There is much to be said (and much is said) about sexism and the internet, from revenge porn to trolling it is ever more blatant and evident. There is, however, much that is hidden from plain sight and one of these is private messaging.
In recent times I have found myself privy to a ‘lads’ WhatsApp group discussion. Initially this was to plan a trip, but as with many groups its usage has continued far beyond and developed from it’s original purpose – and in addition I never made it on the trip so I think they forget I am still in the group.
This group is myself and five grown men all aged late 20’s to early 30’s. One of them is a friend I have known for years, the others I do not know so well or have never met them. I’m going to call them a typical group of ‘blokes’; beer, football and women are the primary ‘activities’ in their lives. These are the topics that go around in the group, typically the latter is the most common.
It began when they were on the trip, like both guys and girls, when they were away they were playing on tinder and looking for hookups – natural for group of single people, we’ve all done it- my problem arose from the language they used and the attitude they showed towards these women. Pure and simple objectification and vulgarity – I scroll quickly through the messages and find an example very easily – “But you did fuck that big booty Colombian hoe”.
This language flows so easily for them, the graphics of it come off the tongue – sucking cocks, gagging, fucking the girl (never the girl fucking them, is this power play?), big tits, fat arse, she can take it, hoe, whore, bitch, slut, slag so on and so forth… It is the language of hardcore porn, not language you would use with someone you care about or even just have respect for. It’s objectification, these women they discuss or ‘banter’ with each other about are nothing more than holes for their pleasure.
I wonder if this is a dick-sizing competition, each of them playing the big ‘I am’ and the game of one-upmanship “You fucked her in the bathroom? Well she gave me blowy in the bar toilet earlier”. The worry with this is that it translates to actual life and generally disrespectful attitudes towards women, even my own messages relating to other topics have been met with scorn and harsh sarcasm.
Although it is their private space, and to my knowledge they do not use this language in person to person conversations, the worry is that it still exists. Never have I heard a woman, even those with the filthiest of minds and mouths, speak this way about a man. I scroll through my female only whatsapp groups and the only messages I find relating to men go along the lines of “Yeh, he’s well fit!” or “Bit of a dodgy haircut”.