So this is new. I have a story about a man misbehaving and he’s not from OKC. I met this individual, Zar, at a skeptic meetup about two years ago (back when I was engaged) and added him to my Facebook friends. He didn’t post a lot, but what he did post made little sense. Partly from the fact that English didn’t seem to be his first language and because writing was not his strong suit. He private messaged me a few times over the two years that I knew him and I have to say that I was never terribly impressed with anything that he had to say.
Zar messaged me a few weeks back and I just didn’t respond because I didn’t even want to deal with him in my current mental state. But he messaged me again a few days ago and it seemed harmless enough, so I responded. He told me that he had a crush on me and would like to go out with me sometime when he was in town. I agreed, mainly because I thought that this wasn’t going to happen. Also, I am entirely too indiscriminate with the men I date.
Later in the day, I posted this status:
Zar had this to say in response:
I didn’t see this post when it originally went up. I’m not sure how I missed it, but a friend had to point out to me what he said the next day and I had to go back and look at it. But this wasn’t all he had to say. He also posted this gem:
So it’s not even noon yet and he’s told me that he has a hard on and is fantasizing about having sex with me. And what part of this is supposed to be flattering, exactly? I’m very open about sex, but I met this person once. I’ve made it highly clear in my posts, particularly the ones from OkCupid, that I don’t find this kind of sexualization a turn on. I regularly mock men that ask for sex after a few messages exchanged.
But Zar wasn’t done yet. Later that night, I posted this photo from a shopping trip:
Did Zar have more “compliments” to share? Oh yes, he did. By the time I got home from shopping I found that a fight had broken out on my photo’s comment thread. This is what set it off:
A few of my friends made note that this comment was uncalled for and rude, but Dan called him out on saying something so completely inappropriate for Facebook. But Zar didn’t quite understand what was wrong with what he was saying. He tried to defend himself with this:
Zar then posted a video of a man with a mechanical arm that masturbated. As if this somehow proved his point. Which wasn’t a point that anyone cared if he was making.
Dan tried to explain that there’s no problem with him enjoying sex, the problem is him objectifying me with no idea if that’s how I want to be viewed or spoken about. Also, this is fucking Facebook and even though I overshare like a lunatic, I have yet to post on other people’s photos about my masturbation habits. Bottom line is that it wasn’t a compliment. It was rude and dehumanizing.
But Zar didn’t seem to grasp this idea. He responded to Dan with this:
I arrived home in time just after this was posted and immediately unfriended Zar. I hope that’s enough communication that I don’t want these types of comments made about me on my Facebook page. It baffles me that he thought this was at all okay or even a good idea. He had never made such forward comments before and I wonder if he thought that my agreement to go out on a date with him was some kind of invitation to start thinking of me as a sex object. I have no idea.
But I don’t really care to know, either. It’s sad, but during my time on OKC, I’ve become pretty accustomed to men that treat me like a fucktoy. I’ve become so desensitized to it that his comments didn’t even bother me. They were unwanted, but they didn’t really affect me. It just seemed like one more dude thinking that I was there for his sexual enjoyment with no thought to what I actually wanted.
I find that once some men get it in their heads that I am sex, because I’m a woman or I have a vagina or they found me physically attractive or the day ends in Y, they completely stop acknowledging my humanity and feel no qualms about it. When I become an object, there is nothing wrong with using said object for its intended purpose. It would be ludicrous not to, in fact! Like owning a car and not driving it. When I am sex, I should be treated like sex. And so they do. With no thought to the fact that I am more than sex and always was.
When it all comes down, there are things we human being call compliments and they don’t include dehumanizing people with sexual comments. It would be one thing if this was within the context of our relationship and I had agreed to or made it known that I enjoyed being talked about this way. But he had none of these. He was little more than a stranger to me and I have enough strange men telling me about their penises already.
So Zar, looks like we won’t be going out on a date, should you ever come back into town. I hope you’re out there exercising your first amendment rights until you figure out what constitutes polite conversation and what doesn’t. I’ll start you off; the posts above are not it.