Thursday, July 10, 2008

Continuing my ruminations or... MySpace Blues

Picking up where I left off in my previous post, I have to say that I've often felt the weight of the onslaught of messages from a crowd of guys that hoped to be able to date me; some of them were particularly creepy, mind you. I'm pretty sure most girls out there know exactly what I mean: the moment a woman joins a forum or makes her presence known in a forum is the moment that the vast majority of the males in that forum will start hitting on her.

And you know what? Never mind the official stats on illiteracy and literacy; it seems these stats don't apply in the online world. Most of the guys out there simply cannot read or cannot be bothered to read another person's profile. Even if the profile states that the person owning the profile is in a relationship or married or otherwise signifies that the profile's owner is not available romantically or sexually, it just doesn't matter. The guys will still flood your inbox or private message box with hundreds, even thousands of messages trying to score with you. It doesn't matter if you're half a world away from them (for instance, some 5,000 miles away from them) and have no intention at all to even think of booking a plane ticket to go and meet them, it doesn't matter if you're attached to someone or not, it doesn't matter if you're not into online relationships or not, there's an amazingly large crowd out there literally bursting at the seams to approach you no matter what.

Of course, I was always aware of this - I'm not a newbie in internet forums and other online communities, after all. But that's what drives women away and makes them stop participating in discussions. It doesn't make us feel comfortable at all. And, what's worse, it's often extremely frustrating. During the past few days, I attempted to expand my blog's presence to one of the most prolific social networks: MySpace. I created a profile and started reposting a number of my original posts using its blog facility. Guess what? I was quickly inundated with "friend requests" and TONS of messages asking me where I live, whether I'm single or interested in getting a new companion etc... Ugh. None of all those people bothered to read my profile or my blog. Obviously, this is not what I wanted; my aim was to promote my point of view. I didn't want a menagerie of potential suitors. If I wanted this kind of thing, I'd appear topless, wearing only my Alphamoda "Kimolos" strap-only microkini bottom and a pair of 7" high stripper-style platform mules in a night club, although I'm pretty sure no one would have the nerve to approach me in that context, because men have become utter wimps nowadays, standing at attention in the clubs holding a glass of booze in their hand and merely looking at the women; they only flirt with women online, "protected" by the might, "anonymity" and fortification of their keyboard and computer screen - the latter basically hiding their faces and eyes.

So, my MySpace experiment crashed and burned. It went down faster than the Titanic... So, I deleted my MySpace profile and account and said goodbye to that kind of BS, returning to the safety of knowing that, here on Blogger, someone will actually read this blog. Of course, this means that there's no chance in Hell that I'll try promoting my blog on other social networks such as Hi5 or OkCupid or FaceBook. Enough is enough.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Men and women in thong- and microkini-related internet communities

I've been watching the thong and microkini scene ever since I started wearing thongs on the beach some ten years ago or so. I've always been surprised and amazed by the fanaticism displayed by many members of the various thong- and microkini-related forums; perhaps unsurprisingly, those fanatical and militant members were all males. For some inexplicable reason, they felt the need (?) and urge (?) to act as "champions" of some sorts for various companies that were already well-established then in this niche (because, let's face it, microkinis are actually a niche market) and "defend" them from the "threat" of new manufacturers.

There were, in particular, a few people who kept going overboard, always ready to jump the gun and claim that practically all entrants in this market after 2000 were "ripping off" Wicked Weasel - as if mr. Gifford, owner of Wicked Weasel, with his stardom (former bassist of rock band Midnight Oil) and his company's existing reputation for quality, needed the assistance of a few internet trolls. Really, those incidents were stupid, downright stupid.

Then, there was another troll who kept spamming the various boards regarding another manufacturer, this time a manufacturer of (almost exclusively) men's micros. This time, the company in question is Dore Gabriel.

I really don't get it; we girls don't start flame wars in forums, don't spam for whatever brand. We never feel the need to embark on a crusade to defend our favorite brand of clothing or our favorite car maker. We just buy and use what we want and that's it. It's the men who feel somehow obliged to preach the gospel of abominations like Volkswagen, Jeep, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Opel or Mercedes - not the women. It's the men in the forums that (used to) attack anyone who even dares mention a company that competes with Wicked Weasel or Dore or whatever. And they do it with such passion that you'd think they've got shares of the companies they spam, troll and start flame wars for.

Really, why can't men be more mature and laid-back about the whole thing? If you like something, use it, say why you like it and be done with it. If you don't like it, don't spam the forums with posts where you keep saying how much you hate it. Express your opinion, fine. But once is enough; I don't want to see a thousand essays where you basically repeat how much you hate brand X or Y, even if you never had the slightest experience with them. Really, it's time for many men to start thinking with the head they've got on their shoulders, not the one that's hanging between their legs.

And you know what the best part is? When the various thong- and microkini-related forums end up becoming veritable warzones where any kind of at least semi-intelligent discourse has been drowned by the tidal wave of flaming and trolling, the men wonder why women won't bother to post. How idiotic is that? Let's say I liked Dangerous Curves or Alphamoda and wasn't a Wicked Weasel client or fan. What do you think my chances of survival would be in an environment where anyone who wasn't a fan of Wicked Weasel and Dore (and, to a lesser extent, Koala) was a legitimate target for a barrage of expletives by various "high and mighty" forum members and even moderators?

Thankfully, those days are over. The problematic forums have now been closed for a very long time and their worst members have either been banned or marginalized and there are a few good and well-managed communities. But still, the damage has been done and I honestly don't see women easily taking the plunge to participate in the discussions. Not to mention women's aversion to the onslaught of private messages from desperate non-thongers who pose as thongers and try in a pathetically unelegant manner to "score" online with a girl. Yeah, right. Hasn't it ever occured to those bozos that a woman that feels beautiful enough to wear a thong on the beach can have any man she wants and perhaps she already has one in her life? And haven't they ever wondered if women actually have a good bullshit detector and can tell a real thonger from a geek living with his parents and munching Doritos in front of his PC while his display's acreage is split between the forum in which he desperately tries to hit on some "babe" and some random porn website?

And now, to something that will upset Dore fans:

I've long considered buying a few swimsuits from her for my boyfriend. I had read many favorable comments about her products' quality, her willingness to accommodate custom orders and I also liked the fact she has access to numerous print patterns. I even was willing to overlook the trolls whose stupidity had a detrimental effect on the image I had of Dore. But try as I might, I never figured out her numerous websites. Badly-written, terribly disorganized and, for the most part, with photography that does the products no favors. I can't understand why Dore never bothered to take a notepad and a pencil and organize her website and her webpages in a logical, usable fashion that'll actually assist the potential buyer. Instead, what she had been doing for too long was create more and more websites and domain names, while her internet presence is not really serviceable. I don't doubt that her swimsuits are excellent, but I want to see a website that I can easily navigate and order from - even if it's pretty basic.

OK, that's it for now... See you all later.