Women expose ‘worst’ men on dating apps
LADIES, put your hands up if you have been called a derogatory name by a guy on a dating app. You're not alone.
Hundreds of Australian women are taking to the Instagram account @ByeFelipe to expose men of their crude and obscene messages when rejected or ignored.
The Bye Felipe name is a play on the saying "Bye Felicia", the often quoted dismissive farewell given by Ice Cube in the movie Friday.
The account has brought together more than 425,000 followers, posting almost 650 instances of men retaliating on dating apps. Posts highlight examples of unsolicited harassment, unwanted nude selfies, and abusive messages directed at weight and sexual orientation.
Some of them go a little something like this:
Guy: "F**k you then fat white b***h. No one will ever love you. Mainly because of your size and your archaic beliefs."
Girl: "Lmfao. I'm not the one begging for attention and I don't need your approval, so joke's on you a**hole. #byefelipe."
Then there are the women who cop abuse for not replying quick enough, or at all.
Guy: "Hello I'm Stan, nice to meet you. You're so attractive to me and I love your cute face"
Same guy: "Stuck up b***h"
Different guy: "Wana hook up? HEY … YOU SPEAK WHEN I TALK TO YOU, UNDERSTAND?!"
"WOW someone thinks they're too good. Well you're not. You are soooo overrated," another male user said.
Sadly, the world of online dating has attracted more and more men with limited standards, respect and overall dignity, with @ByeFelipe proving just how bad some messages can get.
The account's creator, Alexandra Tweten, like thousands before her, signed up for online dating in the hopes of finding a decent guy.
Instead, what Ms Tweten discovered was a world of abuse and harassment as men, feeling spurned by rejection, lashed out in the most vile way they knew how.
"A lot of guys take the fact they think they're anonymous online to be more bold and say things they wouldn't normally if they saw you in person," she told the ABC.
It didn't take long for her to create the Instagram page @byefelipe, uploading
screenshots of the abuse. She's even turned it into a book describing it as "disses, d**k pics and other delights of modern dating," which officially went on sale two days ago.
Other women quickly followed suit and what started as a project between friends back in 2014 grew into an online movement.
Many have reached out to Ms Tweten thanking her for creating the page and for giving women a voice.
"Because a lot of the time women said, 'I didn't know that other women went through this, I thought that I was the only one'," she told the ABC.
"So it's kind of a sense of community and just understanding."
There's plenty of other similar Instagram accounts including @tindernightmares which shy of 2 million followers and @instagranniepants, an account which takes the comments and turns them into cartoon depictions of the men and their messages.
Research fellow at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) Anastasia Powell, who specialises in policy concerning violence against women said the hostile responses can be traced back to gender stereotypes and expectations.
Dr Powell told the ABC that people often tried to save face when rejected and that in modern society it was more socially accepted for men to express anger as an emotional response than to reveal sadness or vulnerability.
"On top of that, modern dating is still subject to a lot of gender stereotypes about how 'good' or 'proper' men and women are meant to behave, and how sex is meant to be negotiated," she said.
"According to the last National Community Attitudes Survey on Violence Against Women, a lot of Australians still believe that men should be in control in relationships.
"So for some men who hold those attitudes, being rejected in a dating situation might really go against their idea of how 'good' women are meant to behave."
While the major dating sites are all trying to tackle the issue either by blocking and reporting abusive users, providing advice on how to stay safe online, before meeting up with strangers - ultimately, the onus is often put back on the user.
A 2017 poll by Relationships Australia, found that 21 per cent of female respondents thought online dating was unsafe.
"Keep your communications limited to the platform and really get to know users online/using the app before meeting them in person," reads the online advice for dating app Tinder.
"It's up to you to research and do your due diligence."
Over the past two decades there has been an increasing trend towards people using the internet and dating applications to meet new partners, the poll revealed.
It is the second most preferred way to meet a new partner behind introductions through family and friends and is ahead of other traditional channels including interest-based clubs, holidays, pubs or bars, work and social networking sites.
IT GOES BOTH WAYS
Women may be just as likely (or perhaps, in some cases, even more so) than men to troll, but it depends on the context in which this behaviour is being explored, said Evita March, Lecturer of Psychology, Federation University Australia.
"Previous studies on trolling behaviours show that men troll more than women in online forums, gaming and even Facebook," Ms March said. "It's unclear at the moment as to why women are engaging in similar amounts of trolling behaviours as men are on Tinder."
She said one possibility is that women are engaging in higher rates of trolling.
"For example, on the social media platform Twitter, women are just as likely as men to use derogatory language such as 's**t' and 'w***e'," she said.
"Perhaps Tinder users are viewed as easy trolling targets, due to the "desperate" stigma that some people still associate with online dating.
"Considering the easy and free access to Tinder this would certainly satisfy the dysfunctional impulse of the troll, on contrast to paid sites such as eHarmony."
Let's not forget the case of 29-year-old Karen Ilya Laing who was jailed in February this year for sending a man (she met via Tinder and went on one date with) nearly 200 abusive text messages in just 46 hours. She was sentenced to 10 months behind bars and barred from using her mobile phone or internet.