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.

Online Dating Site Review: eHarmony

eHarmony

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eHarmony   

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Attractiveness of Guys  

Overall the guys are fairly decent, not mega-babes like on POF and not the bottom of the barrel like lavalife, etc.  Also, add to that, the fact that the majority of the men are highly educated and have pretty kick ass profiles and attraction goes way up!

Attention from Fellas  

This site doesn’t allow you to do your own searching.  That being said, it’s been an entire week and then send me approximately 7 matches a day.  I’ve been keeping really open-minded and not closing communication with anyone they said me, and still, I’ve yet to have any “dater” initiated contact from ANYONE.  My best guess?  Though they may be matching me personality-wise with these men, I’m thinking the part where one specifies body-type etc. is being ignored…but just a theory.

 

Quality of Responders   

What responders???

Coolness of Site 

If I was actually getting some love on this site, I would think it was pretty cool.  They match you (aka no work for me), communication is guided (when making first communication you send them 5 questions that you’ve selected out of a possible 20 or so), the personality size-up they give you is actually pretty interesting (truth be told I’ll be saving a copy so that when I discontinue I will have it just for interest sake, it’s pretty accurate and neat).  Plus the profile is guided so again, though you still need effort to fill stuff in, at least it helps you with what to write.

 

Overall Satisfaction 

This website sucked cost/benefit analysis wise.  It was $60 for the first month (uber-high because I wasn’t willing to sign up for a package which is good because I’ve already discontinued the automatic renew, after the month I’m done).  This website might not have sucked so much if  A. It was so expensive and B. I was actually getting some dates out of it.  Part of why I’m giving this blog review is because of this site.  After I had signed up (read: paid the moola) that’s when I came across all the reviews for eharmony saying it was total crap etc.etc.etc. if only I had read it before, so here’s me, hoping to save someone else the 60 bucks.

The Nick Name: A New “Something” Gets A Pseudonym

Dating

 

[dropcap]He[/dropcap] messaged first.  Nothing amazing.  But he’d read my profile and commented on something in it.  Good start.  Plus honestly, he was just really nice, not creepy-over-complimenty nice, but just genuinely interested nice.  And the conversation just kind of flowed.

He asked about what I liked to do for fun.
I asked him what were three things he thought were funny.
He told me about where he grew up.  I did the same.
I asked him to describe his best friend and how they knew each other.
He asked about school and all the things that take up my time.
Conversation was good.  No lulls.  And then he did what was most surely a move but even my awareness of it, didn’t take away from the fact that I thought it was awesome.  I seem to only be on here to read your messages so why don’t you call or text me when you want to say hi.

Nicely done.  In one fell swoop he managed to make me feel special, indicate he liked me thus far, and take the conversation offline.  Well done, sir.
And so I did, text him I mean.  And it was nice.  Cute.  Good.  Though not…off the charts amazing.  And so I began to get a little worried.  Would he be incredibly corny and unfunny like Tedski (fix links)?  But then he did something awesome.  Totally unaware.  He did something so funny I almost peed my pants.  He created his own pseudonym for the blog.  Inadvertently of course, as he most certainly doesn’t know of its existence or his presence in it.  But nonetheless.  The NickName was born.

I have to warn you though.  Some people get the hilarity of this story.  Some think it’s…meh…whatever.  But I relish it.  Cherish it.  Think it’s fucking brilliantly hilarious.  Because we all know I am madly in love with irony and coincidence.  So here’s the thing of the thing.

I have a friend.  If you’ve been reading from the beginning you may recognize references to her in the blog and her comments.  TheHel.  But let’s back it up even a little further.  One day TheHel and I were talking about an aunt of hers whom everybody calls TheCath (cathy?) or something like that.  I thought it was fucking hilarious and decided to call my friend TheHel.  So when the new something sent a text message in which he gave himself a nickname of TheShortenedVersionofHisName  I fell off my chair laughing.  He of course was joking.  I of course was like it’s sticking.  It’s stuck.  And thus was born his pseudonym TheNickName.  Okay perhaps it doesn’t even seem that funny now as I type this out.  But because he obvs. doesn’t know the story of her name.  And well frankly you just don’t laugh in the face of irony.  You make love to it.  TheNickName. I like it.

And that’s mostly why.  Even though some of his texts were very hit or miss.  When he suggested we chat it up a bit.  I was like.  Uh.  Ok.  Sure.  Because it was just too perfect.  Too ironic.  Too hilarious.  Too blog worthy.  Even though I generally hate to doing that.  Having big chats before meeting.  Because I think it gives a false sense of knowing a person (which can be a serious illusion…read: Tedski).  And yet….

Detour:  At this point, I was in the process of writing 3 HUGE term papers and in my last 2 weeks of school.  He understood this and was willing to wait it out to meet me.  But in the meantime what could we do.  Stop contact and wait?  Just text for 2 weeks?  Or talk on the phone like normal people?

Back on Track:  So against my better judgement…we took it to the phones…

To Be Continued….

 

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