A Friendly Reminder That You Don’t Know Me

An odd thing happened this weekend: an idiot on Twitter really wanted my attention. I say idiot because this young gentleman truly seemed to be stupid rather than malicious in his persistent need to speak to me despite my obvious disinterest. This young gentleman joined Twitter just to communicate with me, a suggestion he denied despite the fact that he followed only myself and Ellen Degeneres. You see, in his eyes I was beautiful. I was attractive. He did not care that I had herpes, and he wanted me to know this. When I told him that his tweets were making me uncomfortable, he sent me many more of them. When I told him I would block him if he sent me one more message, he sent me a video of himself singing as an apology. I was unimpressed, so he continued to tweet at me, calling me fake and judgmental.

His most telling statement? “You’re not the person I saw on YouTube.”

No, I am. I am that girl who took off most of her clothes and teared up talking about her ex-boyfriend, perched on a wooden stool in a third floor walkup in the Village. I am also that girl who brought a Diet Coke with her every day to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality studies seminars at Wesleyan, and who had sex that one time in her thesis carrel, and who threw up all over herself last Christmas on MetroNorth. I am also the woman who works her ass off every day at job that challenges her—a job that is not this blog—and the woman who falls in love hard and slow with men she doesn’t share stories about here out of respect for their privacy. I am caustic and impatient and scared and furious. I am aware of my cute face and my damaged hair. I am all of myself, I am everything, and you at best know a sliver of who I am with each blog post and article and interview.

I can count on one hand the number of people in this world who I would feel comfortable saying truly know me. These people know how my face crumples abruptly when enough is enough, and how I make weird noises when I am happy. They know that I wear the same pair of black pants from Uniqlo every other day and that new restaurants stress me out more than anything else in the world. They know I fucking love sunsets. They know I never get over anything. They know I care in ALL CAPS about them.

I am a woman who talks about her vagina on the Internet and that gives strange men the mistaken impression that they know me. They don’t. I sustain a steady stream of snarky observations on Twitter and that gives strange men the mistaken impression that I want to hear from them. I don’t. I post a lot of selfies and that gives strange men the impression that I am asking for their praise. I’m not. A woman doing her own thing on the Internet is like a woman doing her own thing at a bar: sometimes she wants to chat with strangers, but that “sometimes” is rarely, if ever, and probably not at all.

Now go away, I want to keep making jokes about the GOP Debates with the friends I logged online to see.

UPDATED 2/7/2016 1:51pm: I am now being contacted on Twitter by someone claiming to be this individual’s friend—who is more likely to be the same guy, considering how identical this profile is to the last one. He is also harassing a friend of mine on Twitter from his original account and saying that his “5 friends” are going to follow me. Just to spell this out in no uncertain terms: when someone blocks you on a social media platform, creating a new account to continue contacting her is harassment. 

Many of their original tweets have now been deleted, so I am including screenshots below as evidence.

I can’t wait for the day digital restraining orders are a thing.


five messages


Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 2.04.47 PM

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 1.28.55 PM

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UPDATED 2/7/2016 3:05pm: Dude is still harassing my friend and is now talking about himself in the third person. Glad to know I’m “not his type” though!

never would have followed her

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Ella Dawson is a sex and culture critic and a digital strategist. She drinks too much Diet Coke.

7 thoughts on “A Friendly Reminder That You Don’t Know Me

  1. “What woman doesn’t like being called beautiful?” Umm, maybe the one who knows that “Beautiful” is not “just” a compliment, that some guys think that when they call us beautiful we should flutter our eyelashes and rush them with gratitude. It’s not a compliment, if it’s to get something in return. Whatapunk. Also, he and his “friend” both used the phrase “I love life.” He’s not a very creative one. He needs to go to the library and read some books, take a gender’s class. Lesson to men: action to understand us is a greater compliment than “You’re beautiful.”

  2. Wow, charming. If he threatens you you’re totally allowed to call the cops, not that it’ll do anything. He probably has a personality disorder, so feel bad for him. That’s not something that can be treated effectively most of the time. Neither can the stupids, though.

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