Response to mansplaining denials of sexual harassment

Someone on my Facebook shared this webpage, Next Time Someone Says Women Aren’t Victims Of Harassment, Show Them This.  As I posted on Facebook when re-sharing it,

I was actually viciously sexually harassed online in front of my “friend” Richard, yet he still claimed it was not sexual harassment, that it wasn’t “real” because it was online, and that I needed to get over it.  His wife Tracy even went online while this happened, and started joking around with my harassers, and even invited them to her house!

Then he continued to be friends with the people who did it, tried to convince me these people were okay, and thought I was “ridiculous” for not wanting to hear him talk about these people around me.  He said he has other friends who can handle this kind of “joking.”

We’re not friends anymore, and this was one of many things contributing to that….Since he witnessed it, I wanted him to publicly stand up for me against these people, tell them to stop, and then make them apologize.  Not just sit there.

To these things I wrote on Facebook, my friends responded:

“cyber bullying isn’t real bullying either then I suppose?  And cyber sex with minors isn’t real pedophilia is it??  The one who needs to get over it is the person who wants to diminish what your truth is.  If you feel like you were victimized then you were.”  (my old friend Mike)

“what the h*?  Also, that his wife participated is equally disturbing but all too common.”  (old college classmate Persephone)

I replied,

“Oh yeah, he also told me he had other friends who would go in that particular chat room with him, and could handle that kind of ‘joking.’  Making me sound like I’m just too sensitive.  Yet for some time afterward, I felt dirty because of the things they said.”

Persephone wrote,

“ew, that SUCKS – and so much wth?  The ‘you’re being too sensitive’ is such a go-to from narcissists, usually when they’re enjoying your pain.  🙁  ”

For the full story, see here and here.

It is so good to finally tell my friends this happened, after years of silence.  It is so GOOD to get validation from my friends, instead of treating me like I’m just too sensitive.

I mean, come on, these guys were making lewd and disgusting comments about my genitals, and I’m too sensitive?  As the above linked webpage notes,

So what can you do…?…Believe us! Don’t deny or minimize our experiences!…

Recognize what harassment looks like, and speak up when this happens. Whenever it’s safe for you, be the guy who shuts these a**holes down.

Turn ‘not all men’ into a force for good: Let harassers know that not all men share their toxic views, that most men aren’t like them. This is just as important when the people they harass aren’t around!

The webpage assumes that most men are NOT like this, just don’t realize what’s happening because it doesn’t happen when the husbands/boyfriends are there.  But it tells how men can step up and help curb the problem, by speaking up against the harasser.

The webpage explains how sexual harassment of women shows a sense of male ownership, as if women are objects and their attractiveness–or lack thereof–is up to the harasser.

Just as my harassers said things like, “I like my girlfriends hairless.”

Um….Considering I said absolutely nothing to you and am married and have no desire to be your girlfriend, who asked you what you think of women shaving their genitalia??!!  If you like this, that’s your business, but it has absolutely nothing to do with me or whether or not I am “desirable.”  Or worthwhile as a person.

As is written in this article,

When he finally gave me his answer, I was disappointed. He said he trolled/bullied people because it was an outlet for him to relieve stress. He said he didn’t view the people as real, or what he was doing as anything other than a joke, and if it hurt feelings, “those people have bigger problems and it’s not my fault.”

We all know that we’re living in an age where it’s easy to post something online and have a lot of well-meaning people assume that it’s real. I know this could very well be an elaborate hoax. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume this is real.

Here’s the thing—this Reddit post might be fake, but I guarantee you that there are tons and tons of trolls doing exactly what she described her husband doing, who probably have wives, girlfriends and children who have no idea they’re sitting online in the middle of the night stalking people on social media and telling them to commit suicide.

She’s pregnant and she just discovered her husband aka the father-to-be of her child is telling women online to kill themselves.

Holy shit. His comments to her are extremely telling about the kind of person who engages in the trolling many of us have come to know in these parts.

He dehumanizes women and the other people he trolls online to the point that he doesn’t even see them as “real.”