I kept putting off posting this one. Honestly, it's hard for me to read. I've never said that word in my life — there's something about it that actively makes my stomach churn. It is, to me, the worst of insults, and its specificity to women makes it all the more disturbing.
When my roommate sent this to me, it was the first time since starting this blog that I seriously considered stopping it. It's bizarrely tiring to document the depravity that takes place on the Internet and on these apps. And I think admitting that is even more difficult.
I know that a lot of this all feels like a joke. And I know that these messages by no means represent the entirety of the online dating population. I get that I'm highlighting the worst of what happens, not necessarily the norm. But honestly, that doesn't make it any better, nor does it make it any easier to get messages like this.
It bothers me that I'm acutely aware that I will never run out of "material" for this blog. As strange as it is to say out loud, I go to bed every night knowing that I will wake up to at least one awful message in the morning. I've really come to expect them, and I don't know when that happened.
In speaking to women about receiving messages like the one above, the weirdest (and definitely worst) aspect of the whole ordeal is the immense guilt many of us feel immediately afterwards. Somehow, we feel somehow at fault — dirty, gross, almost repulsive — for attracting such attention. We didn't do anything to deserve the message, and yet, there's a strange internalization process that takes place in the aftermath that makes the entire experience all the more humiliating and degrading. All we did was read the message, so why do we feel like we did something so horribly wrong?
I don't know what it is. My roommate and I are confident women. But something about being called a cunt (dear God) knocks the wind out of you.
I'm not trying to frame messages like these as widely accepted, socially taught norms. I know that it would probably be easier to disregard these people as the worst of humanity. But I don't think it would be better to do so either.