GOD HE GOT IT. But I wasn’t done. I wanted to add one final note about how maybe he could help with this thing we’re trying to do (ya know, be viewed as human and valuable and stuff).

 

sexist

 

And shit, I mean he really got it. He even understood the thing I’m always trying to tell all the guys who think they’re not “that guy” which is that you’re probably “that guy”. And you’re definitely “that guy” if you don’t think about how your behaviour affects others. Especially online because online is where people have the least amount of protection from the public and accountability from perpetrators. So please, the next time you send a message, or speak to someone, or think you’re absolutely above harming anyone–stop and think. Slip your feet into some empathy and try it on for size.

And if you’ve ever acted like this guy, do better. Be better.

And tell your friends because women are tired of carrying the burden.

Life Update: November 16, 2014

Dating

Sometimes I forget that you guys don’t live inside my head and that in order for you to know something I have to actually write it here.  My fear of redundancy is what often keeps me silent.  But when it turns out that half of the people on my own Facebook don’t even know that I have moved back to Vancouver (and still think I’m in Montreal) it occurs to me that I might have been remiss about updating people on even the biggest details of my life.  What can I say, I’m silent out of kindness.  I worry about boring you.  Nonetheless here is a brief update on the things that matter (or don’t, that’s really your call to make):

I have been dating up a bit of a storm (Spoiler Alert: there have been approx. 10 “somethings” since I last updated the blog with a post about dating).  So why haven’t I updated the blog?

Because I’m writing a book (well, a collection of short stories really) and most of those stories are going in it.

I’m going to be honest; I’m really hoping you’ll want to buy it and read it.  The hope is that it will be published in e-book format (and/or print on demand) in the next few months.  Obviously, I will keep you lovelies posted.

I’m back in Vancouver and hate/loving it.

I’ve lost 50lbs.  (don’t get too excited, I got super fat in grad school so I still have a really long way to go but you can click here for a quick glimpse of the progress).  I’ve also decided to start blogging more about what I’m doing at the gym, eating at home, and the overall weight loss journey.  Obviously, do not feel compelled to read about it, but my friend suggested it might be of interest to some people and given how much time I’ve spent combing the internet for tips on fitness, healthy recipes, and weight loss, I figure she might be right.  And, if those topics aren’t of interest to you then just skip on through to the other articles (or the book! yay a book!).  Also, if you are interested in this stuff, definitely consider following me on Instagram as I tend to post more there than anywhere else at the moment.

Speaking of Instagram AND book news…I’ve started posting pics using the hashtag #PossibleBookTitle (sorry I can’t make this link clickable here but if you type it in under search hashtags on Instagram you’ll find it easily).  This is legitimately me brainstorming and thinking through possible ideas for titling the upcoming book so if you like being a part of things, feel free to weigh in on your favourite choice(s).

Also, I’ve started using Tumblr a lot more so if that’s your jam, head on over and follow me on there.  I admit, I’m definitely a multi-poster (meaning that if I’ve been known to post a joke on Twitter, take a screenshot and post it on Instagram and Tumblr).  But the truth is, while hopefully there are very few of you who are irritated by this, there are often very different audiences who follow on each site.  An example of this being when I tweeted the following:

Not to be a total egomaniacal dick, but I thought it was pretty cool.  Yet, it only got like 9 favs and 2 RTs.  So, I took a screenshot and posted it on Instagram and then shared it on Tumblr (where it is now, by FAR, the most shared thing I’ve ever posted…at last check with 8000+ notes).  In turn, that bumped up the attention of the tweet a little but still nothing by comparison.  So why am I telling you this?  Basically so that if you are one of the people who gets irritated by multi-posting, I’m sorry but hopefully now you can understand a bit about why I do it (and thus hate that I do it just a tiny bit less)

I am very aware that as I’ve been working on the book, the blog has become a little lacklustre, having posts that are either few and far between or just glimpses of writing exercises.  While I can’t make any promises, the book and fitness have to come before anything else, I will definitely be trying to post more in the coming weeks (not just fitness/food stuff but also sex and dating, and other exciting stuff).

Finally, as always, feel free to email me your dating questions and quandries, and I will be happy to dispense any advice I can.

All my love,

 

Victoria

 

aka SSDated

aka The Cheesecake Queen

aka That girl crying in the squat rack

10 MORE Stupid Things You Should Stop Doing On Twitter

 

 

Continued from Ten Stupid Things You Should Stop Doing On Twitter

 

11.  Twitter is not for porn

There’s no need to post porn on Twitter and there’s no need to RT porn on Twitter because ALL THE REST OF THE INTERNET!!!  Anyone who is old enough to be cool watching/seeing porn knows damn well how to look for it on the internet.  Tweeting or RTing porn is really just a sign that you’re old and out of touch, sorry, that’s all there really is to it.  And honestly, you should keep that weirdness to yourself.

 

12.  Manually RTing (and Quote Tweet)

Some people will disagree on this one (the explanation I’m usually given when I ask why is–because the person believes that their followers need some kind of explanation or contextualization–however, this really only explains the manual RTing of links etc. and wouldn’t explain anything for most tweets).  The only time “quoting a tweet” is fine is when someone has said something that will contextualize the hilarious/poignant thing you plan to tweet.  However, and this is a big one, if what you’re adding isn’t a joke or important message and is simply a reply to the original tweet, quoting it is just annoying because now all your followers have to see this tedious tweet.  There’s a reason you don’t always hit “reply all” on an email and a response to a tweet isn’t that much different; if it’s not a joke that could potentially stand on its own, don’t bother.

The reason Manually RTing a tweet is bullshit is twofold.  One, by manually RTing instead of just hitting that lovely little retweet button, what you’re doing (whether you mean to or not) is hijacking this person’s work to claim a little bit of the glory for yourself.  Though you’re not stealing or plagiarizing the tweet, you’re trying to ride the coattails of someone else (it’s a little bit like name dropping in a way, trying to elevate yourself on the shoulders of another).  Two, you’re essentially stopping the thread of RTing.  Nobody is going to want to retweet the joke with the stupid quotations marks and your even stupider addition to it and thus, the RTing cycle stops with you.  And even if, by some miracle, people do retweet your manual retweet, the original tweeter will never know and we’re back with reason one, you’ve hijacked their joke.  Don’t be a dick.  If you like someone’s tweet and want to pass it along to your followers (which I always encourage), simply hit the retweet button, nbd.

 

13.  Typing in front of the @

Now this one isn’t an all or nothing as sometimes, many times even, it’s totally kosher to type something in front of an @.  Good reasons for doing this are:  your response is hilarious, your response is really important, your response is interesting.  When you type in front of the @ sign, it means that now everyone who follows you (not just those who follow you and the person you @ed) will now see your tweet.  This can be great if, like I said above, your tweet is worth sharing.  However, long back and forth conversations, boring chit chat, etc. are not good reasons to bother doing this.  Generally speaking, have some humility and don’t assume that a conversation is so fucking interesting that everyone would want to read it (because let’s be honest, they most likely don’t).

 

14.  Tweeting about unfollowers (whether organically or through a third party bullshit service)

You know how it’s super embarassing and awkward to tell a total stranger about how you have no friends and everyone hates you?  This is just like that.  While I’m all for honesty and authenticity, certain things just don’t need to be talked about, ever.  Additionally, you have no idea why these people unfollowed you and let’s be real, talking about people not being interested in what you have to say is about as clear of an example as possible that they were right because you’re boring as fuck.  Don’t be a crybaby.  Either you care that they left (in which case keep that shit to yourself) or you don’t and then you wouldn’t bother tweeting this nonsense.  Plus, the people who do still follow you really don’t care so don’t alienate them too.

 

15.  Don’t click the DM links

You know how you think your account got hacked because now weird shit is being posted on your behalf?  Yeah, you didn’t.  You’re not important enough to be hacked, no one gives a shit.  You’ve been phished, and unless you’re brand new to the internet, this makes you an idiot.  No one is saying mean shit about you on their blog, and no one is passing around a photo of you.  Don’t click weird links, don’t click links from people you don’t know, and if you do click a link for goodness sake don’t enter important information.  And if you do fuck up and make this mistake, change your password.

 

16.  Don’t thank someone (or shout them out or #NF anyone) for following

I often follow a list of people, like 100 at a time (perhaps on a list called “Montreal Awesomeness” or something because I live in Montreal now so I’m all about the locals).  That being said, I may have read your bio, or a couple of tweets, but I didn’t sign on for a lifetime.  I’m a bit like that highschool teacher who gives you the speech about how everyone starts with an A and it’s up to you to keep it.  Meaning, just because I followed doesn’t mean I can’t just as easily unfollow and shouting me out or thanking me for following just makes me feel weird and pressured.  I didn’t follow you as a favor or to be nice (logical reasons to thank someone).  This is Twitter, and at its core is totally selfish.  I followed you for me, so let’s not make a big thing of it eh?  Don’t make this weird.

 

17.  Auto DM, Auto Follow, Auto Unfollow, Auto anything really

Auto anything is bullshit.  If you can’t do something on Twitter yourself, you shouldn’t be doing it.  It lacks effort, integrity, and interest.  Don’t be boring and annoying.  Stop this shit.

 

18.  Be Interesting (subtweeting, vague tweeting, boring tweeting)

If the subtweet can’t stand on its own as an interesting message or a funny joke, don’t bother.  If the name you’re using won’t be recognized by your followers (either as a joke name, like the way I often address a nonspecific Chad, or someone you often reference), don’t bother.  If the tweet is something obvious like good people are good and respect women and I suck at tweeting, don’t bother.  If the tweet would fit more accurately in a your daily log of activities, went to the gymmom made dinnerso tired gotta shower, don’t fucking bother.

 

19.  Checking in to anything (foursquare, yelp, getglue, etc.)

Nobody cares where you are, are eating, are watching, etc.  And, if they do care, they’ll follow you on those specific apps themselves.  If you’re worried people don’t know you exist on these other platforms, a tweet once a month or every two months, just so they know, is fine I guess.

 

20.  Instagram on Twitter

Look, I know, I hate it too, how Twitter/Instagram severed the ability to find people via the app when Facebook bought them.  But, that doesn’t mean you need to post 5 pics in a row on your Twitter feed.  One link to instagram, every so often, when it’s a really good pic or (even better) a really great caption, is fine.  But more than one link in a row is annoying, if I wanted to see your pics, the first link would’ve already had me clicking follow (particularly now that you can follow etc. via a webpage and not just on your phone).

 

Disagree with any of these?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments (but make sure you offer up some *logic* on why I’m wrong and you’re right).  Have any more to add?  

10 Stupid Things You Should Stop Doing on Twitter

People will tell you that you should do Twitter your own way and in many ways they are right.  You should express yourself how you want to express yourself, that is, after all, what self-expression is all about, no?  That being said, people do a lot of stupid things (in no particular order).

 

1.  Team Follow Back

Under no circumstances should you involve yourself with anything #TeamFollowBack related or anyone who says “I follow back” and here’s why.  Team follow back and all people who automatically follow back are really telling you that they’ll follow anyone and who wants to be followed by someone who will follow anyone.  This is not a third grade birthday party and it’s time to be a selective grown up.  Moreover, how good can someone’s tweets really be if they only gain followers by promising to return the favor?  Follow people because they’re awesome.  Follow people because they interest you.  Follow people because you’ve created elaborate fantasies where you do all kinds of illicit things and everyone is always happy, or whatever.

 

2. Don’t beg celebrities (or others) to follow you back

I know this is similar to number 1. but it happens so often and is even more aggressive and uncomfortable than simply being un-discerning like team follow back that it needs to be addressed.  Asking if someone follows back, begging to be followed, and any sort of angry @ mention where you bitterly state that someone won’t follow you back because of their follower ratio is about as pathetic as it gets.  This is sad and you’re not only embarrassing yourself but humanity as a whole.  Get a clue.  And as stated in 1. if you’re following a person simply so they will follow you back, knock it off, you’re doing it wrong anyway.

 

3.  #FF (Follow Friday)

This one is a bit of a double edged sword.  In theory, it should work great, the people who you think are awesome recommend other awesome people to follow and then you do, in fact, follow them.  In reality, Fridays are the worst on Twitter.  People #FF entire lists of people without offering any kind of explanation as to why (or when they do, the reason is often stupid like #HotChicks or #MyFavoriteGuys – both which are stupid reasons to follow as judgments like hot and favorite are about as relative as its gets and let’s be honest, if your #FF is a whole list of people you’re not very discerning to begin with and thus your recommendation means nada).

That being said, I was recently reminded of the one positive of this whole thing.  It can make someone feel really special.  Someone recently did a #FF for me that was about how they thought I was great etc. etc. and dammit if it didn’t make my entire day.  That being said, if the person did it all the time or even for a bunch of people on the same day, it would start to feel a little like bullshit.  So, if you decide to do #FF, do it sparingly and with real thought and emotion.

 

4.  Stop Careless (Moronic) RTing (retweeting)

For the love of intelligent things, if someone does #FF you, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES RT it (you may be able to get away with doing so if the tweet is incredibly hilarious and well written but otherwise, no exceptions).  See, here’s the thing – the people you’re RTing it to ALREADY FOLLOW YOU! So now it just looks like you’re either a moron who doesn’t realize this or a total jackass who RTs compliments (have some humility, yo).  Even worse than this is RTing it if the #FF is a list of however many names the person could squeeze into 140 characters.  Now, not only are you okaying this foolish behavior of pandering and idiocy but you’re propagating it to your followers (who I assure you don’t care that you were on a nondescript list) and are not going to then follow all the people on said nondescript list anyway.  Hell, they might even unfollow you for this annoying behavior (I know I do).

 

5.  Stop Careless Thanking

We get it, you’re grateful!  There is no need to thank the person who #FFed you in a list with 6 other people and even less of a need to thank the person, while still @ing all the people in the original tweet – because here’s what – not only does the rest of the list not care that you’re thankful but they now probably hate you a little bit for your stupidity.  USE SOME LOGIC.  Seriously.  And if you RT someone thanking you for your #FF nondescript list, just close your Twitter account now.  Honestly, you’re a blight on society.

 

6.  Don’t ask for Retweets or favs (stars)

Up until recently I didn’t know this was a thing, that people asked each other for this, that people traded these things like a barter system, and my life is infinitely sadder now that I know this exists, so don’t be one of these people.  If your tweets don’t speak for themselves, they weren’t very good anyway.  And if you think your tweets are dynamite (and they actually are) then just engage with people, offer witty quips, RT and star the tweets of others that you enjoy and so that the people you find funny know you exist, just don’t expect things from people like a trade off.  If you’re good, people will eventually see.

 

7.  Don’t worry about follower ratio

If someone makes you laugh or interests you, follow them.  Regardless of how many people you are following.  There is no magic follower ratio, there is no magic if I follow less than 500 people I will be seen as a big deal answer.  Follow who you like, don’t follow who you don’t like.  As a tip though try to remember slow and steady wins the race.  Back in the day I remember my getting dizzy when I tried to keep up with more than 400 people but you adapt, you get better at Twitter.  So don’t sign up and follow 2000 people, start slow, find your groove, and adjust as you go.

 

8.  Think before tweeting

In all honesty, this applies more to @ mentions than anything.  You can tweet whatever the fuck you want to and people will follow or unfollow accordingly.  But @ mentions are a little different.  You see, the people following you signed up for that shit so if you tweet asinine nonsense and they see it, well, they made that choice.  @ mentions, however, don’t have that same limit.  You can @ mention anyone (though that doesn’t mean you should).  Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t repeat the joke back to the person in slightly different words.  Write your own jokes (see also: doing this is never funny).
  2. Don’t @ mention them with the opposite of their tweet.  If I tweet https://twitter.com/SSDated/status/349305174164119554 and you respond with https://twitter.com/raywade1/status/349306633400229888 You can rest assured that I 100% hate you.
  3. Don’t bother @ mentioning with any of the following:  ha!, haha, lol, lolz, lmao, lmfao, so true, etc.  Just star their tweet and be on your way.
  4. Don’t @ mention something off topic.  If the person tweeted about ice cream and you come back with so what do you do for work? you’re a fucking moron.
  5. Don’t bother @ mentioning someone about a tweet older than a week.  In social media time that’s like a year ago and the original tweeter is no longer thinking about it.  Find something newer to respond to.
  6. Use your words.  I can’t tell you how many times an @ mention doesn’t make sense (I’m assuming because the person thinks I can read their mind).  If you can’t be clear in 140 characters than maybe don’t mention them.
  7. Finally, honestly, truly, just put a little thought into your response.  I often get @ mentions where I follow up with several back and forth tweets till the guy (sorry dudes, it always seems to be you) admits that the original @ mention to me was stupid and he didn’t really think it through.  So don’t make me be that bitch that harasses you till you realize you’re a moron.  Just stop the idiocy before we get started.  It’s okay to just star a tweet and not bother @ mentioning.

 

9.  Hashtags

Now this one is a little controversial.  Some people absolutely can’t stand them.  I think they’re okay when used thoughtfully.  I’m okay with a hashtag if it’s cute and/or funny #FatPanda #TheyBuriedMeAliveSomeoneHelpMeImHungry etc.  That being said, even when funny or creative, brevity and moderation are your friends.  Once or twice.  Here and there.  No big deal.  I’m also okay with hashtags when they serve a purpose #StandWithWendy being a favorite of mine recently or my always favorite #PossibleBookTitles or any of the ones about changing movies/bands/etc.  Two rules of thumb to avoid be a super douche when it comes to hashtags:  Don’t hashtag incorrectly (don’t hashtag #montreal #vancouver #sydney #boobs in a tweet about gardening in the hopes someone will care about your tweet, they won’t) and don’t hashtag excessively (this goes for instagram too–there’s no need for #igers, #instagrammers, etc.  A. because we’re all instagrammers, this is instagram, don’t be a fucking moron and B. these are redundant, the same, just pick one).

 

10.  Don’t treat twitter like a chatroom

Don’t tweet Hi or any variation of this at anyone, ever.  If you have something to say, say it.  Not only do public greetings like this seem creepy (and out of touch with social media), but they confuse the person you’re @ing.  First, they’ll probably wonder if they know you somehow.  When that’s not it they’ll wonder what’s going on, why would someone tweet a greeting, that’s so bizarre.  Then, after they’ve wasted sufficient time on this, one of two things will likely happen.  They’ll respond because they’re kind and you’re pathetic and the whole thing makes them uncomfortable or they’ll block you because fuck that.

 

Disagree with any of these?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments (but make sure you offer up some *logic* on why I’m wrong and you’re right).  Have any more to add?  

READ MORE:  Ten More Stupid Things You Should Stop Doing On Twitter