Dear Men of Social Media,
I need you to read to understand…not read to respond.
Recent events in my life have led me to take a more stringent set of protocols for how I engage with men on social media…primarily Twitter. I have had disturbing dealings with a man on social media as of late, and it is imperative good men understand what women need in order to feel safe. Because of my various dealings with unpleasant men on Twitter and other online platforms, I have a more discriminating eye as to whom I engage with in a private matter. This is my choice and should be respected.
Some things I have noticed…
A growing pattern involving repeated observations shows certain sorts of men on Twitter only want to engage in direct/private messages as opposed to openly on the timeline.While this in itself is harmless, there is a significant pattern of unpleasant/predatory/deceitful men who deal in this way. They hide their interactions with other women and keep their public timeline quite generic or only engage with who is seemingly a significant other…in some cases, they don’t have a significant other but want to cast a net out to find potential women to add to a “collection”.
It is difficult to initially determine whether or not a man is an abusive or predatory sort. So, I politely and honestly try to give insight as to why it is bothersome to only engage in a private message situation with men I do not really know.
My explanation is meant to give insight in how to make me feel safer…not insult, berate, or accuse anyone of anything.
When I explain I have had unpleasant dealings with such men in the past, a portion of these men take it personally, say they won’t talk to me again, and/or seem to be offended. This is not helpful in helping me assess if a man is of questionable motive.
I do understand this is frustrating for the good men of social media who feel they are getting the short end of the stick, are being punished for the behavior of others, and/or feel angry that women are subjected to this daily.
Women absolutely recognize that the good men of social media are frustrated. We are frustrated too in that we have to constantly wonder if THIS ONE GUY is dangerous like THAT ONE GUY was.
Good men of social media, we need you to understand that NO ONE likes this. NO ONE wants to have to wonder if you are the one who is going to hurt us…again.
What we do need is for you to help us feel safe. If you are worth your salt, you will allow us a safe space to learn about you and trust you.
We want to talk to you (unless we say otherwise). We want to make new friends (unless we disclose we aren’t expanding our circle).
We need you to understand this IS NOT personal. We are doing what we can to protect ourselves because we live in a society that does little to protect us.
Whether private messages upset us, constant mentions, overly exuberant behavior over our posts, etc… Listen to understand what makes us uncomfortable. It is highly individual and can vary with each woman. It is not meant to insult you. We are telling you how to make us feel safe. If you are interested in us, you will rise to the request and offer us reassurance we are safe.
Thank You For Reading,
Ms M x