A reddit user, OKCThrowaway22221, decided to conduct a social experiment: he would see what it’s like to pose as a woman on an online dating site. After two hours he was so disturbed by the experience that he completely deleted the account. “I came away thinking that women have it so much harder than guys do when it comes to that kind of stuff,” OKCThrowaway22221 said. The user discusses how guys would become unwarrantedly aggressive and would inappropriately steer the conversation into a sexual nature without any prompt.
The user OKCThrowaway22221 thought it would be fun only to learn that men are disgusting, sexist pigs.
“At first I thought it was fun, I thought it was weird but maybe I would mess with them or something and freak them out and tell them I was a guy or something, but as more and more messages came (either replies or new ones I had about 10 different guys message me within 2 hours) the nature of them continued to get more and more irritating. Guys were full-on spamming my inbox with multiple messages before I could reply to even one asking why I wasn’t responding and what was wrong. Guys would become hostile when I told them I wasn’t interested in NSA sex, or guys that had started normal and nice quickly turned the conversation into something explicitly sexual in nature. Seemingly nice dudes in quite esteemed careers asking to hook up in 24 hours and sending them naked pics of myself despite multiple times telling them that I didn’t want to.”
The guy really couldn’t let go of how awful men are to women.
“I would be lying if I said it didn’t get to me. I thought it would be some fun thing, something where I would do it and worse case scenario say “lol I was a guy I trolle you lulz”etc. but within a 2 hour span it got me really down and I was feeling really uncomfortable with everything. I figured I would get some weird messages here and there, but what I got was an onslaught of people who were, within minutes of saying hello, saying things that made me as a dude who spends most of his time on 4chan uneasy. I ended up deleting my profile at the end of 2 hours and kind of went about the rest of my night with a very bad taste in my mouth.”
Cough—patriarchy!—cough. This experience perfectly encapsulates what privilege is. If you benefit from privilege (whether that is race, gender, class or sexual orientation) you may never know because every experience you have indicates otherwise. Why should you believe people are sexist or racist or classist when you have never encountered that kind of behavior toward you? The reality is, is that you have to trust that if an entire group of people are claiming they are oppressed they probably are. Even then, there’s a huge difference from listening and accepting someone else’s experiences than having to actually go through it. After just two hours “as a woman” this guy’s entire perspective has changed.
If only every guy on the planet could experience the wrath of misogyny and sexually aggressive behavior. Read the rest of his experience over at Jezebel.