Facebook group outs sexist messages on dating sites
March 20, 2019
#OutThemNZ is a new movement for women to share negative sexual advances they receive on dating sites.
The private Facebook group, started two months ago, has more than 60 members.
Wellington-based organiser of the group Salome Bhanu started it after receiving racist messages from men on online dating sites.
“After the group was created I realised I’m not alone,” she said. “And that a lot of other women face this kind of rubbish.”
Salome said the group was a step further than the #MeToo movement as she wanted women to not just share their experience but do something about it.
The members post uncensored screenshots of the messages they receive from dating sites. It is a way for women to call out the men who send derogatory messages.
She said the screenshots were often from the same men.
“There is obviously a pattern here. There’s obviously a few men out there that feel it’s okay to talk to women like that over and over and over again.”
The messages were often racist and sexist making assumptions about foreigners and disabled women.
The group is intended to be the start of a conversation surrounding dating sites and how women are treated.
“Whatever you do online, you’re doing it in the dark. You’re invisible.”
However, Bhanu said the group was not out for justice. It was a platform for women to share their experiences and warn each other.
A woman was asking for advice for her friend due to a workplace sexual advance and the group members advised her to take it to authorities.
A group member, who did not want to be named, said she wished the group existed when she was online dating. Many of the men she dated would say something sexual in the middle of an ordinary conversation.
Men would say indecent things to her “completely out of the blue” in reference to sexual acts. “You feel quite violated,” she said. “I don’t know what is going through their mind to say something completely out of context to a stranger.”
The group had become a way for her to relate to other women who had experienced it too.
“That’s a sh… experience. Totally get where you’re coming from.”