SHESAID’s own editor, Nadia Bokody, reveals the unsolicited explicit messages she receives as a result of being in the public eye.
If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve received at least one very unwanted message from a random guy in your DMs before.
Most of us have – unfortunately – been visually assaulted with the atrocity that is the dick pic, and encountered some form of unsolicited sexual attention online; whether it’s the guy who CONSTANTLY messages “Hey” without taking the hint you’re not replying, or the douchebag who sends you a description of how big his member is (FYI guys: we don’t care if it’s comparable length to your TV remote. Please, FFS, don’t tell us about it.)
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Then there’s the other, arguably even more unsettling side of what I refer to as online “sleaze trolling”; the guy who turns abusive when his advances aren’t reciprocated.
Let’s just say if I had a dollar for every time a stranger called me an “ugly bitch” because I didn’t respond to his invitation for sex, I wouldn’t need to be writing this article right now.
The thing that bothers me most about this type of online harassment though, is the fact I’m regularly told to “just ignore it” and, more problematically, that I should “expect” it on account of the fact I write about sex and post sexy snaps of myself.
Here’s my take on that school of thought: my clothes, or lack thereof, do not determine my consent. Writing and talking openly about female sexual empowerment is NOT my subtle way of inviting men to send me explicit messages and images, and being a self-described “sex-positive journalist” definitely doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you.
And, TBH, I’m getting tired of having to explain this.
So, this week I did something a little radical and made a video of myself quoting just a handful of the very unwanted – and very real – messages I receive from men online every day.
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Hey, sexy…don’t ignore me. . . The response I got from my last video was overwhelming. SO many women shared their creepy and abusive DMs with me! I felt compelled to make another. Here’s just a few more of the random messages I get on a daily basis. #whyineedfeminism
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Any woman watching will find it relatable, and yes, it’s also kind of hilarious (because the second you vocalize any of these messages, they sound utterly ridiculous). But the takeaway message is a serious one, and one I hope both the women and men watching will share with their own online communities: women do not owe men anything. Not even a one word response to a DM.
And whether you’re sitting behind a keyboard, or doing it to our face, these messages are sexual harassment. And it needs to stop. I hope you’ll share this post if you agree.
For more of Nadia’s videos and sex-positive posts, you can follow her on Instagram.
Comment: What’s the worst unsolicited message you’ve ever received from a stranger online?