A letter to the mild acquaintance who sent me an unsolicited dick pic
I count myself lucky because I'm honoured to know so many truly wonderful men. I was raised by an incredible father who, without faltering, modelled what a good man should be and I've surrounded myself with male friends who are stedfast supporters and allies to the women in their lives; guys who just get it.
And then, there are men like you who leave me speechless when you think it's okay to infiltrate my life with a picture of your dick. A picture that I did not ask for, nor did I enjoy. A picture that ruined my Friday night.
Unfortunately, this tale is nothing new. Women are constantly receiving unwanted sexual attention, whether that be in the form of an unsolicited dick pic, unwelcome advances at a bar or from their own partner who persuades them into sexual acts that they're not comfortable performing.
The only new information here is that this is the first time this has happened to me and boy am I fucking mad about it.
In light of our current social climate, I think it's important to call these people out as publicly as you feel comfortable doing so. Unlucky for this guy, I take no issue in airing out my grievances or bearing my soul in a public forum, so here we go.
I know I'm not the only girl you've done this to. The last time I saw you was nearly three years ago and even then, I barely knew you. I have only one memory of ever talking to you. You were new on campus, you were sick (or injured?) and I offered to drive you to the hospital. As an RA it was part my job, but I also felt for you. You were still finding your feet, in need of help and had only been in the country for a few weeks. I showed you kindness and three years later, you show me your dick.
I should have seen it coming. You'd been sending me sporadic messages for the last month or so. "Hey, what's up?" popped into my inbox every few weeks or so. I thought it was strange considering we'd never really had a conversation before but I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and would sometimes respond with "I'm good thanks. How are you?" The conversation would stop there, as I knew it would, because I could tell you were just scrolling through your Facebook list looking for people to 'talk' to. Considering it never went any further than bland pleasantries, I'm really unsure as to why you thought I'd asked to see a picture of your erect penis?
If you're reading this dude, let me put your small mind at ease. I'm not about to name you. Unlike you, I have more respect than that. However, it is a shame that you deleted me on Facebook after I told you to "go fuck yourself", because I really do want you to read these words. I want you to know how you made me feel.
While you're 'just some guy' I met a few years ago, one day you might be someone's boss, or someone's husband or perhaps even someone's father and in order to be any of those things, you need to be better.
Open a newspaper, literally any newspaper, and educate yourself on what's going on in the world at the moment. There's never an acceptable time to be sending cock shots to someone, but now more so than ever it's a truly stupid time to be doing such a thing. #TimesUp, Harvey Weinstein, #MeToo, Don Burke, Mark Schwahn- do any of these sound familiar to you?
I can also assume this behaviour comes from a lack of education because I can't imagine how anyone who was truly across all of these topics could still press send on that message, as you did to me. Perhaps I am wasting my breath. Also, I shouldn't have to teach you how women want to be treated. But you've really fucking pissed me off and I need to get this negative energy out of me somehow, an online rant seems as good a way as any.
Don't you dare try and frame me as some kind of Feminazi for saying any of this, because firstly, I have every right to defend my position here. You don't get to just send me a dick pic and expect me to keep quiet about it. Second of all, I'm actually trying to help you to be a better man, a better person.
Sending nudes to people is fine, WHEN THEY HAVE EXPLICITLY ASKED FOR ONE. Do you know what it's called when they don't ask for one? Sexual harassment.
It's Saturday night and I should be out with my friends having a good time. Instead, I'm sat here in bed penning this angry letter to you. This is not how I want to spend my time. I don't enjoy having to justify my distain towards your actions and explain to you why they're wrong. So why don't you just do us both a favour and STOP sending dick pics to people? It's as simple as that.
If you still need help figuring it all out, here, I've done the hard work for you: http://bfy.tw/IpDH.
Even though you've deleted me from Facebook, I'm going to make sure you get this message one way or another. You have 24 hours to submit a summary of what you've learnt from the links above, along with a genuine apology.
The girl you thought you could send a dick pic to and get away with it. Foolish.
Kate Neilson is the Founding Editor of Twenty Something Humans. Lurk her @katiepotatierose.