A couple of weeks ago, a woman shared a rather awful story on self.Reddit, entitled “How easy it is to make a woman feel like sh*t.” In it, she describes being in line at a coffee shop when a conventionally cute young woman asks if she can cut in front of her because her boyfriend is waiting. The author kindly declines on the basis that her boss is waiting for the coffee and she’s already pressed to get to work on time.
Meanwhile the man in front of me is listening in and he took his arm and pushed me back while using his other to es-court the other girl to in front of me. He actually said to me ” a woman like this should never have to stand behind a woman like you”. Ya, that how to make a human being feel like shit. What made it worst is that that girl laughed and flirted with him as I stood there dumb struck and started crying. Then she got her coffee (which he bought) and went to her boyfriend outside. Seriously.
The author’s later edit indicates she was stunned at the level of attention her post got. In particular, I know I was stunned by the level of thoughtful attention it received. This is Reddit, land of the trolls. There’s a lot of “sorry that happened to you” and “fuck that guy.” There’s one remark advising her not to make it about women, since nasty things happen to the menz too, but honestly, that’s some low-level concern trolling for the Reddit norm.
People even get into what I call Violent Fantasy Venting, suggesting she should’ve hit the guy, kicked him, even stabbed him (they write a little story). No one’s serious – after all, the author would have been arrested had she done so – but there’s a lot of frustration. Everyone hates men like the one in the story. There’s just not much they can do, but fantasize on Reddit and enjoy the community spirit that evolves from those fantasies.
It’s important to note that what this man did was entirely about punishing the un-gorgeous woman for existing. It wasn’t about appealing to the gorgeous woman – she has a boyfriend, and is probably ninety yards out of this guy’s league. This isn’t a case of a man being led around by his dick: this is simply a case of abusing a woman for not looking how you think she should, and it rather proves that the gamer culture we were so recently advised not to take so seriously does permeate beyond gaming. It goes everywhere woman-hating knuckle-dragging men and boys go. And that, incidentally, is why we talk about it.
Can anybody think of something this woman could have done to teach this guy a lesson? As much as I like the idea of violence, I’ve not found it really helps anything long-term – some assholes seem to find it encouraging. I can’t think of anything she could’ve said, because while perhaps pointing out what they’d done would’ve resulted in people shunning them and, at best, the barista sticking them on the back of the line, the odds are good everyone would’ve just ignored it rather than get involved, and it would’ve reaffirmed the idea that what the man did was okay.