Social media often brings out the ugly side of our persona. Women, at times, are no different from men. Some of them stalk their ex-boyfriends and crushes. Samrudhi finds out why some women behave like this, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
“The world’s gone social and women are more social than men,” says Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. In a patriarchal society, the internet has become a source of respite for women to assert their voices. Facebook, the largest social-networking site in the world, has been dominated by women visitors by a 7% margin in comparison to men. Reports by BrianSolis.com and Google Ad Planner show statistical evidence of 57% female membership, with over 46 million more female visitors per month, compared to males. Sheryl Sandberg says, “The social world is led by women. And they are leading that charge online.” But then there is a dark side of the story too!
I sadly reminiscence the Bard of Avon’s tragic masterpiece Hamlet, where the hero declares, “Frailty, thy name is woman”. Indeed, in an era where an increasing number of women are bent on creating an identity of their own, building a life by design, a part of the population is still entangled in the throes of love and lost relationships.
Being more emotional than men, many women are unable to forget past relationships and in a violent trajectory of despair, keep stalking their ex’s profiles, dropping in uncourteous, even abusive texts on Messenger. In a vain quest to drag the man of their dreams back into their life, women go to the ridiculous extent of posting alluring pictures and creating multiple fake profiles. This reminds me of Chetan Bhagat’s recent novel, One Indian Girl, where the female protagonist repeatedly goes through her ex-boyfriend’s Facebook profile, trying to find if he is another relationship. When she finds that he has blocked her, she goes to the point of calling up one of their mutual friends, and takes a look at her ex’s profile on his laptop through a video call!
Dr. Emma Short, a psychologist at the University of Bedfordshire reports as part of her research with the ‘Network for Surviving Stalking’, “Facebook makes stalking more acceptable and removes the aspect of physical fear. Women who would not be able to overpower men physically can have a go at them online”. The first British study into cyber-stalking has shocking revelations: around 35% of victims are now men, most of them perpetrated by women. Such women who lack the audacity to rise above their past and move on are nothing short of a disgrace to the cult of womanhood.
Being a woman, I too have personal experiences, but that doesn’t mean I go prowling through my ex’s profile, looking up his activities or whom he has been dating. When a chapter in life is closed, open a new one; girls be mature enough to make a move, keep busy with your own life and mind your own business. What your ex-boyfriend does is completely his personal choice, you have no business to poke your head in. What pains me is, such activities are merely self-destructive acts that shall breed anger, jealousy, and hatred. If nothing more, then at least such women should think of their self-respect. Why do they fail to understand that such desperate acts just serve to taint their self-respect! And moreover, this desperation often leads women to other profane acts like sending friend requests to multiple men in the hopes of reviving their love lives.
One of my friends recently sent me a screenshot of a skimpily dressed girl, a self- proclaimed feminist and social activist incidentally and remarked: “these girls think all men are the same”. And at that point, I felt ashamed of my own creed! These acts by a small population of women have proven as a backlash on the entirety of female population, making many men feel that all women are like that. And this indirectly becomes one of the reasons for the rising number of sexual violence cases. Because such acts send out a wrong message to the misogynistic society, with hedonistic undertones to take women for granted.
Being an ardent feminist, I support causes for the upliftment of women but at the same time, I am defiantly against any such practices by women, which prove derogatory to the cause of womanhood. Women are frequently using social media to build connections and share snippets of their personal lives, whereas men use it to gather information and “increase status”. To quote Jodi Khan, head of iVillage, “We’re women – we like to talk about things. Women use social media as a way to connect.” As long as it remains restricted to connecting, it is fine, but these so-called daring women with a vengeful attitude resort to stalking, an act that is simply unpardonable. Such women are much too full of themselves, they are too extrovert and have a self-conceived notion of grandeur. What upsets me is, the disgraceful acts of few women put a question on the entire community, and this is unacceptable. Women who are unable to accept rejection are quick to cross the line between determination and desperation and try alluring men through fake profiles, flirty remarks, and “sexy” photographs, something grossly inappropriate.
The old cliché “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” seems apt when talking about this issue. According to data compiled by FinancesOnline.com, “Women are biologically weird for social networking!” It is difficult to swallow such hard facts, but then, this is the truth staring at us in the face, a reality check that can’t be overlooked at any cost. Flicking through Facebook’s search option, I have been stunned to find reports of women stalking not only their ex but going the whole hog to create fake profiles and stalking their present girlfriends or wives. While we women are grounded on creating an equalitarian world order devoid of gender bias, these women are doing the job of pouring water over the flames.
“Disgrace” is too small a word for such women. They not only cause a disturbance in many peaceful lives but also become the cause of men’s disregard and distrust for women. Such women are nothing short of psychopaths, who need medical attention, I sadly conclude. It is this small community of women who shall create another generation of men (their sons) who would have nothing other than hatred for women. This is a sinister slow acting venom which left uncurbed shall turn into a metastatic growth, ruining the collective reputation of women. I put the pen down here, leaving it to women to decide for themselves which path they shall prefer to choose – one that leads to ruin and self-destruction or one that promises a new dawn.
Photos sourced by the author from the Net.
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Samrudhi Dash, hailing from Odisha, is a twenty-six year old writer, with a Masters Degree in English Literature from JNU, New Delhi. Her published works include four poetry anthologies, and her debut novel “Beyond the Horizon” (2017), by AuthorsPress, New Delhi. She has contributed poems and articles in many journals and anthologies of international repute. She believes in a life by design and an equalitarian world order where men and women have a balanced status.