If your quest for love has involved the internet ever, you already know how brutal it can be out there. Amidst the sea of folks just looking to hook up is the endless stream of almost unfathomably sexist and lewd messaging.
We all have different ways of responding to unsolicited comments (and pictures) that work best for our own self care. Some respond with a simple "fuck off." Others simply ignore them. And then there are those who take down their aggressors with the fire of a thousand suns.
On that note, I'd like to introduce you to Miriam — a limerick-writing, badass feminist who refuses to take shit from anyone.
Better known by her Instagram handle @datingafeminist_, Miriam and a silent co-admin let others peak into her dating inboxes so people can get a taste of what it can be like for a woman on the internet — and how she epically shuts them down.
Or, more accurately, eviscerates them.
While some of her posts are witty limericks...
... others are more provocative. Here, she flips the script on men by messaging them from a fake account in the same fashion, in order to prove that their behavior is morally reprehensible
"...#whatshappeningtothetables is an ongoing series when I use a fake online male identity to address the same man with the exact same behavior they addressed me with. The purple is my voice from my genuine profile, the black is my voice from my fake profile. (Also this particular guy was white, so ????). And can we note that he asked if I've ever been murdered? That's a hilarious question!"
Aside from her fire comebacks, Miriam uses her account to highlight feminist issues that surround dating and sex.
She's also openly discussed her own sexual assault, familiar struggles, and intimate stories in an effort to destigmatize trauma and show solidarity with those who've suffered.
Above she shares an internet interaction with her mother:
"Sometimes PTSD rears its ugly head in the form of trolling my abusive mother when she displays the hypocrisy of condemning sexual abuse, but still has active friendships with known pedophiles. I break my own no contact boundaries for the fleeting satisfaction of screaming into the abyss, and then lose an entire day to despair and homicidal fantasies. At times like these, self care doesn't seem to be an option. Sometimes doing the right thing for myself has to wait for tomorrow. The best I can do is embrace the pain, flashbacks, anger, frustration, and fear. Some may argue this is not helpful, but it is for me. My reality is not one of consistent peace and serenity. Some days will be painful and dark. But there's always the next day. Today I can look at this and know where I went wrong and why..."
All in all, Miriam's account is one that promotes education about sexism and misogyny.
Should you descide to follow it, prepare to get sucked into hours of scrolling.
And to Miriam, thanks for highlighting these issues and allowing people a peek into your life. It does so much good.
Follow her misadventures here.