Part of my morning ritual is to check The Redhead’s blog
and see what my special lady has written. One of entries today points
to some guy who writes out her full name in his blog and then writes:
she sounded interesting, but now i’m thinking a bit of a slut, and her
personality type seems to explain it–enfj, like aimee.
It’s that comparison at the end that explains everything: what we have here is displaced anger
combined with ungentlemanly behaviour. “Slut” is a guy’s classic “sour
grapes” remark about a girl. As a DJ at a popular campus pub, I heard
that all the time from guys who’d been snubbed and were retreating from
the dance floor to the comfort of their beer.
It’s dirt easy to write something about a stranger online, but another
thing to say it in a face-to-face situation. One of the best examples
of this I can think of was at LinuxWorld Expo NYC 2000, during Jon
Katz’s appearance at the Slashdot booth. Slashdotters had made a hobby
of excoriating Katz online, but in meatspace, everyone was polite and
showed deference. I got to chat with him after his presentation, and he
said that that sort of thing happened all the time: he was treated
rudely online, but nicely in real life.
I think The Redhead’s list of what she wanted in a guy both interested
him (she’s into geeks) and spooked him (she stated out loud what she
wants in a man, and she’s quite frank about her dating experiences in
her blog). Personally, I like the Redhead’s openness — it’s one of the
things I love about her. To borrow a phrase from Maya Angelou, she’s
the kind of person who grabs life by the hand and says “You’re with me,
kid. Let’s go!”
A quick scan of his blog
reveals what seems to be a guy who likes to think about things who had
a little bit of a lapse in etiquette. I think that this was more
tactlessness than malice. We all make a faux pas every now and again;
let’s let him off with a slap on the wrist (this blog entry) and move
I’ll close with this: Dude, don’t you ever call my girlfriend a slut again. Not if you wish to continue converting oxygen into carbon dioxide.