One Way to Get Back at Men Who Sexually Harass You Online

Anna Gensler is a brave badass of a woman.

I’ve written before how disgusting guys can be when hitting on women online – especially when hidden behind a computer screen. Crude sex talk, inartful come-ons, sordid imagery, violent threats. It’s all in a day’s work for women who choose to engage with men on dating apps and sites.

Enter Ms. Gensler, an artist, who received so much of this aggressive unwanted attention that she chose to fight back.

Anna Gensler is a brave badass of a woman.

She would draw the sexual harasser naked, add on a tiny penis, and post it on her Instagram feed. Talk about fighting fire with fire.

I’ll admit, I have no understanding of a man who writes to a stranger to tell her he’s going to rape her and cum on her face. But I also have no sympathy for him either.

In the words of my daughter in regards to my son: “HE started it!”

Yes, he did. And Ms. Gensler is finishing it. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

Talk about fighting fire with fire.

But what IS the proper way to handle men who strike fear into the hearts of women from across a computer screen if not to give them a taste of their own medicine?

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (38 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    Valeri R. Bush

    Hmmm…let me think.  Oh, I know!  Ignore, block, forget!  Works every time.

    1. 1.1
      SAL9000

      What “works” is she likes the drama, attention and clicks – she is knowingly pushing buttons simply judging from all the responses. Also, the sheer volume (i.e., time spent on this stuff) shows she has some anxiety/obsession issues too.

  2. 2
    Stacy2

    Her instagram is golden. Hopefully, Evan, it also gives you some perspective: these ARE the less smart, less educated, less everything men you are advocating that we should date. Not saying they are all like that, but a much higher percentage of them are (compared to say Harvard PhDs population).

    We, as women, know that – and this is why you get so much pushback on this issue

  3. 3
    GoWiththeFlow

    OMG! Her instagram is hysterical!  Way to go Anna!  I needed a laugh today 🙂

    Awhile back I read an article about an instagram called Bye, Felipe! Where women can post the gross and inappropriate things guys say to them online or via social media.

  4. 4
    CaliforniaGirl

    I never got any really bad messages in my 1.5 years on Tinder, OkCupid and Match. The worst thing was when a guy wrote to me that I am fat and ugly after he messaged me 3 times and on fourth time I replied that I am not interested.  Somehow I believe that women who get harassed online choose to engage in conversations with certain types of males and they are just provoking them. And you can say as much as you want that men have no right to harass women online or elsewhere and it’s not women’s fault but you can avoid certain situations because that’s how the world is and all you can do is to be safe. If I took invitations from drunk guys who invited me to join them in their limos or parties, I could put myself in trouble. And after the fact I could yell all I want that they didn’t have a right to touch or rape and it’s not my fault. But I could prevent it and not go with them and who cares who is right after the fact.

    After last elections I guess I just need to carry pepper spray all the time because I already heard men laughing how now they can do whatever our President is doing and get away with it.

     

    1. 4.1
      Stacy2

      You’re absolutely right. We can’t control the behavior of other people, but we can control what kind of people we chose to associate with, online and offline.

      When i tried out Tinder after my divorce I did not get any of the messages like these at all, not one. Why? I don’t know. May be it had to do with me really really filtering the ones that I swiped right on. This is on Tinder, she did swipe right on these creeps, they didn’t just randomly end up in her inbox. Tinder links to FB and displays people’s education and work history. Pictures/profile tell the rest of the story. half-naked bathroom selfies? ghetto gold/hat? Pitbull in photos? Partying hard with bros? Bad spelling? Lacking education or relevant career? Swipe left. On the other hand… Good school/job? Golden retriever owner? Skiing in Utah with friends? Tasteful headshot? Swipe right. Works, i think.

       

      1. 4.1.1
        CaliforniaGirl

        I looked at her instagram, she is clearly provoking them. Why even reply to any of this? Ah, so she can post it and draw attention. She swiped right on a guy with bathroom selfie and then she is lashing out on him about that? Just a little not very smart girl.

        1. Chance

          This is in line with my suspicions.  Brave, she is not.

        2. Stacy2

          Oh may be too smart. Controversy sells and she’s a cartoonist. Time is writing an article about her, instagram followers multiply => good for business

        3. CaliforniaGirl

          And the amount of those guys and messages??? Looks like she intentionally chooses them. Sorry, I don’t feel for her.

      2. 4.1.2
        KH

        You are making the assumption based on class and education that men who rank higher in these categories sexual harass women more. Look at Anthony Weiners dick pics, the swimmer from Stanford’s rape case, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Bill Clinton and yes, our President -Elect. I bet none if them have a “ghetto gold hat” or pit bull. Check your stereotypes at the door Stacy2.

        1. KH

          *less, not more

    2. 4.2
      Barb

      I don’t know where you live  but I can’t  believe men say that. they had to be kidding, lighten up.

  5. 5
    Chance

    I’m trying to understand the disconnect:  the women I dated online said they really never had these types of encounters.  Why is it that we continually see articles featuring women like this?  What is different about these situations?  Finally, she apparently warned potential matches that she would draw these pictures if she received an inappropriate message. Could she not see how this would invite trolling behavior?

    1. 5.1
      CaliforniaGirl

      She just wants followers on her Instagram, can’t you see? 🙂 I never experienced anything even remotely close to what she posted and none of my girlfriends as well. Yeah, sometimes I get “Hey, sexy” or “You look hot” but I never reply, so it dies right there. You can see and feel a guy’s behavior from his profile/pictures and first message.

  6. 6
    Nissa

    Men (or women) who behave badly don’t deserve my attention. Next!

  7. 7
    Stacy

    I never experienced this stuff online…it is way too easy to block or ignore someone so I don’t understand investing energy into this sort of thing. Of course I experienced a couple of comments and got my share of erect penis pictures in general but modern technology has made it way too easy to just have them disappear with a click of a button.

    And Stacy2, perverts come with all sorts of degrees (Anthony Weiner anyone?). Formal education has nothing to do with it.

    1. 7.1
      KK

      “And Stacy2, perverts come with all sorts of degrees (Anthony Weiner anyone?). Formal education has nothing to do with it”.

      Thank you, Stacy#1 😊

    2. 7.2
      Stacy2

      “perverts come with all sorts of degrees”

      That is shocking… but wait, did I ever claim otherwise? Don’t think so.

  8. 8
    Star

    It gets so old. I just shake my head at the messages I get and I never respond. I want to date, not expose myself to harassment, but that’s what I get.

    It’s a sad state right now. I wonder, who raised these men? Certainly not a man of integrity.

  9. 9
    Marika

    I report them to the website people (most, if not all dating sites have a report option) and then block them. If they get enough people reporting them, I assume they’ll be warned/ reprimanded/kicked off, and then they don’t have access to women online, so that’s their punishment.

    @California Girl “Somehow I believe that women who get harassed online choose to engage in conversations with certain types of males and they are just provoking them”

    Unfortunately, that’s untrue. Your experience isn’t everyone’s experience. I once had  a guy on a site where you can message anyone write a deplorable message to me out of the blue, completely unprompted. I responded (to give him notice) that if he wrote another message like that I would report him, and to let him know (as he was new to the site), that if he continued to talk to women like that he would probably be reprimanded or blocked from the site. I did that as I didn’t want anyone else to be spoken to like that.

    He wrote another horrible message and so I reported him. Then blocked him. No doubt he did it to other women too. No provoking needed.

    1. 9.1
      CaliforniaGirl

      Marika,

      I didn’t say it cannot happen but the amount of such messages this girl received is a little too much.

  10. 10
    MilkyMae

    It’s funny how many young men she draws has a stereotypical real guy name.  Do today’s young horny men sign on as Kenny, Brad, Brian, Frederick….?

    1. 10.1
      SAL9000

      What guy who posts that kind of stuff would use a real name, or at least a name that sounds real? It’s all Dave or Leo or Joe or Blaine.

      It’s really not adding up, and that’s setting aside the national acknowledgement learned the last three days that the social media echo chamber is not to be trusted

      1. 10.1.1
        Kenley

        Unfortunately, I too have had men send me more penis pictures that I can count.  And, I do not encourage them.  I don’t wear anything revealing or show tons of cleavage. So, I really don’t know why men feel inclined to send me those types of pictures.

         

        Last week, a guy took it to a level that I never would have expected.  I was following Evan’s 2, 2, 2, rule– except we were texting.  The guy  texts me a video of himself masterbating — and yes, he showed his face; not just his body.   None and I repeat none of our conversations via email or text had any sexual content so the video come completely of the blue.  This guy told me he was a bank manager of a national bank and after that stunt, I was sure he was lying.  But, I googled him and it he was indeed the manager of the bank.

        I was stunned but still curious as to why he sent me the video so I asked him. And, his answer was simply that his morning horniness got the best of him so he just sent it.  That was it.   Needless to say, I did not end up going out with this guy.

         

        1. Stacy2

          You should forward that video to his branch manager.. The guy is clearly not fit to handle customers or money. Scarily bad judgement.

  11. 11
    Michelle

    I don’t respond to the men, but I always block them and report them to the online dating site.  That way, maybe if they get enough complaints, they’ll have a harder time doing this to other unsuspecting women.

  12. 12
    Morris

    That’s a lot of men. If she’s innocent, she’s the most unlucky girl for getting so many harassing emails for no reason…

    1. 12.1
      Michelle

      @Morris, what do you mean “if”? Have you read her posts? How is a woman not innocent of a man introducing himself saying he wants to eat her ass? And when she tells him she’s not interested he presses on and says she must like being anally raped? It’s very sad that the blame the victim mentality has popped up a few times in this thread. If a man behaves like a sex criminal online he deserves everything he gets and more in return.

      You sound suspicious that she could be so “unlucky.” Instead of that, why not do something more productive and learn about online harrassment, find out what you can do about it and how to bring up other men on their shitty behaviour. Men can really do a lot to support women by calling out the behaviour they agree is wrong.

       

      1. 12.1.1
        Morris

        I have no doubt women get harassed on dating sites. It sucks. Something should be done about it. But it’s also what happens when one gender does the vast majority of initial contacts. Some men start getting bent out of shape after dozens and dozens of rejections. And let me tell you. Some of those rejections aren’t pretty. But that doesn’t excuse bad behavior.(But have you seen how women take rejection???)

         

         

        What I find unlucky is that these aren’t online dating site messages. Correct me if I’m wrong. They look like regular text messages. The type you have to exchange numbers. And the frequency.(Weekly, sometimes a couple in a week.) What are the chances? Someone that gets to that stage(regular text messages) and ends up with these harassing men. Again. If that’s not the case. My mistake. That’s what I got from it.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          On apps, you exchange texts right away. No matter how you slice it, there is no excuse for men sexually harassing women.

        2. Morris

          I haven’t needed to date using apps. Are you saying apps don’t have built-in messaging? That seems odd that you have to exchange numbers right away. But I don’t have that experience so I stand corrected.

           

          You are right that there is no excuse. It just seems odd. Like a troll getting trolled. You seem confident she did absolutely nothing. How did you arrive to that conclusion. I’m only able to see her side of the story. Is there another site I am suppose to look at?

        3. GoWiththeFlow

          Also, she’s young and pretty!  Young pretty women get the most online and dating app messages.  So it stands to reason young pretty women would get the most (numbers wise) harassing messages.

          I’ve received some strange messages online before, but not a lot.  But then again, I’m older and not nearly as pretty.  So I wouldn’t dismiss her experience by saying, “Well I haven’t received a lot of harassing messages, therefore she shouldn’t be either.”

        4. Morris

          @GoWiththeFlow – I guess so. I didn’t understand the text thing. I thought they were regular texts. My mistake.

           

          I guess my only concern was seeing one side of the story.(And so many of them.) I know I’ve said things I regret before and would hate for it to end up like that. Just hate making judgments based on half the story.

        5. GoWiththeFlow

          Morris,

          I hear ya! The downside of social media is that it’s out there for everyone to see.  I’m happy and relieved that my youthful stupidity happened when there was no such thing as cell phones and the internet.  Some people have stories about me, but I have stories about them.  And there’s no photographic proof 😉

  13. 13
    Michelle

    I love this lady, and have nothing but mad respect for her.  It’s terrible that so many women don’t feel empowered to respond to blatant misogyny and threats of sexual violence online. These scum of the earth losers really do believe that they have the power to do this with impunity. Yes report them to the dating site and block them, but tell them what scumbag piece of shit losers they are before you do (if you feel safe doing so). You don’t have to be sweet, polite, understanding, or worry that you’re provoking them (they’re in the wrong, not you). If enough women stand up to these crapbags they might eventually be averse to demonstrating their disgusting behaviour.

    At this age (41) I call out every instance of mansplaining and misogyny I come across (even with my male friends, they know this and respect me for it). I don’t worry that anyone will find me unfeminine or unladylike or whatever. My boyfriend LOVES this about me and has huge respect for me for standing up for myself or and other women.

    Don’t take shit, because there are really amazing guys out there who won’t give you any.

  14. 14
    Noquay

    Though I am in my 50’s, on occasion I’d receive inappropriate communication from on line dudes and once I was cyber-stalked. It’s not just a young dude thing. Cut contact, block, report. Folks that pull this kind of crap thrive on the attention; don’t give them any.

  15. 15
    Amber Mckinnon

    There are a few methods I employ…take a screenshot, post to Byefelipe on Instagram and breakdown dudes possible headspace with the girls; ignore him; or my fav, show him up for lack of smarts based on comms or dating profile and laugh in his face. The latter is obvs a slapback that I don’t employ all the time or when the EQ is high…but DAMN it’s just. So. Satisfying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *