The Creep Collection: The Scary Things Men Say When Rejected Online
A few weeks ago, one of Alexandra Tweten's friends ignored a guy who was trying to chat with her online.
This is how he responded:
Tweten wasn't surprised. She'd gotten nasty, hostile messages after rejecting a man who was messaging her on the online dating site OKCupid.
She started an Instagram account called Bye Felipe to collect all the creepy texts and online messages women get from men and to show men what sometimes happens when women use social media and date on the Internet. The account name is a play on the phrase "Bye, Felicia," a quote from the movie Friday that's become a tongue-in-cheek way of being dismissive or blowing someone off.
The response to Bye Felipe has been overwhelming. The account now has almost 200,000 followers, and Tweten has posted nearly 50 of these almost conversations.
While some of the posts are kind of amusing, others are scary:
Bye Felipe is one of several recent examples of the way men threaten and bully women they've objectified online. When feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian spoke out against sexism in video games, someone threatened a shooting at the Utah university where she was scheduled to give a talk. Another video game developer fled her home after receiving death threats. Last week, after Shoshana Roberts appeared in a video documenting street harassment in New York City, YouTube commenters threatened to rape her.
In a post on Ms. magazine's website, Tweten said she didn't know what to do about men lashing out this way when women reject them, "because this is just a symptom of a larger problem."
"Censoring these messages may help in the short term, but the messages featured on Bye Felipe are like an immortalized version of the catcalls and threats women receive on the street every day, just walking around and existing," Tweten wrote. "Until we change the cultural atmosphere, women will continue to receive these hurtful messages online and in real life."