Dear Men: We Don’t Need Your Approval

This morning I was doing a little online shopping. I wanted to post one of the dresses I was going to buy to Instagram. In facebooklaporder to do that, I had to log in to Pinterest using my Facebook account so I could download the photo. By logging in this way, a page for me was automatically created. I had no posts on it and nothing was pinned. All that was there was my Facebook profile photo.

Within 5 minutes I had a follower.

It was a guy. Because, of course. I immediately deactivated my Pinterest page, annoyed.

The only reason that guy decided to follow me was because of my picture. And while I’m sure some people will say, “So what? He thinks you’re attractive. It’s a compliment!” I’m here to inform you that it’s not. I have a general policy when it comes to social media: if you’re a dude and you follow me and all you ever like or comment on are photos I post of myself, you’re blocked. I don’t care who you are. I could have known you for years, and I’ll still do it.

Worse are the guys who comment on photos I post on Instagram. Take this one for example.

Is my cleavage prominently featured? Yes. But that still doesn’t mean that someone can write lewd comment about how they want to be between my breasts. I’ll break this down for you so that you can understand: if you wouldn’t dream of making such a comment to a man you don’t know, don’t say it to a woman. There. Simple concept.

The reason why this kind of attention isn’t remotely flattering to many women is because these men are commenting on their parts, not on the sum of their parts. You might thinking telling a random woman on OKCupid that she has great curves is okay, but what you’re really saying with that is that, despite having an incredibly well thought out profile that details her thoughts and values and interests, the only thing that matters to you is her body.

I have no doubt that some of you – both men and women – are rolling your eyes and wondering what the big deal is. Allow me to enlighten you. When you are a human being barraged with comments solely about your looks, often times uninvited and unwanted, you end up feeling devalued. You also end up feeling somewhat preyed upon. Now, I’ve articulated in the past that I have zero issue with telling a man to fuck off if I feel he’s being overly-aggressive strictly because I’m a female. But not all women feel that way. And, really, my hubris and bravado could very well one day lead me to be assaulted. I’m not being brave when I stand up for myself. I’m risking possible harm. That is the unfortunate reality that we live in. But you only understand that if you experience it. And women do, every day, in various spaces. Online dating sites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Even LinkdIn. Walking down the street. It’s constant. And, no, that’s not me or any other woman who has a similar complaint bragging about how much attention we get. In some cases, that is the case. But not all. There’s a fine line between posting something that we want people to find sexy or attractive and something where we are blatantly objectifying ourselves or showing off certain parts of our anatomy.  I have a hard time sympathizing for people who do that and then complain that somebody commented on said part of her anatomy. Yes, we do invite attention to a certain degree.  But that still doesn’t mean you get to take the attention to a lewd place.

Because, see, we know that attention is based in the idea that, as women, our bodies are up for grabs. It’s not a compliment. So when dudes whine about how women get sooooo many more messages, I want to collectively tell them to shut it. Those messages we get? 80% are disgusting. Not because most of them are from slobs with no social skills, but because these men talk to us like the only thing that matters to them are our looks and our vaginas. Many guys will say, “Dude, I’d love it if a woman commented on my junk!” Orly? Okay. Let’s see how you feel about that when that’s all you hear. Constantly. Wherever you go. Even when you’re fully clothed. Oh, and let’s throw in for funsies that, when you reject some of these junk-adoring women, they threaten to do you physical harm or respond with rage. How’s your junk feeling now, brah? Still not getting it? You will that one time you feel a disgruntled woman’s wrath.

Social media, while obviously a tool for self-promotion, is a breeding ground for various kinds of harassment for women. We don’t have to say anything. Put the #feminist hashtag on a tweet and you’re confronted by angry, self-righteous dudes. Post a photo of yourself in any state of dress or undress and you’re being verbally violated by men you don’t know. What you would never see in a million years is the same kind of language and the same type of attention directed at men. Because, see, these men who so freely and without thought think it’s okay to tell us how hot we are or comment on our bodies actually believe a) that we like it and b) that we exists solely for their pleasure.

And let’s get another thing crystal clear. I don’t give a fuck what the guy looks like. He could be Ryan motherfuckingGosling and I’d still find that kind of objectification unnecessary and annoying. What I’m wearing, and even what I’m not wearing, doesn’t imply or inform any kind of consent to be treated in any other way than as a three dimensional human being.

“Well, what should we say when a woman posts a photo somewhere or if we like her photos on her dating profile?”

That’s easy. NOTHING. You can like it. You can click that little heart. But you should not be taking that post as an invitation to tell her how hot you think her boobs are.  If you want to verbally acknowledge something, acknowledge her humor. Or her intelligence. Or her love of brownies. As long as it’s sincere and genuine and not just some phony way to get her to engage you, then that stuff is perfectly acceptable. But if that’s all you take notice of, and if those photos of her are the only ones you like, you’re immediately deemed a creep.

Am I inviting likes to certain photos I post, even ones that are provocative? Absolutely. But if I’m also inviting you into my weird little online world and sharing other aspects of my life, then look at me though that lens. Don’t hone in on just my looks. And please don’t assume I’m desperate for your validation and so you think you’re doing me a favor by telling me I have great breasts. Trust me. I’m well aware of how sexy I am. I don’t need some rando on the web to confirm that with some gross comment.

That’s the real issue I have with this. Do they feel the same when it comes to other men? Do they look at a guy and think they should tell them how handsome they look? Does that thought even enter their head? Probably not. It’s as if men think they are doing us a favor by giving us their approval. That is what truly bothers me about this type of attention. It’s condescending, among other things.

It makes you realize that there are still so many men out there who think of us as weak and fragile and who feel that, without their approval, we have no value. They think that we need them in a way that we don’t.

Not anymore, at least.

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75 Responses to “Dear Men: We Don’t Need Your Approval”

  1. BTownGirl Says:

    It’s come to a point where I no longer post beach photos to Facebook, because I don’t need any of my male Fbook friends embarrassing me (and themselves) by making gross comments. Just because they play it off like they’re joking doesn’t make me want to chuck my phone into the sea any less. I just wanted to share a day at the beach, not hear about how big my boobs are. Because, like Moxie, I wasn’t aware of it and really needed them to point it out. *SIDE EYE* Normal people where swimwear to a beach, so it’s not the invitation some men think it is to make comments about our bodies. Ironically enough, posting comments like that is a great way to ensure that I’ll never actually f*ck you.

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    • Nicole Says:

      Your FB friends do this? That would piss me off. Somehow it would bother me a lot more coming from someone I actually knew.

      I can see examples like the one Moxie described being common – random guys making comments to women they will never meet in person. I don’t have much of a “public” social media presence, but I got plenty of comments like that when I was dating online.

      But my FB is always full of pictures of me in a bikini on the boat or in skimpy workout clothes, and I’ve never gotten a single lewd comment. Once in a while one of my female friends will say “you look great!” but thats it in terms of comments on my appearance. Do I live in a weirdly polite and non-objectifying bubble?

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      • BTownGirl Says:

        I know an astonishing number of men that think it’s still 2003 and they’re still the most popular guy on fraternity row – it’s sad, it’s just so sad haha!

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      • ATWYSingle Says:

        “Do I live in a weirdly polite and non-objectifying bubble?”

        Yes, you live in a bubble in the sense that your public exposure is minimum. As you said, when you were dating online, you experienced it because your profile was public. WIth Twitter and Instagram there’s no way to keep out people you don’t know without making both private. If you were to post those bikini photos somewhere where anybody could see them, you’d probably receive the same lewd comments. we shouldn’t have to hide behind privacy settings because people dont know whats appropriate.

        And just because you don’t experience doesn’t mean it’s not real.

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        • BTownGirl Says:

          Seeeeriously, that’s why I stick with just Fbook, because the privacy options on Twitter and Instagram just stink.

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        • Nicole Says:

          That’s what I was trying to say… That of course those types of photos would attract icky comments on a public platform, but I was surprised to hear that BTownGirl’s personal facebook friends would say that kind of stuff.

          I get the same lewd looks and “smile, beautiful!” comments as every other woman walking down the street… It’s mildly annoying but whatever. I think most of us who have put up with that since puberty have just come to see it as irritating white noise. Same with the nasty OKC messages and unsolicited dick pics.

          But if this attitude was coming from guys I know – like coworkers or old classmates or running buddies – that would genuinely upset me. I really don’t care that there are lots of assholes out there who see me as just a set of body parts, but I expect a little better from the guys who know me as a person.

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  2. Steve Says:

    Or, it may be a bot coded to tag and follow new signups. Sometimes the reality is simpler than an angry perception. Bad assumptions are rarely of value and thatwhyyouresingle.

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  3. Stephanie Says:

    I dunno? Maybe a bit hypocritical? Just saying.

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    • BTownGirl Says:

      Here’s the thing: there’s a world of difference between “You look sexy/gorgeous/etc” and “I want to take up residence in the vicinty of your nipples.”. The former is an actual compliment and the latter is just being lewd and rude.

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      • HammersAndNails Says:

        Ehh…Seems like Moxie is raging pretty hard even against “you look gorgeous”. Sure the example she posted is absolutely absurd and offensive, but apparently we are looking for “Wow that bikini highlights your amazing dry wit”

        I don’t post on facebook and i don’t have instagram, so i personally don’t care, but I don’t think there is any way for a man to comment on a womans intelligence on a bikini photo without coming off as an ever bigger asshole than if he just said “u look 2 hot!zomg!@! #hottie #sunsoutbunsout”

        Girl: such a great amazing day at the beach with so and so (and not so and so. and look how fancy my beach is. There is champagne in the picture so you know it’s better than your poverty beach. and also look and how great i look when i hold the camera over my head and point down)

        Guy: your intelligence is so attractive!

        girl: fuck you.

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        • Ishtar Says:

          How about men don’t say anything at all? Is that an option too?

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

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          • HammersAndNails Says:

            It’s certainly the option I take. I have no interest in creeping my acquaintances facebook.

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            • Ishtar Says:

              Well, good for you. I mean that. For the record a compliment from a good friend is totally different from some random dude’s comment on your boobs.

              That said, I found the long screeds on OKC from 50-year-old guys WAY creepier than the sexual messages.

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              • Joey Giraud Says:

                I’ve been saying lately that no one, I mean no one, really wants to hear a middle age man complaining about his ex-wife.

                well, maybe another middle age man with an ex wife.

                ( yeah, I’m middle aged with an ex wife, two to be exact :)

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          • Joey Giraud Says:

            “How about men don’t say anything at all? Is that an option too?”

            Do women care about their appearance because men are attracted to pretty women? Is it because beauty is a kind of power in it’s own right?

            I really doubt that women make such an effort to enhance and display their sexual beauty with no expectation that men will notice.

            Yeah, a socially smart man will avoid saying anything at all. But the real problem is that the undesirable men have no reason not to speak up, and all they can do is mock and ridicule.

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        • D. Says:

          Right, but there’s also the option to not comment on her looks at all. A simply “Cool, looks like you had fun”, for example, if the caption is all about how much fun she had.

          Even if she’s saying “New bathing suit! Whaddaya think?” there’s still the matter of degrees between “Looks great!” and “I WANNA MOTORBOAT YOU!!”

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  4. bbdawg Says:

    I don’t think those dudes are thinking we’re after their approval. It’s really more about a woman not really being a “person”. I have started using the free message filters on OkCupid and I found that it has basically eliminated these messages since they are 98% all sent by men who don’t fit my age and location (5 miles) requirements or have a less 70% which is all the men who don’t fill out their profile questions or are interested in short-term casual arrangements and /or have a party lifestyle. I’d say the junk mail messages are the majority. I have had a much better experience after filtering these messages.
    Like today’s pearls… one of which was a message from a 50 year old dude from somewhere in New Jersey I had never heard of saying ” I am into boobs”. OK???? WOW really? I don’t think it’s personal, it’s a reflex…people eliminate themselves.

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  5. Ishtar Says:

    Luckily I never got many lewd comments on OKC. Once I started using the filters those messages dropped to zero since they were all coming from the dudes in their late thirties upwards and/or with low match-percentages.

    My female friends and I find that the men we know tend to see even the littlest of things as provocation or attention-seeking. Even a slightly low-cut shirt or red lipstick or a shirt that rides up a little becomes a fixation for them and a huge topic of discussion. I find that a little unsettling, that it appears to be impossible almost to not be seen as asking for attention since apparently even the littlest things matter.

    Cat-calling isn’t very prevalent in my country, particularly compared to the US – we are more gender-equal in many ways. I definitely think that women’s lives are much improved by the absence of such comments. We just want to go about our daily business without some random dudes’ attention-seeking comments on our looks (because that’s what catcalling really is).

    Personally, I don’t take male approval into account at all when it comes to the way I dress or the hobbies/interests I have. The only thing that matters to me is whether the guy I am dating/want to date finds me sexy, and the rest is meaningless.

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    • HammersAndNails Says:

      Sigh.. okcupid fail. Why wouldn’t it just hide your profile, say your mailbox is full, or just say that you don’t match their filters?

      Quality guys #1 complaint about the site is that you have to send out a hundred emails to get 3 dates, so why bother?

      What does OKCupid do? Make sending first messages an even bigger waste of time and encouraging you to send out more messages that will likely be of lower quality. Amazing.

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      • bbdawg Says:

        Hammers if men read profiles instead of sending inane messages they would know they don’t meet our requirements. Not lofty requirements. Like don’t be 20 years older or just younger than me. Don’t live far away. Basics. This is the one way OkC will keep women logging in because otherwise it’s all “you’re so sexy” / How u r?? what’s your skype let’s chat”. It’s a staggering number of men who seem to think that because you are online you are available to them like an escort, or a phone sex operator.

        It becomes extremely draining dealing with this. Blame the idiot men who keep sending these messages. OkC knows that dating sites are generally driven by the quality of women, and once women leave there is not much to work with.

        Quality guys get through easily. It’s pretty obvious. There is a HUGE difference between them and the rest. They can spell and write full sentences for instance. These days I think a lot of the “quality guys” have migrated to Tinder. I have met great guys on there and the reality is that busy men don’t have time to send endless messages to people. At least on Tinder you don’t get contacted by men you don’t want to hear from. That’s a huge difference from OkC and other open-ended sites. Everyone wastes less time.

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        • Ishtar Says:

          My experience with Tinder was not great. It is very much a hook-up site where I live. I also can’t work with just a picture, age and a couple of sentences. I need more information to make a decision about a guy. He could be OK/nice-looking but a total effing weirdo. Having him write a coherent story would bring out the weirdness much faster.

          OKC is definitely a lot better although not really representative where I live since it is an English-language site. Still, there are loads of quality guys who can write coherent stories with full sentences and are looking for smart, attractive women. Lots of foreign guys on there, which is a bonus if you like a little variety.

          And yeah, all those guys with low match-percentages or 20 years older? They are not ‘quality’. Neither are the guys who can’t even muster a “Hey, I liked your profile – want to meet for a drink?” in full sentence.

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        • HammersAndNails Says:

          Read what I’m saying. Wouldn’t it help EVERYONE out more if they simply wouldn’t allow people to message you rather then throw more messages into the garbage. How does that hurt you, or make you wade through any more crap?

          The good guys are leaving OKCupid because it’s inefficient, compared to tinder. You like OKCupid because it provides more information. Making okcupid more efficient would keep more good guys on OKCupid. It seems like are either not thinking this through or just trying to disagree to disagree. What I suggested gets you more of what you claim to want.

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          • Ishtar Says:

            But the problem is with people who don’t read profiles and message women who were bound to reject them for age differences or match percentages or differences in values anyway. Methinks that the ‘good guys’ do juuuuust fine on OKC. You know, the guys who actually take the trouble to read profiles and send a coherent message that is not objectifying (one line is enough already).

            I’m not disagreeing that blocking those guys would make things easier, but the issue would be solved if those guys would not think that they could just override women’s wishes. I mean, what does that have to do with quality guys again?

            I mean, aren’t guys already complaining that ‘high-value’ women are not showing up in their searches or whatever?

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            • HammersAndNails Says:

              Are you never too busy to date? Are you never actually dating someone/a few someones so you don’t need new dates? You never get a nice email or two on the same day you get another one that just sparkles a little brighter? All those emails that come in at these times don’t really have a chance, and it has nothing to do with the guy or how well he read your profile. It’s not your fault, i don’t expect you to take your profile down every time work gets crazy, but it just seems very unrealistic to think that if you read a profile you can get a date without sending a ton of emails.

              The guys “doing just fine” on OKC are sending out a ton of messages/favorites/etc. It’s how the game works.

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              • Ishtar Says:

                Buuut…why would a man send a ton of e-mails in the first place? That tells me he’s just mailing *any* woman out there. A man would be better served if he picks just a few women he likes best and who are the kind of women who might be attracted to them (which I suppose is what this whole league business is in the end).

                And there’s nothing wrong with writing just a couple of sentences. How much effort does that take? No-one’s asking you to write Vergilian epics.

                I did disable my profile when I felt that I didn’t have time to date anybody else and I wanted to see where things went with current guy.

                But you talk about the game – women have the same issues. I was messaging, well not tons, but a few guys but it took a while for me to actually get a date. Most of the guys lived too far away, which is what happens when you don’t live in the city (I don’t have the money to move just yet).

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                • Joey Giraud Says:

                  “Buuut…why would a man send a ton of e-mails in the first place? That tells me he’s just mailing *any* woman out there. ”

                  I happen to agree with you, but then I’m not so young any more as to be hunting for sex with J-Random-Woman.

                  I bet the thumbs down are because you’re not “getting” that these men who spam every woman with cookie-cutter openers are looking for a fast lay.

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                  • Ishtar Says:

                    If they want a fast lay, they can go with a bar. Why would they bother with the internet. Oh, right. Because they want someone who can look past the fact that they are not especially attractive.

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                    • Joey Giraud Says:

                      Yeah. There’s that.

                      Also the Internet is a lot more efficient, less expensive, very convenient…

                      Look, I didn’t make humans they way they are.. talk to the chief of design, wherever she lives.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

                • kofybean Says:

                  @Ishtar “A man would be better served if he picks just a few women he likes best and who are the kind of women who might be attracted to them..”

                  And what happens when those women don’t respond? After he’s spent all that time reading their profile and crafting a well thought out email? Sending it in for their approval, and they blow him off?

                  What is the guy suppose to do then? Don’t say ‘find someone else’, because you just said men shouldn’t send a ton of emails. So if a man is just limited, in your mind, to sending only a few emails to a few women and none of them respond, then what?

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          • ATWYSingle Says:

            The good guys are leaving OKCupid because it’s inefficient, compared to tinder.

            By good guys do you mean guys who have no game or are moderately attractive or don’t have much going for them? Because if you’re reasonably attractive and your profile isn’t a snooze and your pictures don’t suck, you should be able to get responses. That is, if you’re shooting in your league.

            Here’s why guys are getting more dates from Tinder: There’s no basic details or much of a bio. Therefore, they’re not getting ruled out by height or income..that is until they meet someone or the woman asks them. Tinder might get matches, but I would bet Tinder results in fewer actual dates. Tinder encourages way more awkward conversations and banal email exchanges.

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            • HammersAndNails Says:

              I don’t find it surprising that you dislike having to expend the effort for these banal conversations, but it’s just spreading the load that guys have been carrying solo on okc. As you can see, most guys prefer this. This is not because we like tinder better, it’s because women have to engage.

              You think it results in less dates, because you are doing more work to get a date. I think it results in more dates, because im doing less work to get a date.

              Also, lets be real. Tinder just has more attractive women. It’s trivial to find a few good looking girls on tinder. On OKC, not so much. I have no idea what it’s like on the mens side, but for the ladies, it feels like the top third of tinder is as attractive as the top 5% on OKC.

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      • Ishtar Says:

        I don’t understand what you’re saying. Messages from profiles that are within the age range I’m looking for and profiles that have a match percentage over 70% won’t get filtered out. There are plenty of quality guys within that range. I have been dating one for the last few months. And he was one of many.

        And grammar and coherence matters to me but not hugely – else I would’ve missed out on current guy, for whom English is a second language, much more so than for me.

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      • D. Says:

        OKCupid is just providing the user with mechanical tools to filter out people they’d already filter out. I haven’t been on the site in a while, but it sounds like you just set your limits to some given range, and it handles automatically screening out anyone who doesn’t meet that range. But the user is still determining the range and applying the filter, so these are people who’d be skipped past anyway and aren’t, in fact, a “quality guy” for the woman in question. (And the same would hold true for a “quality woman” that a guy skips past or filters out automatically.)

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        • HammersAndNails Says:

          OKC is *intentionally* filtering them after the person goes through the trouble of writing them, when it could just as easily filter before the person waste time writing them. That’s all I’m saying. How am I getting so much push back on this?

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          • D. Says:

            I get what you’re saying — that the guy wastes time writing — but honestly, it’s just the time it takes to write an email. That’s it. As long as you aren’t writing Russian novels as opening emails, is it really such an inconvenience?

            I think you’re getting pushback for two reasons.

            First, because, from the guy’s perspective, nothing has changed except, perhaps, the dispelling of his fantasy that his message would make it through and somehow convince the woman to write him back, even when he was a longshot. In reality, in the vast, vast majority of instances, his message ended up in the same place: the trash. The only thing different now, is that OKCupid has, essentially, a user-defined “spam filter.”

            Second, it’s probably the tone or at least the timing of your post. In a discussion about how many men online presume to have the right to be heard, even when their solicitation is unwelcome, your post may have come across as basically being more of that. To my read, it seems like you’re more concerned with the technological implementation of an otherwise fine idea. But the harm you raise to warrant revisiting that implementation is, especially in the context of this discussion, pretty minimal.

            That said, I think you have a point that OKC could come up with a better solution that even removes the temptation to send the message, like auto-blocking people who fall into the filter from even seeing a profile. And maybe they’ll do that later. But for now, really all they’ve done is automate what the user would’ve done manually anyway, so, the guy has, on the whole, lost nothing.

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            • HammersAndNails Says:

              Yeah, I must have been unclear here, because everyone seems to be dying to argue but not actually having a problem with what I suggested.

              Look, I get it, it’s just an email. How long could that possibly take? Right? I know. I know. You are just going to have to take my word for it that writing 15 emails and getting 0 replies is more of a downer than you think it is.

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              • ATWYSingle Says:

                You are just going to have to take my word for it that writing 15 emails and getting 0 replies is more of a downer than you think it is.

                The thing you refuse to get is that this is what it is like FOR EVERYBODY. It’s not just you and it’s not just guys. Sending out a bunch of emails DOES NOT WORK FOR ANYBODY.

                What nobody wants to hear is that maybe you should stick to the people contacting you or somehow showing interest first. Anybody – male or female- who sends out 15 messages in a week is going to get little to no response. Know why? They’re mostly sending messages to people they aren’t compatible with or are out of their league or you’re disregarding certain things in profiles that get you rejected.

                I’m so beyond tired of the whiny bullshit that comes from guys like you, because you all act like the odds are just stacked against you and women just don’t ever respond, etc. When the truth is, half of you bozos are throwing anything against the wall just to get a response.

                Really? You find 15 people a week (or even a day??)on a dating site that you actually think you could date for a significant period of time? That right there tells me you’re just messaging anybody. THAT’S WHY YOU’RE NOT GETTING ANY RESPONSE. You’re emailing people who – for whatever reason – don’t think you and they are a match.

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          • Bree Says:

            PlentyOfFish.com (POF) does what you suggest. It’s great. I don’t think you’re getting “pushback” about your idea here. People are just talking about how men impose themselves on women in EVERY SPACE, online and otherwise. It’s actually kind of funny how you keep commenting that nobody is understanding you, lol! Relax dude.

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          • bbdawg Says:

            Hammers, an addendum to Moxie’s post. I can tell you from the empirical evidence on my mailboxes.

            The free filters only follow a woman’s location and age preferences. They also automatically filter under 70%. If a man is smart he will not randomly send messages to people he will consider what women are open to receiving. I guess this system will upset mostly older dudes contacting much younger women who aren’t really interested in hearing from them. If a man continues to send messages to people who aren’t interested in them and have said so from the start, it’s their fault, it really is. I’d say the single deterrent for the success of OkC are these awful useless spam messages. They’re enough to make you want to quit.

            I look at every message, and I know from experience that men who fall below 70% all have one no-no deal-breaker for me it’s either overt drug use or interest in “poly”, “open relationships” looking for “someone for tonight”…and looking for short terms relationships , based on the questions we both answered. Also anyone who doesn’t answer any questions. (the 10% dudes)

            They system is pretty efficient actually, this dramatically cut down how many bad messages we have received. Bad messages mean a sentence, the most. Mostly textspeak and comments on your appearance. And again, I have received maybe 1 decent message out of the 100 crap ones from the last month on the junk folder. Decent dudes are on the official folder. It’s almost automatic how that happens.

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            • Nicole Says:

              “I guess this system will upset mostly older dudes contacting much younger women who aren’t really interested in hearing from them.”

              And younger dudes contacting much older women!

              I was 33-34 when I was on OKC and I got waaaaay more messages from guys in their 20s than guys in their 50s or even late 40s. (Despite saying I was looking for guys 33-50, go figure.) And they were invariably awful one line messages or sexual comments.

              I agree with Hammers and Nails that OKC shouldn’t bother to show guys the profiles of women who won’t ever see their messages. But wow, that one step they have taken must have made OKC a much more female friendly place.

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              • Joey Giraud Says:

                I think what makes men upset about this is that they know that in real-world meetings, women make decisions based on the whole experience. Short men, fat men, too-old men, all stand a chance if they can demonstrate other virtues. Online filters prevent that, which feels unfair.

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                • D. Says:

                  Yeah, but that gets back to my point about mindset. Online filters don’t “prevent” that, because, realistically, that wasn’t going to happen anyway in the vast majority of cases. But some guys still want to hold on to the notion that theirs will be the message that gets through all of the woman’s other filters, and catches her eye. The thing is, that’s probably not the case most of the time. Most of the time, if you don’t meet the criteria, you’re gonna get rejected. The only thing that changes with this system is the perception that the guy had a chance…when realistically, he didn’t.

                  Think about this from a reversed perspective for a second. Imagine if a dude had set his profile preferences to “looking for women between 28-35.” Realistically, that guy would delete a message from a woman over 35. But now, he can just apply the filter, and it catches the email and deletes it for him. Nothing’s changed, though, except that now there’s a mechanical solution to what he was previously doing by hand anyway. Is that “unfair” to women who are over 35? Nope. Not at all. Why? Because they never had a chance to begin with. If they had, the guy would’ve either changed his age preferences, or wouldn’t have turned on the filter in the first place. If he did turn it on, though, it’s safe to assume that he would’ve deleted any messages from +35 women anyway because he’s serious about what he’s said he’s looking for.

                  Now, imagine that women complained about how “unfair” this is. How age is just a number. How they look 10 years younger than they are. How the guy is just sexist for only wanting younger women. Etc., etc., etc.

                  All of that totally misses the point, which is that the guy’s preferences aren’t about what women think is fair; they’re his preferences. End of story. He’s not under any obligation to cater to their whims, and it’s rather obnoxious and presumptuous of them to assume that they get some kind of say in what his preferences are. And he has no obligation to see the messages they want him to see, nor do they have any right to demand that he view their messages or even take the time to delete them.

                  Now flip that story around, and make it about a woman who doesn’t want to date: a guy under 5’9.

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                  • bbdawg Says:

                    Just to add: the filters on Okcupid DO NOT DELETE messages. They just stop the notifications. I read all of the messages on my junk folder.They just happen to be 98% crap. Again, you guys, the filters cut out BASICS like age, location and percentages. Men don’t like to hear that how they answer questions matters more than some message they wrote. If you want “someone to go out with” , you are ok with “open relationships”, and you are looking for a relationship to last “a few months to a year” make sure you only message women who are into that. If you don’t fit what the other person seeks, it’s not going to work. But hey dudes prefer sending 300 messages that say “hi how are you, you are very pretty”. Instead of looking at things analytically.

                    It’s like men don’t want to accept that women on dating websites are mostly looking for men for relationships and therefore take into consideration a lot of factors not just “height” or “looks”…

                    And to Joey’s point, yes in real life it’s about the “whole package” so you either go offline or you understand that what many women want is not what you want. You have to find someone who REALISTICALLY seeks something closer to what you have to offer.

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                    • kofybean Says:

                      @bbdawg “therefore take into consideration a lot of factors not just “height” or “looks”

                      This doesn’t make any sense.

                      Women only take other things into consideration AFTER height’s and looks have been filtered. So Height and Looks are always the foremost consideration.

                      Sure, a girl may want a guy who is nice, and has hobbies, but she’s never going to know about his personality and lifestyle if he doesn’t meet the height requirement.

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      • ATWYSingle Says:

        The OKCupid filters for:

        Looking for (Age, distance, relationship status)
        Match %
        Message length
        Specific words in message

        The “Looking For” part should be self-evident to anybody reading someone’s profile. If they’re outside their preferred age range or geographical location, then they shouldn’t be emailing them.

        As Bbdawg said, if people read the profiles, they’d know they don’t meet that person’s requirements. There shouldn’t be a need for an additional disclaimer not to contact them. It should be a given. The fact that OKC even created filters for their messages should tell you that user’s biggest complaints were receiving messages from people who don’t fit their criteria and receiving gross messages lewd messages or short, useless messages.

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  6. Joe Says:

    How about you women don’t post bathing suit photos on your facebook for the world to see?? Only a fool would post that. You’re probably ugly anyway.

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    • ATWYSingle Says:

      yeah, why dont we just lock,ourselves away so guys like you won’t be tempted, right?

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    • sf Says:

      So we’re asking for it? Is that what you’re saying. And what about when we don’t post bathing suit photos and we still get a torrid stream of lewd comments about our bodies and what men would like to do to them? And as for your final “you’re probably ugly anyway”, there is so much to unpack in that childish, mean phrase. But let’s start with the fact that this has clearly hit way too close to the mark and you’re in fact exactly the kind of man who writes these kinds of things to women. And then when we don’t reply, writes and calls us bitches.

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      • Joe Says:

        I could careless what you post; you people are just distasteful and should grow up with your dumb photos. If you don’t get the comments you like you make comments about “men”. You most certainly are asking for. Get some class and don’t post garbage and you won’t have these issues. In summary you are just a hypocrite!

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        • sf Says:

          Actually, I don’t post those photos ever and yet have these issues daily, as does almost every other woman on an online dating site. It has nothing to do with what we post but is rather about how men like you think you can treat women. And so, back at you, you are asking to be ignore and reviled by women, as I’m mostly certainly sure you are.

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    • HammersAndNails Says:

      What are you? The taliban? You are an embarrassment to the male gender.

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      • BTownGirl Says:

        I used to be a cheerleader for a pro sports team and when I was new I naively asked one of the women who had been on the squad for some time why the website listed us only by our first names and first initial. She looked at me like I was ten kinds of high and told me to go read the comments for the news articles about us. These people, I tell you, they’re out there.

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  7. mindstar Says:

    “That’s the real issue I have with this. Do they feel the same when it comes to other men? Do they look at a guy and think they should tell them how handsome they look?”

    As a general rule no we don’t.

    Straight men (I can’t speak for gay men) really dont care what other men think about our appearance. We do place a fair amount of weight on what women think about our appearance however.

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    • Joey Giraud Says:

      When I tell my teenage son that a clothing choice works or doesn’t work for him, he seems to appreciate it.

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  8. Dan Says:

    There *is* a rough male equivalent, and that’s when a straight guy gets hit on by a gay guy. Ask the straight guy how comfortable and welcome that is for him. I heard an NPR show years ago when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was in the news, and on the show a gay guy was debating a military officer opposed to letting gays serve. The biggest concern seemed to be showering together. The gay guy won the debate handily, by the way, and he said, “You know, I’m continually amazed by the degree to which straight men overestimate their attractiveness.” Cracked me the hell up.

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    • Joey Giraud Says:

      I’ve been hit on by gay guys. Always took it as a compliment.

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      • Dan Says:

        And (just a guess) I’ll bet you’re not guilty of the assholery Moxie is talking about in her post.

        This discussion reminded me of something else. On August 30, 2002, the NPR show This American Life broadcast their episode #220 on Testosterone. They interviewed a female-to-male transsexual, Griffin Hansbury, who had taken testosterone treatments. Here’s part of what he said about it:

        “Well, I felt like a monster a lot of the time. And it made me understand men. It made me understand adolescent boys a lot. Suddenly, hair is sprouting, and I’m turning into this beast. And I would really berate myself for it.

        I remember walking up Fifth Avenue, there was a woman walking in front of me. And she was wearing this little skirt and this little top. And I was looking at her ass. And I kept saying to myself, don’t look at it, don’t look at it. And I kept looking at it.

        And I walked past her. And this voice in my head kept saying, turn around to look at her breasts. Turn around, turn around, turn around. And my feminist, female background kept saying, don’t you dare, you pig. Don’t turn around. And I fought myself for a whole block, and then I turned around and checked her out.

        And before, it was cool. When I would do a poetry reading, I would get up, and I would read these poems about women on the street. And I was a butch dyke, and that was very cutting-edge, and that was very sexy and raw. And now I’m just a jerk.”

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        • Bree Says:

          So this anecdote is supposed remind us that men are beasts and women just have to put up with it and be careful how we conduct ourselves because men just can’t help themselves. Got it.

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  9. D'Alias Says:

    It goes without sayinf that lewd comments and messages are rude , ie “nice tits” or “I wanna bang you”

    But what’s so wrong with men complementing a woman’s appearance? If she doesn’t want to hear it, she can just ignore it. Or she can say Thank You and refuse to engage further with him.

    I fully support women’s rights and am against rampant objectification. But ranting over comments to a photo YOU posted for the world to see seems a little Cray to me. Every individual can only focus on their own behavior. Ranting about other’s is useless. If you don’t want comments on photos don’t post photos.

    I know it’s bigger than that – but that’s why we have sexual harassment laws in play at the workplace, etc.

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    • BTownGirl Says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying that “You look nice” is a problem – personally, I think it’s lovely when someone takes the time to pay another person a compliment. However, I will “rant” when I have an incident like one I had literally two minutes ago. I posted a picture from a dress fitting and a guy I went to high school with felt the need to send me a message telling me that I looked hot and did I want to meet up with him tonight? I mean, it wasn’t a “sexual” picture, so what gives anyone the right to take something out of my daily life and turn it into an invitation to make sexual comments? If that’s the logic, then I’d better forget about posting a single photo. Ever.

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      • Joey Giraud Says:

        Many Muslim women rather like being fully covered, for much the same reason.

        No, I didn’t make this up. Read around on the Internet. Al Jazeera is big. Not all Muslim women feel repressed by their religion.

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        • BTownGirl Says:

          Yeah, I mean, we could all undergo religious conversions…or, you know, people could just act right.

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        • Bree Says:

          Hmmm, like people who feel the need to point out that many slaves in the American South were happy and well before the Civil War.

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          • Joey Giraud Says:

            But many slaves *were* happy. Perhaps as many as twelve or thirteen of them.

            Bree, you don’t like the point, just say so. No need to go all Godwin on us.

            And if you want to use your sex powers to the max, just don’t wear clothes at all. Men will definitely notice that.

            Yeah I know, it’s up to men to be the grownups and ignore the exposed buttocks and cleavage. Those lecherous animals!

            For myself, I really like being 53 and finally fully able to ignore women shooting their sex powers at me.
            It feels really good. I can be nothing more to them then a pleasant older man.

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            • BTownGirl Says:

              The point I was making here was that it was a picture of a dress fitting – there were no exposed buttocks or major cleavage going on, so why does someone feel like it’s cool for them to be gross about it?

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              • Joey Giraud Says:

                Sorry, I drifted away from your initial topic to my own soap-box issue.

                That guy you went to high school with who felt the need to send a message, he felt a need.

                Even though you had no intention of trying to attract male attention ( no “sex power beaming” going on here, ) he felt the need.

                I suppose it’s the curse most all women must live with, a curse and a blessing, to have men feel the need to sexually pursue them.

                “what gives anyone the right?”

                I get that it annoys you. There’s no answer to this question that isn’t flippant or pedantic.

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                • BTownGirl Says:

                  Ahhhh, gotcha! I think we can all agree that the lede here is “I went to high school with a gross perv.” I’ll give him a need, alright!

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                  • Joey Giraud Says:

                    OK ( lol )

                    Although you might consider giving yourself more credit. He might not be that much of a perv, and you might look hotter then you think.

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        • SB Says:

          Dafuq did I just read?

          I rather hope this Joey troll did not just imply that we convert and cover to keep men and their snide remarks at bay (I know a lot of Muslim women btw; hint: it doesn’t work re: male attention, and they don’t like covering up despite what they may have been coerced to say in public or in print).

          The ignorance is strong with this one.

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          • Joey Giraud Says:

            I’m kind of tall to be a troll.

            I never suggested you convert to Islam. I said that many Muslim women prefer being covered. They write as much, and a common reason is to avoid feeling the male gaze.

            Just because you know other Muslim women that don’t doesn’t negate that.

            Some like chocolate, some prefer vanilla? Is that simple enough for you to understand?

            “The ignorance is strong with this one.”

            Sure. Whatever.

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    • sf Says:

      I have no problem with comments along the lines of nice photo, you’re attractive etc. But that’s not what we’re all complaining about here really. Yes, even those comments can make us feel objectified, but honestly this is online dating, it’s all objectification from both sides to some extent given that what we’re all mostly going on is photos.

      What we’re complaining about are comments like: nice tits, I would do you, sexxxy mama, MILF….the list goes on and on.

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      • Jesse Says:

        If you seek by posting pictures, you need take responsibility for their content. You may just want everyone to admire your cleavage or perfect skinny legs, but what you don’t seem to understand is that these pictures may come off as boastful, provocative, or inflamatory. You say you don’t wish to be objectified. First step towards this should be stop posting pictures that encourage you being objectified.

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  10. Joe Says:

    Fart

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  11. Lele Says:

    Well, Moxie, as a man I can tell you: it runs both ways. I have lost the count of the times women have told me that I am energetic and fun to be around. Few women have ever been interested to my as a person, or at least have tried to provide some value “in exchange”. Guess what? I am not your free entertainer, Madam. And when you put yourself out in public, you have to accept that most people won’t look beyond superficial things. Actually this works as a filter to detect people whom you could be interested to, for friendship or something else. Anyway, you reaction to that incident was measured. Kudos for that.

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    • Lele Says:

      Oh! And I wish that I could post a picture of my penis somewhere and have a woman comment “I wanna be around it :)” To each, their own, I guess.

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