I often get criticised by guys for having a blog about dating. They see it as a personal attack on their gender which then threatens their own integrity. I get told I’m not suitable for dating because they’ll ‘only end up on the blog’ or they were living in fear that they’d ‘end up like one of those blog weirdos’. I’ve always joked about fragile masculinity, but never felt like I would ever be the cause of something so preposterous. Yet here I am, ridiculing men online and bruising their ever so tender egos at fortnightly intervals.
I was getting sick of having to justify my blog to boys I don’t know. Feeling like I had to convince them about why I should be allowed to have a voice about something that effects my life so deeply on a daily basis. The blog is my soapbox to call out repugnant behaviour, to open people’s eyes and to let fellow women know that we shouldn’t allow this behaviour. Boys will not be boys, boys will be predatory and invasive unless we do something about it. So forgive me for wanting a voice.
A small part of me was hoping the blog would deter men from sending vulgarities to me, but some almost saw it as a challenge. I’m assuming most of you reading follow me on Instagram so will be more than aware of the types of prose I receive on Tinder and how often. It was all fun and games until I checked my personal emails to see I had been sent a message by someone from Tinder who I hadn’t matched with, who had also messaged me several times on Instagram with no response. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with rage. How dare this person who I have chosen not to respond to be so invasive into my personal life. Who sends an email these days…let alone to someone who’s clearly shown NO interest. It sounds absurd, but I felt so exposed and to me, he had really crossed a line. Although his message had good intentions (or so he believed) by saying the work on my blog was great and he was a feminist too, etc. He failed to realise that his behaviour is entirely unacceptable. Just because your words aren’t threatening, doesn’t mean your approach isn’t.
I sat in my room shaking and feeling scared. It seems so silly to be so shaken by such a small act but it was the emotions and memories and feelings that it triggered within me. I sat and read through my ‘other’ folder in my Instagram messages and scrolled through endless messages from guys I’d never spoken to. I read through the messages I’d received on Tinder and became overwhelmed with dread. I sat in my bed and cried. For months I’d be questioning ‘what am I doing to make men act this way?’ and the answer is nothing. I’m subjecting myself to this kind of lifestyle by being on these dating apps. Regardless of what I put on my profile certain men will always speak to you like you’re a brainless hole they can fuck. I know I am worth more than what they were presenting and thought men were the problem. And they are, but they are encouraged by the dating apps, so the best way for me to avoid such aggressive messages is to remove myself from the platform.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the blog will come to an end. In fact, it’s incredibly cathartic for me as part of my recovery from the sexual assault. But I can’t heal if I am constantly reminded of the abhorrent inner workings of a man’s brain. I need to take some time to fully detox from the monstrosities of Tinder, OK Cupid and Bumble for a while so the blog will most likely go on hold. I still have some work in the pipelines, like revisiting foot fetishes (which will happen really soon) but for the most part I need to avoid all dating apps before I lose all hope in men all together.
The blog has all been fun and games up until now and I can no longer let myself get treated like this for amusement of others. I’ll continue to write, but the content will be slightly different to what you’d usually expect. But hey, at least I get to write about fun shit like fetishism and speed dating.