talking about things i would rather not talk about, take 2

about a week ago, i received an inappropriate email at my work address from someone i have never met in person, and in all likelihood never will. it was in response to this sound-byte of text:

“alina’s book-excitement also coaxed me to greenpoint, brooklyn, where me, her and wesley stace (aka john wesley harding) played in a basement of WORD bookstore, which is a rad independent joint run by very hot-looking brooklyn chicks.”

i’m sure you can figure out which part of that quote was in question. it was not hugely inappropriate, but it was also not innocent. at the time, i just hit Archive — better, i thought, not to reward it with a reaction. better to just ignore it. i figured the sender would get the message.

and maybe they did, but it’s been bugging me ever since. i can’t seem to let it lie. two things today brought it bubbling back up to the surface, enough so that it woke me up in the middle of the night and forced me to write this post. one was a conversation with a friend in which i explained the concept behind the upcoming Slut Walk NYC (august 20th!); the other was seeing a post make the rounds on google+ in which a user thanked others for calling out an inappropriate commenter. (i’d link to it but that’s pointless since it’s still in testing and lots of folks don’t have in yet.) suffice it to say that the user made the point that the digital space can easily become a space in which inappropriate behavior, usually disguised as joking, becomes the norm, and she appreciated that people were being sensitive to it early on in the life of this new social network.

i am telling you guys about this because i feel like it’s important to point out that, whether it’s a sound-byte about how someone is hot-looking or an outfit that is revealing or whatever, there is a difference between inviting attention and inviting harassment. they are not the same thing. it’d be nice if people would err on the side of caution, rather than the side of “well what did you think would happen, i mean really!”

that’s all, i guess.

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talking about things i would rather not talk about, take 2

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