Yesterday I was approached by private mail by two young Indian men. I am admin of a couple of social media forums, so to answer their calls, was not a search for fandom or to make new friends, but, in the line of duty, to respond to work related matters.
The first one announced that he was six foot two, had a degree in dentistry, and could send me a photo of his new car to prove that he owned it outright, and that he had a flat in Jaipur.
I smiled. And moved on.
Only to return to increasingly rude, and aggressive missed emails. He demanded to know why I had not replied to his messages, and they culminated in insults. Why you have big ego problem, and oh you not speak English?
I did not reply and explain my time was precious, and that his manner was beyond rude. Nor did I even hint that he could benefit from coaching classes that might help him gain some useful tools to approach women that would achieve better results. I heard this great truth that there is a delete button, and I gladly used it.
The second visitor has left me slightly more wary. Still slightly under my skin, and that troubles me. His first appearance to post a Travel Forum website in an events listing page on Social Media. It looked impressive, and I am guilty of not having taken time to read it thoroughly before submitting the post.
I shared a beautiful, short, well written article by the Former US President Jimmy Carter, that was an inspiring passage that spoke to my heart, and I hoped it may be read by other forum members with open-hearted, curiosity. The young man, retorted with a subtle, but nonetheless evident rejection of the ideas, and whilst there was no outright hostility, there was stealth like speed. I did not pick up the troll characteristic, it all happened so fast.
Like any of us who have ever in earnest tried to respond to a troll, I typed carefully edited words, that outlined why I felt that the response was misplaced. My instinct and my polite response revealed that I felt it was a subtle move to distract the other members from the sweetness of the OP and to shift the debate away from the calls for growing global consideration of women and young girls rights. Bottom line, he argued for mens’ rights.
My suggestion was that if he felt to write or share about Men’s rights, he might consider posting a new thread. He did, but it was a poorly constructed mess of ideas, suggesting Indian men do bad things to get foreign wives.
This young man had actually privately messaged me over several days, demanding I find him a foreign girlfriend and his age limit was up to 40 years. I went back to the inbox messages and had a quick look on his own page, just to gather my feelings. His own page declared he was standing as a Uttar Pradash political candidate. His inbox messages to me had become increasingly hostile and un-nervingly quite personal.
Initially he had made contact about his travel website and his endeavours to save foreign travelers from the perils of being cheated whilst in India. He was making salacious enquiries as to whether I was a lesbian and if I wanted to be a guest in his house, I would be welcome regardless of my sexual orientation. Wow, that was a bold opening question in a country that legally prohibits homosexuality. I tried my best at that point to get clear and firm, and said, My husband is sitting next to me and a little alarmed at your comments.
I did not take a screen shot of his comments, and over a few days his unread messages had piled up. They were warnings, that my husband would be cheating me, that men from his part of the world where known to steal from women, and that many Indian men had tricked women into marriage without declaring their marital status.
Any ex-pat woman will know this is quite untrue. Indian citizens have in their passports very clearly stamped, their marital status. So, they are unlikely to be already married and granted life-time visits and visas outside of India.
The realization came immediately, that this person could be a very cunning hacker, keeping people online long enough in time-wasting conversations to nab our Ip address and enter into our files with the ease and cunning only a thief knows.
Finally I thought to check his travel website and was alarmed to see semi-naked Western women claiming to be making elegant testimonials of his services. Please, book your stay in India with me, and do quickly send me your bank account details immediately.
Blocked and removed. And warning and apology posted in said Forum to other members.
Maximum of fifteen minutes of my life wasted. And yet, I still feel unsettled about this.
I want to know why we do not do more to call out these people? I am in many ways a far lucky woman to have simply got an offer to see a picture of his car, when so many women are sent without warning, naked dick shots of undesirable men.
What is going on the mental process of any man that for no apparent reason suddenly takes a photo of himself with or without boxer shorts, edits the picture, and then still in a trance like stupor presses send?
I guess in other countries, the law is very clear on what is, and what is not harassment. Yesterday a wise friend, clarified that in the UK, it has to happen only three times for a case to be made against the offender, and they will be found, tried, and punished.
I know here there is a huge amount of leniency. The theory that boys will be boys is deeply embedded in the old cronies sitting on the Supreme Court benches, and until that changes, unfortunately, nothing will change.
There is a sickness, that is palpable in their desire to intrude. These boys are not fools. They have been to the best of Universities, and they are the brightest of the bunch. They attempt to take hold, to have control of the situation, and they will quickstep any attempt to defy them. They maneuver with the might of a rapist. That you will be silenced, pushed, defamed, and afraid of them, is something they assume from the start.
They are predators, and they are stealing a lot more than our time.