can u not?
Hi, my name is Erika. You might know me as “that girl who talks about sex on the internet,” but today I’m doing something a little bit different. Let’s talk about male entitlement.
Let’s talk about the messages I get claiming that because I educate about the topic of sex I’m obligated to answer any and all invasive questions about my personal life people feel like asking me. Let’s talk about the messages detailing every lurid detail about how men jerk off to me, despite me making it clear that it makes me super uncomfortable, and the messages calling me a hypocrite for being uncomfortable with it. Because I gave them one thing, their logic says, they are entitled to anything else they want. “You’ll review sex toys but won’t tell me about your private sex life so I can masturbate to it?” “You’ll educate about sex but won’t get ME off?”
Let’s talk about the rage from these man-toddlers when I ignore them or, god forbid, tell them no. The insults. The threats. Shouting at me on a new social media platform every time I block them from a different one. They DESERVE to get what they want from me, they think, no matter how wildly inappropriate it is or how uncomfortable it makes me. For a lot of them, I’m sure my discomfort is part of their sexual thrill. I don’t get to set boundaries. I don’t get to choose whether I consent to be their porn.
Let’s talk about how standard this is, even outside of my sex ed genre. Let’s talk about how I don’t actually consider myself to have it “that bad” because so many of my female friends on YouTube get messages much more violent and much more frequent.
All of this, all of that, the things I just listed. That’s fucked up. That is not something I or anyone else should have to put up with. Ever. Yet, every year on all of the Women on YouTube panels at all of the conventions we have the exact same conversations because this sort of harassment is so ubiquitous. We literally cannot have a discussion about women on the internet without half of it being about men, because men are, almost exclusively, the ones who make it dangerous to be a woman on the internet. Dangerous and frustrating and painful and often not worth it, which is why I’ve seen so many amazing female creators pack up their bags and revert entirely to meatspace because that shit takes its toll on them, understandably.
So, dudes. Dudes who make intrusive demands of women on the internet. Dudes who send unsolicited vulgar messages to strangers. Dudes who use slurs, dudes who send threats, dudes who will try to minimize and defend their abusive behavior under the guise of “trolling.” Dudes with serious unchecked entitlement issues? Please, find your chill.