When somebody does or says something I don’t like I can typically ignore it and let it roll off my back. And the general advice for when somebody does this to you online is to block the person who is annoying you and remove yourself from the situation in which the other person is bothering you. However, this advice is not as easy as it sounds and it does nothing to discourage bullies, harassers and stalkers from continuing their inappropriate behavior towards their initial target and/or others in the future. I had people coming at me from all different directions and the local law enforcement’s attitude with respect to protection was basically unless I was actually physically harmed then they were unable to do anything or be proactive.
So, unless I were actually raped as I had been threatened, the police did not care to protect me or prevent the crime from happening. Thanks, I feel so safe living in a town surrounded by military personnel, plenty of pumped up guys who felt as though they could take whatever they wanted and they knew they were basically above the law as well. In addition, I was being harassed by my ex-husband and his new wife online and they only way I could do anything about the would be to hire an attorney with the money I didn’t have and attempt to haul my ex into court for contempt of court for interfering with my daily life.
There were three basic sources of perpetrators who were battling against me. There was my ex and his wife as I mentioned. There was a small group of women who were enamored with a guy I dated off and on and wanted me out of the picture, although they battled me individually, not as a conglomerate. And then there was the forum. A secret group of guys who for all intents and purposes gathered together online to gossip and post about their pursuits of women. And many of the women they gossiped about became targets of other forum members to pursue. They would compete against one another for bragging rights seeming to earn clout for each level of contact they were able to achieve with their subject. The main objective seemed to be to obtain seductive photos and if the girl was worthy, a date for an intimate encounter, regardless of whether that’s what she wanted/expected or not. A guy I met online via a dating website and decided I did not want to go out with as in the course of our flirting I ended up having sex with my ex-boyfriend so the online guy decided to take his vengeance out on me by sharing my photos, email address, instant message addresses and phone number with the forum. And for some reason, I became a mini-celebrity on the forum and a prime target of pursuit by the members. I was receiving hundreds of visitors on the dating websites I was on daily and dozens of messages. I was completely clueless that anything out of the ordinary was afoot. I figured that there were just that many desperate men on the internet. I didn’t know cyber-bullying existed, I had no clue that if I was being followed by so many sycophantic men who were creating incredible stories about me without having met me or even speaking to me.
There appear to be different types of cyber-bullying. Cases in which the mainstream public gets their hands on something and through a sort of peer pressure they pass the content on and dehumanize the target, removing all associations of realization how closely connected they or somebody they know could have been to the same circumstances as the content takes on a stone rolling down a mountainside sort of velocity as it gathers momentum and speed. By the time it hits a target or whatever causes it to cease movement, the damage will be colossal as was seen in this article Cyber-Bullied Girl Photo Goes Viral With Extreme Consequences. About a girl whose photo of her performing oral sex at a music concert which was spread around the internet and she was ridiculed and joked about while the guy in the photo seemingly didn’t suffer any consequence at all. She was so distraught that she had to be sedated in the hospital.
And then there are cyber-bullies who create fictitious details about the person they are harassing and spread the stories around the internet to all who will listen in hopes that others will join their crusade against their victim. Cyber Stalking Moral Crusade Victim stories are abundant on this site put together by a girl who was cyber-bullied for three years until she banded together with other victims and found her harasser and took action. She offers tips to help others avoid cyber-bullies and in fighting them if you are a target online.
And there are cyber-bullies who seem to fit a profile more like the case I dealt with online when the Forum decided to make me the object of their attention seeking games. Similar to Fraternity bonding and hazing rituals in which a bunch of immature males come together in an attempt to show sexual prowess by trying to conquer women as their playmates. Adult Woman Stalked Online profiles a story which is similar to my encounter with the Forum if you consider that I was generally dealing with one person at a time and didn’t realize that they were all connected together. These cases are characterized as a single male cyber-bully who harasses and stalks his prey as a show of sexual dominance where the intended end-game is ideally to meet his victim in person and to dominate her if things go his way.
Gender roles are still alive and strong in our society in that males continue to pursue females sexually in an almost primal way with no holds barred. And the veil of secrecy they are provided behind their computers online allows them to push the boundaries without any repercussions. Slut-Shaming in the Digital Age is a good discussion about how women are considered shameful just for engaging in sexual activities and how modern technology has had an effect on feminism. I talked with one of my harassers about how the information he apparently thought he knew about me was fictitious as he tried to figure out what was real and what was made up about me from the information he read online. But irreverently he always reverted to trying to lure me into going out with him and he claimed he would find a way to trick me into having sex with him. He was convinced that at least some of the stories he read about me on the Forum by its members were true and that I had engaged in sexual activities with some of the forum members even though I had not. Apparently I had even starred in a pornographic film with several guys at once. I stated that I would like to see the film to see how good of a match my body-double is.
One of the most disconcerting things was there were countless men who knew what I looked like and I didn’t know what most of them looked like to recognize them if I saw them in public. And I didn’t trust anybody who asked me out for a date, so my hopes of finding a real relationship were dashed into the ground as I felt incapable of screening any potential candidates for genuinely decent guys interested in getting to know me and spending time with me. I didn’t even trust my ex-boyfriend who told me he had received emails from one of my stalkers stating that I was going to end up being driven right into my stalker’s arms and that he was going to enjoy pounding me and taking advantage of me sexually. My ex wouldn’t show the emails to me though and says he deleted them. I had no way of tracking them, and I didn’t have anything to bring to the police. I only had the word of a man I really hadn’t known all that long.
And even if I had known him for long, I had been with my ex-husband for over twenty years and he had turned out to be a very awful person. What is it about me that makes these bullies like to stalk and harass me? Is it because I can be so tough and continue to fight back and I don’t let them bother me? Am I a challenge for them to conquer? I recently re-read some of the research I had come across twenty years ago when my husband, whom I was only dating at the time, told me that he was inappropriately attracted to young girls. I was trying to come to grips with dating a pedophile and I read that they don’t feel as though they are adequate sexually; they feel unable to satisfy a woman so they prefer younger girls whom they will never fail to satisfy. Later, my husband’s emotional disorders compounded with depression, alcoholism, anorexia and his general feelings of inadequacy despite my constant adulation and him surrounding himself with the type of friends who tend to look up to him and support him he seemed to develop Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
He did not like my strong, independent personality and it was clear that he would have been much more comfortable with a subservient wife who in addition to performing all of the traditional wifely duties such as cooking, cleaning, bearing children, etc, kept her mouth shut and backed her husband’s stories regardless of how tall the tales he spun were, and wouldn’t say anything to make her appear smarter, stronger or in any way more adept than him. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself at a comment he made to me during our separation in regards to my wearing heels, “I’d forgotten what it’s like to look a woman straight in the eyes.” I figured he was enjoying the feeling of emotional power from the girl he was dating, thirteen years his junior, having to literally look up to him. I wish he were the one who was being stalked and harassed so as to keep enough of a spotlight on him that any parents of young girls in his area think twice before allowing their children to go play with his daughter. Because he is not a good person, he was arrested for trading child pornography on the internet and I wouldn’t put it past him to spy on young girls or even to try to convince them to put on a show for him.
I wish I could warn residents of San Jose, California to check the arrest records in Virginia for their neighbors, friends, playgroups, meet-up groups, etc. Because while his daughter is only a baby now, she won’t be forever, and he will cause trouble. I knew not to have a child with him, even though I loved him so much, but his new wife was too stupid and selfish not to think seriously about his pedophilia. And his only other behavior issue was depression when he was arrested so many years ago before we married. But since then, he has changed so much and has become so calculated. But I have gotten so far off my original topic! I was just surmising if these online harassers feel somehow inadequate and in their attempts to dominate inconspicuously they feel as though they have a better chance at achieving their goal. Or, if they fail they don’t have anybody to face but themselves. Nevertheless, they are pathetic.