First of all, I want to warn you that the texts in this conversation contain some really sensitive and potentially triggering language. It's bad, y'all. Being a woman trying to move through the world is not easy. Even if you are a woman trying to do something as simple as sell an iPhone, you may be met with toxic, dangerous men who make you feel unsafe.
That's exactly what happened in the appalling text conversation you are about to read. Twitter user @Swordsfall1 shared text screenshots from a woman who was just trying to get rid of an old iPhone. She was met with a "nice guy" who, when she insisted on meeting in a public space, lost it, became extremely creepy, and proved her point exactly.
It starts out pretty normal and innocent.
He's even the one who originally suggests meeting up at Starbucks! The fact that he did that made me think that he understood that it's weird to give your address to a stranger. Honestly, no matter the gender of the person, I would not volunteer my personal information to someone I just met during a sale transaction. There's no reason for it!
But he seems to think that she doesn't want to give out her address because she's a woman. And honestly, f that's the reason, that's also completely valid. Violence against women is an epidemic in the U.S. Who could blame a woman for trying to protect herself? You just never know.
"You can trust me I'm a nice guy" is classic bad guy language. Men will never understand what it's like to move through the world as a woman. They don't have to look over their shoulders while they're walking down the street. They don't know what it's like to feel unsafe on a daily basis.
But there are good men. And those men can sympathize with women, recognize their feelings as valid, and not claim that they're "actually safe" and try to bully them into giving away their home address. This dude is completely oblivious that he is currently proving this woman's point. And it only gets worse.
And then he asks if she has a boyfriend! And says she's cute! Creepy, toxic men do not see women as actual people that exist separate from their desires. This is infuriating, and it only gets more so.
This is insane. He is indeed "mansplaining" to her about hers and all women's experiences in the world while actively proving that women should in fact feel unsafe while talking to strange men.
I know. Appalling. This is why women feel unsafe every single day, even when they are interacting with supposedly "nice" guys. Because "nice guys" so often and so quickly turn into dangerous, volatile predators. "Nice guys" so often become abusers on the turn of a dime. "Nice guys" so often claim that women should feel safe and then say things like "You'll want to be raped."
Understandably, this woman is having a hard time even believing that this guy is for real. Intellectually, we as women know that men this clueless and dangerous exist. We are often met with overt violence or emotional manipulation. But this guy is a new breed. This guy claimed she should feel completely safe one moment and basically threatened rape the next...while still claiming to be a "nice guy." And he's not done yet.
I'm speechless. This man can't have a conversation with a woman who doesn't see him as a sexual partner. It's unfathomable to him that a woman might just want to sell him an iPhone and nothing else. And that she might want to do it in a public place because she doesn't like to give out her private home address to people she doesn't know. You know, in case they turn out to be creepy or something.
This man went from "Hey, are you still selling that iPhone?" to "Go die whore" in the matter of six screenshots. This is exactly why women don't feel safe in this world. He is exactly the type of toxic man he claimed doesn't exist.
These screenshots make me furious and sad because while it feels like we are making progress in terms of women's positions in the world, this is a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go.