If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in my 10+ years as a business owner, it’s that I get a hell of a lot less push back when I use the masculine (or assumed masculine) spellings of my name. (Chris, Christan.) Through out my life I have been addressed as Christian. Even when I fill out paperwork with the correct spelling of my name, more often than not they assign me the first name of Christian.
To combat this and to maintain a semblance of online privacy since Christan isn’t a very common name, I spell my name Kristen. That way people know I’m female. When I set up all my new Meetup profiles, I used the name Chris with a photo of myself. Of course, since every woman who appears anywhere on the internet with a photo is assumed to be on the prowl for a man, I have to deal with Meetup messages from men asking me out or coming on to me. That’s always fun, right? That’s what it’s like for women online. No matter where they are – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – they have to deal with flirty to borderline creepy messages from dudes. And some of these guys are hiding behind avatars that are just pictures of their crotch in a banana hammock or, you know, pictures of their penises swinging in the breeze.
The worst of these interactions occurs on online dating sites and apps. Yesterday I matched with someone on Tinder. His first email to me?
“Nothing like a sexy 48 year old.”
Oh look, the unmatch button! *Click.* (I also used it to unmatch the 50 year-old who told me he was a musician slash/bartender. No thanks. Sorrynotsorry.)
Look, if you can’t start a conversation without immediately going to the sex or sexy place, don’t bother. Unless I’m just looking to get laid, I’m going to delete and block you. You very well might be a decent guy, but you ruin it with lines like that.
I do not know who instigated this tradition, but it’s really, really tiresome and offensive. Listen, I get it. If a woman responds to that then more than likely she’s down to fuck. Got it. God bless and Godspeed. An approach like that saves time. But try to imagine what it’s like to field emails like that every goddamn day.
And before any of you Reddit/Red Pill/Beta douchebags start whining about how hard it is to craft messages, fucking miss me with that bullshit. Women manage to do it all. the. time. All women? No. But most. I can’t say that for men. If I showed you my OKCupid spam inbox you’d understand.
“Waaahhhh at least you get messages!” some of you will say.
Oh my God. In what world is a slew a sleazy messages enjoyable or a compliment? How desperate for emails must you be to think we enjoy reading messages like that? Is it really that hard to say, “Hey there. Looks like we matched. Enjoying your Sunday?” Why do you have to make the interaction sexual? Why? How are men still – STILL – believing an opening line like that is effective?
“Because it works!” some of you will say.
I know. I think that’s the most tragic thing about this. There are still women out there who giggle and blush at innuendo laced comments from strangers. Undoubtedly they voted for Trump. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to get through to some women that allowing men to behave like this only weakens our argument and keeps us oppressed. Forget about marches and protests. We have to reach those women. We have to do something to close that divide. Without a firm foundation we will continue to struggle. Will we ever be able to reach all of the 53% of white women that voted for Trump?
But we have to try.