i know my editing skills aren't great but i needed this

anonymous asked:

Please don't take any of this negatively, as I'm asking/commenting honestly. A lot of your posts are (possibly slightly out of context) just guys giving empty compliments, and it seems a little snobbish to mock that. Sure their advances are unwarranted--perhaps feigned, but it... I dunno, isn't really worth making fun of. They probably aren't creepers so much as just inept. Is it so bad to be complimented? At most seems "thanks but no thanks" should be issued, or just ignored at the least.

I’m going to answer this genuinely, because there’s a lot going on here, and people have commented on this a couple of times before.

What I’m hearing from you is “Why can’t you just take a compliment? They’re just trying to be nice. They probably aren’t creepers. Just be grateful.” This sounds a lot like what I hear from people who are trying to defend women being harassed and catcalled in the street as “just a compliment”. We’ve been using the phrase “online street harassment” around here lately, because we believe it’s the same thing - a stranger unwantedly commenting on a woman’s looks out of the blue in a sexualised manner.

I do not believe or accept that strangers commenting on my looks in a sexualised manner is a compliment. Sometimes I get nice messages that comment on things I wrote in my profile, tell me about the sender’s mutual interests, and maybe also include a compliment about my looks, and that’s fine. That’s great. Adding “and I think you’re pretty gorgeous :)” at the end of your message is a compliment. Sending me a message that only says “Gorgeous ;)” (or shouting it at me in the street) is not a compliment, that’s unwanted harassment. That’s telling me that you think women only exist, in the world and on the internet, as a visual object for you to sexualise. That’s telling me you didn’t bother to read my profile because all you cared about was if I was sexy or not. I am not on OKCupid because I want to hear about whether a random 35% match from 200 miles away finds me sexually attractive. Also, let’s face it, it hardly feels like a compliment when you know he probably sent the exact same message to every woman within 200 miles.

I’d also like to point out that this is not uncommon by any means. If I only occasionally received a message that read “sexy ;)”, that would be no problem, but the three of us receive dozens of messages every week that do nothing but comment on our level of attractiveness. We want people to look not only at the individual messages on this tumblr, but as a collective. This is what it is like to be a woman on a dating site. There are hundreds of posts here where men have unwantedly expressed their sexual attraction to us. Men who are not attractive to me, men who were terrible matches with me, men who were 4 decades older than me, men who lived on different continents to me, men who went on to make explicit sexual advances to me or who swore and insulted me when I rejected them. I don’t find it complimentary, I find it insulting to be constantly reminded that many men are judging my value only by how sexually appealing they think I am. I’m wearing red lipstick in my OKC profile photo, so I have received literally hundreds of messages that only say “nice lips ;)”. I have only posted a fraction of them here.

 I also think your use of the word ‘snobbish’ is incredibly problematic. It implies that women should on some level be grateful to be told we’re sexually appealing objects. I completely reject that. I don’t need or want sexualised compliments from strangers. I don’t need anybody’s validation and I am not willing to accept that I’m somehow snobbish for that. I literally do not care at all about whether djdanlondon1988inaboxasaurus 53% match 68% enemy thinks I have sexy lips or not. I actively do not want him to tell me that. What I need and want is to exist in an online space where I’m valued for my interests, stories, skills, education and company - something much more than whether I happen to be attractive to someone. 

Finally, I want to point out that saying thanks but no thanks or ignoring someone is exactly what we do to these people. Perhaps you’ve been following our #nothankyouproject? We politely say no thank you (and very often receive a rude or insulting message in return), and then we carefully crop or blur or edit out all the identifying information that could possibly let anyone know who sent us this latest half-assed, rude message, and then we come here to post it on our tumblr - where we call attention to how extremely shitty it is to be a woman on the internet, and where some of our readers are shocked by how women are treated out there, and where some of our readers are sadly not shocked because they also experience this every day, and where we do our best to try and change that in whatever small way we can.

A