god’s gift to women, that one.

One Joshua Becker, a student at USF in Tampa, apparently thinks it’s fun to sexually harass strange women over the Internets. Only the target of his dubious attention didn’t take his shit lying down (no pun intended) and posted screen shots of the entire exchange online. She also pledged to send the evidence to both his mother and grandmother. (He wasn’t smart enough to use an anonymous ID, and his victim figured out his Facebook page rather quickly. Oops.)

Sadly, if Joshua Becker of Tampa learns anything from this, it probably won’t be “don’t harass women over the Internet”, or “don’t post or send anything online you wouldn’t put on a poster board in your front yard”, or “gee, maybe I am a tacky, self-entitled dweeb, and I should probably fix my character flaws.” He’ll just learn to be more careful next time.

I’ve been online since 1995, and I’ve never had an unwanted IM from a stranger proposing that I perform sexual favors on them. It’s pretty fucking sad that so many women can’t say the same thing. Being female and online should not mean having to put up with over-testosteroned brodudes trolling the Net and doing the virtual equivalent of a lewd ass-grab in a crowded subway car.

8 responses

  1. Main reason I stopped using AIM so early in my internet days and now I’ve just never reacquired the habit. (Well, that and the fact that, while I may like the occasional person, I generally loathe people. ;) )

  2. I think many people are chomping at the bit to spew anger and aggression online that they can’t bring themselves to express (or relieve) in any other way.

    Having worked in telephone tech support I can say that people are more than willing to tear your head off with their general anger at anything and everything – using whatever difficulty they are experiencing with their product/service as a pretext. Remove the moderate accountability of talking to someone realtime that can nominally identify you and send/receive emotional queues via inflection and timing and that impulse is that much less damped. You would be amazed how many people use tech/customer support as somewhere to pipe their rage rather than try to resolve whatever problem they were nominally calling about – and I doubt that most people who do this realize it.

    Maybe it’s fear of accountability and consequences that keep people in line after all, or just the spectacular jerks that come to mind when we hear of these things. I certainly don’t blame women for not outing themselves as such on forums, new sites comments, most chat rooms, or anything else not tied to an online presence that has an anchor in the real world based on all the knuckle-dragging I’ve seen.

  3. She should have ridiculed him for having to resort to hitting up random women online for sex, even offering to pay. Pretty desperate move.

  4. Although running into people (and I’ll use that term very loosely for this guy) like this is a risk anywhere, this hits a little close to home since my daughter attends school at USF.

    I think I can use this as a teaching moment for my daughter-
    Meanwhile, I wonder if this guy needs attention from Reddit?

    TBG

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