I think one of the biggest struggles I have with slowly approaching a small bit of notoriety online is knowing that, as a female, I’m going to have to have a much thicker skin than I would need if I was a bloke.
In normal day to day life, I’m used to getting heckled on the street. I was just trying to walk home the other night, and some bloke ran after me, tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘you look really good’.
I didn’t. It was raining, I was wearing my brother’s grey and dusty hoodie, and my tights were soaked through. My hair was lop-sided because I had nodded off on the train window and was still too bleary-minded to think about patting it down after nearly missing my stop.
He looked at me expectantly. He was about my age, maybe a little younger, handsome, had a phone in his hand with the caller ID still showing. He had interrupted his phone call to run after me.
“Er…okay??” I offered. “Thanks.”
His face twitched in slight anger.
“I’m saying you look good.” He repeated. He was really expecting something from me.
“I’m just walking home.” I said, turning to keep walking.
“Fine.” He spat. When I looked over my shoulder, he had his phone back to his ear and was stalking angrily back to the station.
When this kind of thing happens in real life, I always feel shaky afterward. And I think – should I have pretended to be grateful for his unsolicited attention? Am I supposed to feel like a real woman when some randomer offers me a compliment like that? Was he right in being pissed off that I didn’t instantly jump on him and shag him?
Shortly before I shut down Octav1us for a bit, and while I was having a Twitter strop about some cunt on Youtube comments saying I was just doing this for attention (because EVERYONE just puts 60+ hours into video editing for attention), someone sent me a DM. My DMs were still open at this time.
He had sent me a photo of a young, attractive, topless bloke taking a selfie in the mirror while holding a very shocked looking black pug puppy. I actually snorted when I saw it, so I replied ‘hahahaa, look at that pupper’. Then went back to being an emo bitch on my timeline.
When I checked back later, he had responded ‘now you 🙂 ‘. When I hadn’t replied, he had sent ‘ 🙁 ‘
Then he said he was wanking. And how I should too. Then there was a little emoji of a party popper. Then, about ten minutes later, ‘90% of your timeline is about sex. How come you got dumped? XD’
As I still didn’t reply, he wrote ‘slut’.
My brain didn’t think “this guy is a cunt, he’s trying to get me to sext with him, a total stranger, but then when I don’t do it that also makes me a whore anyway. Just move on, he’s a twat.” My brain actually thought, “Fuck. I am a whore. I responded to him in the first place, because the photo was hilarious, and I gave him the wrong impression. All those arty photos of me with my scars out, trying to be pretty, make me a total fucking whore. I should be ashamed.’
And I was.
And that’s the story of the final thing that made me stop wanting to do Octav1us. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I don’t know if I’m coming back. Before I do, I need a thicker skin. Because just knowing that this kind of people exist is exhausting, and upsetting, and I’m so weak.