PODCAST SHOW NOTES

 

Hello and welcome everybody to this first episode of the ASK HANNAH podcast. I'm currently sitting in my mother's attic in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

 

The title of this first episode - 'Is your incident date a porn film director' is intriguing isn't it. I'll explain in more detail about the title shortly. What's been on my mind over these last few weeks is more significant questions such as: Are we safe as women on the internet? The title relates to quite some years ago when I had a period of online dating. I'm an investigative journalist, although I've never worked as one, I specialise in women's wellness. Still, I do have all of these techniques under my belt to be able to use if I need to.

 

Super Sleuth

So when I came across a man that I matched with online, and we got chatting to meet up, I would always do a search on them. These techniques range from quite simple techniques using social media to quite sophisticated techniques. I can tell you from the majority of men that aI matched with and then was potentially going to meet, 99% of the man were all lying about something in their lives. And then it's a personal decision isn't it, whether you want to forgive that because some people lie.

For example, one man that I met said that he was a vet, he wasn't, he was a health care assistant with animals. Other people lie about where they live, some still live with their exes, some still live with their mums, some lie about how many children they've got, some lie about if they're single or not. Do you get the picture?

So you get a range of different lies that men tell. I disagree with even white lies, because as soon as somebody's says one lie, how can you trust them again?

 

Lies

I think it's essential to present yourself exactly as you are because we are who we are. If people don't like us, then they can make the decision that they don't want to meet us, or see us, and that's fine. Obviously, I don't know whether women lie online as much as men do. Still, in my experience from my friends, I've got they don't Anyway, back to this story about this manI was going to meet. He told me that he owned a model agency. I used my investigate techniques and found out he didn't own a model agency. He owned a porn film studio, and he was a porn film director.

You might think, Oh well, so what everybody's got to have a job. Um, yeah. That was not somebody that I wanted to meet and doubly because he had lied.

 

Regularity

This was a regular occurrence. When I mentioned these things to my friends, they'd be like, how'd you know that? How did you manage to work out that? It's relatively easy when you know how. There are not many people that I haven't been able to find some information about online. If you're going to meet a man that you've never met before in a strange place, you need to be safe.

It's not being a stalker, and it's not being overly cautious. Some research which has always stuck in my mind was when men and women were surveyed about what they were most scared about an online date. Men said they were scared that their date was going to be fat and women said that they were scared they were going to be killed.

 

Safety

In the UK, 1.5 women per week are killed by a male, usually somebody they know. So we need to be safe, we need to be mindful, and we need to be vigilant. I'm not saying don't internet date, what I'm saying is we do need to be really careful.

Something else has come to my attention this week, which complicates the situation even further. A friend of mine is on Bumble, she's online dating and matched with a man in Manchester. They got chatting and quite soon into the conversation, he wanted to turn the conversation sexual. She went along with it for a while but then decided she wasn't happy with that, he backed off, and then they resumed a normal conversation, and then he asked her for her phone number.

 

Dick Pics

She gave him her phone number, and within an hour, he had sent her three pictures of his penis through WhatsApp. He also sent very lucid, very misogynistic sexual messages which made her feel extremely uncomfortable. She blocked him on WhatsApp. When she went back onto Bumble to unmatch him, it gave her some options as to why she wanted to unmatch. One of the reasons you could tick was: 'makes me feel uncomfortable'. So she ticked that and then it asked her why. The whole thing made her feel very uncomfortable, and she actually deleted her Bumble account. A few days later she received a message from the guy that she had matched with on Bumble. He found her through messenger, even though he didn't know his second name and he didn't know where she worked!

 

How safe is our data

Right. 


He didn't know anything about her, but he managed to find her online and ask why she'd had him banned on Bumble. This is very alarming. My friend is savvy, and she doesn't put her phone number on Facebook or Messenger.  So there's no way that a search could be done that way. She has no idea how this guy managed to find her and question her in this way. It makes her feel really unsafe. 

It also begs the big question, how did he manage, and what is his intention? Obviously, she didn't get him banned from Bumble. He got himself banned for acting in such a disgusting, misogynistic way. Now she's being blamed for it by him. This is very alarmin.

Over the last couple of years, everything's got easier when we're online. We can log into so many places through the same avenues,  and it seems like information's being more streamlined. So, you know, people can find us it seems, even though they don't even know our second names or anything about us. 

How does that make you feel? It makes me personally feel uncomfortable. 

 

More dick pics

While we're on the subject, let's talk about dick pics because I don't know one woman who finds a photo of a strangers penis a turn on, sexy or appealing. I've never met one woman who is grateful to have a photo of a penis sent to her inbox. When did men decide that this was appealing? When did they decide that this was how to get a mate?

How did it happen? Did the first guy who ever sent one got a good response and so now we all have to suffer this complete bullshit. 

Eve Wiseman's article in The Guardian about dick pics is interesting. It's based on new research that says that men who do send dick pics to women are trying to shame them and humiliate them - it's about power. 

It was only a small minority of men that wanted to do it to engage women. The results showed that the pics are usually sent by men who have a disdain and a low opinion of women. 

 

Strange Men

Anyway, I digress. Let's get back on internet safety.

I want to tell you a story about something that happened this week concerning internet dating.

My mum runs an Airbnb in our family home, and she has some lovely people to come and stay. But as with Airbnb, occasionally you do get people that are, let's say, not too polite or not too respectful of rules, et cetera. 

This week she had a young woman book on her own and then a couple of days before she was supposed to stay, she contacted my mum and asked if would it be okay if her boyfriend came to visit with her. My mum agreed. On the day came the woman arrived alone and said her boyfriend would be arriving in a couple of hours.

My mum asked her what his full name was to register it in her book. The woman told my mum that she didn't know his second name and that she had met him recently on the internet. 

I'll just let that sink in for a while. 

She didn't know his second name. 

She invited a strange man to spend the night with her in a stranger's house at an Airbnb. My mum felt uncomfortable about this but wasn't sure what to do now she had already arrived, so she let it happen. 

 

Risk

This woman was putting herself not only herself but also my mum, in potentially serious jeopardy. You wouldn't invite a strange man into your home without at least knowing something about him. This isn't a moral judgment about one night stands or sex with people that you meet on the internet. It's about how to keep safe and how to stay safe.

I wonder if people are aware of the dangers that they are putting themselves in with this kind of behaviour? 

The thing with men on the internet is they can say that they are whoever they want. If it were a local man, somebody that we knew in town, or were in part of our social group, we would know about him. We'd know his family, we'd know his past behaviour, we'd know if he was a reasonable person or if he was a kind person. With men on the internet, we know absolutely nothing about them, and we're inviting them into our homes. 

 

Let's stop and think

Mainly this week's podcast really is about raising awareness. Let's think twice before we give somebody our phone number or arrange to meet or communicate with people online. Let's just stop in our tracks for a minute and thinking what are we hoping to gain from this?

Is there any danger in trying to get to know somebody a bit longer? Or trying to do a bit of digging. When I've matched with men they've been reluctant to answer my questions, I've taken that as a direct warning sign. What have they got to hide? What are they up to?  It completely puts me off. 

This isn't saying that all men have something to hide. We don't need to be scared of men. What I'm saying is that some man we do need to be cautious of, and we shouldn't just be inviting anybody into our homes. 

I know that if you're single and you might be lonely, or you might want some male company it's tempting because they're all there and they're all available, aren't they? On the internet waiting for us. 

I'm suggesting let's just stop for a minute. Let's just think about it for a bit longer. Let's do some more investigating and also go with our guts. 

 

Gut Instinct

Luckily I've never had a situation where I've been in physical danger. Although I have had situations where I've felt uncomfortable. When I've reflected Iand been truly honest with myself,  I had a gut feeling that it wasn't right. Yet I ignored that gut feeling as we often do as women because it doesn't fit in with what we want or what we think we want. So we ignore our gut at our peril, and I've learned the hard way in that respect. 

If you're still here, thank you so much for listening. I hope you got something out of today's podcast. It's a topic that's been on my mind recently that I wanted to share with you all.

 

This post is tagged with:

Dating - Feminism

About me

Hannah Anstee portrait

Hello friends. I am Hannah Anstee, Women's Coach & Mentor. I warmly welcome you to The Future of 40, a space for independent, open-minded women who are looking for more. Namaste

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