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:
I’m trying to think of any instances where I quit reading someone upon discovering she was off the market.
Further update: Facebook it is, and the old blog (not to be confused with the older blog) is now closed.