Internet Drag

“We are what we pretend to be, but we better be very careful what we pretend.” -Kurt Vonnegut

Can someone explain to me why some older men pretend to be young, attractive women on the internet? No, I’m not talking about some creepy dateline show where an unattractive, fifty year old, potbellied man is pretending to be a 13 year old girl name Susie in an internet chatroom so he can lure some real 13 year old girl to his house for milk and cookies.

William Dafoe I’m talking about intelligent men who feel the need to set up online personalities as younger, attractive womenand then blog about how they experience the world. There was the Gay Girl In Damascus who turned out to be neither gay, nor a girl, nor in Damascus. There was Lez Get Real who was neither a lesbian nor real. Now, it’s Great Satan’s Girlfriend, who may be Satan’s girlfriend but wasn’t the attractive 21 year old they were pretending to be.

First, there’s the creep factor of an older man pretending to be a younger girl. I can’t put my finger on exactly why this bothers me, but it does.

Secondly, there’s a major problem with the photos used. Gay Girl In Damascus used real photos of a Croatian woman stolen from a Flickr account. Great Satan used photos of god (or satan) only knows who on the blog. My guess is that a lot of those young women are unaware their photos are being used to perpetrate a hoax.

Thirdly, when people do shit like this it makes it much more difficult for actual women or actual lesbians to spread their own message. How many people are satisfied that it wasn’t an attractive young woman writing intelligently about foreign policy? How many negative stereotypes does this reinforce? How many other LGBT writers, hiding behind pseudonyms for completely valid reasons, will be doubted?

Finally, what the fuck, dudes? What is the draw or desire to pretend to be a young, attractive woman? Or any type of woman? Seriously, knock it off.

  • Vern Carter

    It’s not weird the internet just allows anyone sane, insane and everyone in between to do just about anything. It’s one of the driving forces for the “real name” initiative that many are pushing for. 

  • Vern Carter

    It’s not weird the internet just allows anyone sane, insane and everyone in between to do just about anything. It’s one of the driving forces for the “real name” initiative that many are pushing for. 

  • The “real name” initiative wouldn’t prevent this. Unless we’re going to start demanding passport’s to get email addresses, there is no way to prevent people from using fake names on the internet. 

  • More than anything, this bothers me because of the appropriation of minority status…and in the case of GGID, because his recklessness drew attention to Syria’s LGBTQ community and put everyone who was actively  a part of it in danger.  In the case of the little shit who pretended to be Amina on GGID, he said he did it mostly for the challenge of seeing if he could write “convincing fiction” and because he said no one would take his opinions seriously as a straight white man.  Of course, after watching literally hundreds of straight white men get interviewed on various news sources as Middle Eastern experts, my heart literally bleeds for the adversity he faced trying to get taken seriously as a white man.  In the case of LGR, he also said he didn’t think he could be taken seriously without a little minority appropriation…because history isn’t just FULL of cases where the allies of oppressed minorities had to step in to get them rights, and obviously no one actually listens to straight allies when it comes to LGBTQ issues.  I actually hadn’t heard of the blog you’re talking about here, but I bet it’s more of the same shit.  I can’t wait to hear how he tries to spin it.

  • dmf

    to be clear, it’s not just a “he”. it’s a “they”. who, apparently completely submerged itself in lolspeak or what have you. as Robert Farley (no relation) put it…

    For my part, however, there was never anything so particularly
    interesting or compelling about GSGF that made it worth the trouble of
    interpreting the torturously affected writing.  It’s basic COIN plus
    some boilerplate right wing defense politics.

    the problem for these poor, tortured, unheeded white men is (as you suggest) not that they’re white. clearly. it seems to me that it’s that they’re apparently tremendously unspectacular. so they turn to gimmicks because that’s all they have left.

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  • I have pondered over writing as a man to see how people perceive me…
    I don’t think I ever would though, one blog is more than enough. But when you want to get your word out, they might think a young attractive girl is more appealing? Just a thought :)

    Since we don’t have to divulge our true identity online, playing/pretending to be someone else can be a lot of fun. I don’t see that there is any harm so long as they’re not crossing any lines (such as using someone else’s pics without permission). If they’re bad, then no one will pay any real attention and it quickly becomes yesterdays news that they’re not the 21 y/o lesbian we thought. Can you enjoy what they’re sharing even if you doubt their identity, if its good enough I think so, it shouldn’t change the fact you appreciate their talent. Once upon a time female writers had to pose as men to get books published.

    Interesting post. I don’t often share my opinion on things, and it is not meant to deliberately oppose yours or anyone else’s…just got me thinking! Good post.

    Thanks
    Beau x

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  • First, women used to have to write under male names because the belief was that women couldn’t be writers. That is very different from “pretending online.” Secondly, as I started in my post, pretending to be some minority group you are not is bad because  “it makes it much more difficult for actual women or actual lesbians to spread their own message. How many people are satisfied that it wasn’t an attractive young woman writing intelligently about foreign policy? How many negative stereotypes does this reinforce? How many other LGBT writers, hiding behind pseudonyms for completely valid reasons, will be doubted?”

    I don’t support a “real names” policy because there are completely valid reasons for people to want to write behind a pseudonym. I do think, however, that people in positions of privilege should stop pretending to be a member of a minority group because they think it’s interesting. 

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