The trouble with pervs

They’re so, well, pervasive, and they tend to scare off bloggers of the feminine persuasion, even hardy souls like Jacqueline Passey:

[A]nyone — including stalkers and creepy strangers — can read what I post here, so I have to censor myself much more than I would if I was writing only to people I know. My husband doesn’t want me posting pictures of him because he doesn’t want weirdos stalking him in the poker room and/or outing him as a professional gambler to the fish. My more privacy-oriented friends and family members don’t want me to blog about them at all. I often start to write about my plans then delete it when I realize that I’m giving out too many details about where I’m going to be when (I’ve had some bad experiences with creepy men showing up places to pester me after finding out where I was going to be from my blog).

She’s contemplating moving to Facebook, where at least the creeps will be creeps she already knows.

File this under “Let’s call this song exactly what it is”:

I’ve noticed that a hugely disproportionate number of my blog “friends” are single heterosexual males (SHMs). Perhaps this is just an innocent correlation due to a combination of my primarily “male” interests and the additional free time that singles have available to spend socializing online. But I suspect that in many cases it’s because their interest is more than friendly. This was flattering when I was single, but now that I’m married I’d prefer that my friends not fantasize about having sex with me.

I realize that sexual attraction is not every SHM’s motivation for befriending me (so no need to leave ego-deflating comments about how much you don’t want to have sex with me, thanks :) ) but it’s the motivation of enough SHMs that it makes me suspicious of all of them. Especially since I am apparently not very good at reading people in this area — I’ve been surprised by how many of my SHM “friends” suddenly stopped speaking to me after I got married. (Many of these former “friends” also used to pretend that their interest was only “friendly” when I was single, so I’ve stopped believing SHMs about their true motivations for friendships with women.)

Self-preservation in action, I’d say. I hate to bash my half of the species, but I suspect the rep we have is pretty much the rep we earned. I just went back through some of my outgoing email, and I noticed that more than once, when writing to a female blogger, I’ve included a line to the effect that “I promise not to hit on you.” Unless, of course, I was actually hitting on her.

And I hasten to add that I’m not generalizing from a single example, either. We call Moxie to the stand:

Just wanted to thank Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom … for noticing — since I mentioned that “boyfriend” word — my male readers have moved on out!

I’m trying to think of any instances where I quit reading someone upon discovering she was off the market.

Update: Ace-alanche!

Further update: Facebook it is, and the old blog (not to be confused with the older blog) is now closed.





11 comments

  1. Mark Alger »

    2 July 2008 · 9:05 am

    I for one stop in less frequently on Moxie since she appeared to be putting more into her vlog than the weblog. But then, I’m not single, so maybe I don’t count.

    I do, however, hold awareness uppermost in my mind when addressing comments to female bloggers, all too aware of the painful fact that they all get hit on more than they might like. It might be nice once in awhile to not have to deal with it.

    M

  2. fillyjonk »

    2 July 2008 · 11:33 am

    While I don’t know for sure the genders of all my *readers*, the commenters at my blog are overwhelmingly female – and of the small number of guys e-mailing or commenting, I’ve never felt “hit on” or creeped out by it.

    Perhaps the answer (though I realize a lot of female bloggers would consider it a non-viable option) is to mainly blog on a topic that only the hardiest of men (or the ones least likely to be pervs?) feel comfortable reading.

    Kind of the “flannel granny-nightgown” option of blogging, I suppose. (Or maybe I’ve just been lucky; I’m sure there are pervs out there who are pervy over flannel granny-nightgowns.)

  3. Tat »

    2 July 2008 · 2:36 pm

    no need to leave ego-deflating comments about how much you don’t want to have sex with me, thanks
    Oh, that’s an interesting topic (I guess, especially interesting for a psychologist).

    Quite a few times, if in discussing something my male counterparts (I have no way to know if they are Single) would run out of argument, they’d employ this method of stopping the conversation: to tell me that only an a) old b) ugly c)sex-deprived woman can come up with an argument like that! Variation: I experience PMS. Or I’m menopausal. There was a case when the guy manage to accuse me in both (having PMS day AND being menaupausal).
    Actual topic of the discussion, or the age/country of residence vary, so it is not relevant. Race/nationality/country of origin play bigger role, but the general trend is quite pronounced and it’s universal.

    Or they’d, all of a sudden, condescendingly call me honey. Or “lady”. Or refer to my “homestead”. Or declare that they are “sorry” for my husband/man/friends in general.

    Or they would hint that I’m “sore”, because they refused my advances. And they NEVER wanted to have sex with me. (especially fascinating to get a comment like that during a literary-criticism conversation re: someone’s short story)

  4. fillyjonk »

    2 July 2008 · 4:33 pm

    I tend to be of the opinion that a person (particularly a male-type person) bringing up “PMS” as a reason for a woman expressing a strongly held belief, showing anger, or otherwise saying something he disagrees with, should be subject to some kind of battle-of-the-sexes version of Godwin’s Law.

  5. Ace of Spades HQ »

    2 July 2008 · 6:25 pm

    Alert: Jackie Mackey Paisley Passey Spotting

    The internet’s most famous high-quality woman is now married, but wants you to know she doesn’t lack for male suitors (presumably of high-ish quality, but not actually high quality, alas): I’ve noticed that a hugely disproportionate number of my blog…

  6. Tat »

    2 July 2008 · 7:30 pm

    There is a [Russian]female blogger, who respond to this type of argumentation with “I’m sending PMS_flavored death-rays towards you right now!”

  7. butch »

    2 July 2008 · 9:00 pm

    Flannel granny-nightgown?

    BUNK!

    Especially if it’s button-top.

  8. Francis W. Porretto »

    3 July 2008 · 3:52 am

    “I’m trying to think of any instances where I quit reading someone upon discovering she was off the market.”

    Why wait that long? Why not pull the ripcord upon the instant she expresses profound contempt for you because of your divergent beliefs?

  9. CGHill »

    3 July 2008 · 7:20 am

    Hey, if it weren’t for profound contempt, I’d never elicit any emotional reactions at all. :)

  10. Tam »

    3 July 2008 · 7:53 am

    I took a two-pronged approach to the problem:

    1) I was old.

    2) I was heavily armed.

    Even when my workplace was listed in my links, I didn’t run into much stalkeriffic behavior. Folks don’t show up to hassle you at the gun store much.

  11. Tatyana »

    4 July 2008 · 8:15 am

    Upon reading the thread @Update: case in point.

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