TikTok trend exposes screenshots of messages from abusive men

A new TikTok trend where women boldly expose abusive men via screenshots shows exactly why some women are happily staying single.

If you’re a regular reader of this column, it won’t be new information to you that a lot of men don’t particularly like me.

When I started writing about sex – or more specifically, female sexual pleasure – a decade ago, it quickly became apparent there was no way to meaningfully cover the topic without addressing the problematic way heterosexual men approach sex.

In part, due to the orgasm gap (straight men climax 95 per cent of the time during coupled sex, compared to their female partners, who get off just 65 per cent of the time), but largely because of the negative impact male sexual entitlement have on all of us.

It’s ironic, really, given most of the vitriol I receive from men is predicated on the belief this column is essentially a weekly hit piece on their gender. Because in truth, decentring male pleasure isn’t only vital to closing the orgasm gap for women, it’s a reliable path to more sex FOR MEN.

There’s no mysterious sexual default in women that makes pleasure impossible. If this were the case, lesbian women wouldn’t be reporting climaxing almost as frequently and reliably as straight men. The problem is, men are taught to see women’s bodies as conduits for their erections, and sex as a right.

A study by Pew Research found 57 per cent of female dating app users have received unsolicited sexually explicit messages or photos, and a 2018 paper analyzing dating platform messages confirms we’re disproportionally targeted by abuse and harassment perpetrated by straight men.

This is highlighted in a new TikTok trend, where women boldly expose abusive men via screenshots of their texting exchanges.

In a now viral clip, TikToker Cadigan Smith shares messages received from a man she previously dated, which rapidly go from warm and flattering to cold and abusive.

The exchange begins with a text that reads, “I really f**king like you. Like wow, holy sh*t. You’re just the most beautiful girl,” but a handful of messages in, the male texter’s tone takes a sharp turn.

“I’m just not that attracted to your body and I feel like if this moves forward it would be fake. Like I don’t wanna lead you on and be talking to a girl I don’t really get turned on by..” the message reads.

Other women who jumped on board the trend, splicing together their conversations with men to the soundtrack of Billy Joel’s Piano Man, revealed equally unsettling texts.

“To be honest you’re a little too overweight for me. You were crushing me,” reads another message shared by a young woman.

The casual ease with which these messages are delivered – messages which reduce women to objects that exist exclusively as sexual currency to men – is a disturbing example of the inability many men have to fully humanize the women they feel entitled to access for sex. And it’s not new.

Instagram account Bye Felipe, which now has around half a million followers, was started by LA-based singleton Alexandra Tweten in 2014 as a vehicle for sharing screenshots of some of the abusive messages she’d received from men on dating apps. But it quickly exploded into an online phenomenon, attracting women from all over the world to share their own horrifying text exchanges with men, emphasizing how ubiquitous the issue is.

A recent post on the account includes a message that reads, “Tbh, you’re not hot enough for the attitude you have,” while another asks, “Nudes?xx” before going on to message again, “F*** you a weird stupid b**ch!!!” after the invitation is turned down.

Platforms like TikTok and Instagram, which allow women to share these experiences at scale, are becoming part of a movement prompting increasing numbers of women to actively choose celibacy and singledom over potentially dehumanizing interactions with men, and this is reflected in new research, which shows young people are having less sex than ever before.

And the men who aren’t ready to confront this probably won’t like me for pointing it out, even when it benefits them to hear it. But I don’t need those men to get on board with this message. Because like so many of the women who share these stories, I’m not here for men. I’m here to remind women they’re worth more than what some guy who couldn’t even get them to orgasm made them believe.

And the men who aren’t ready to confront this probably won’t like me for pointing it out, even when it benefits them to hear it. But I don’t need those men to get on board with this message. Because like so many of the women who share these stories, I’m not here for men. I’m here to remind women they’re worth more than what some guy who couldn’t even get them to orgasm made them believe.

Follow Nadia Bokody on Instagram and YouTube for more sex, relationship and mental health content.

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