Monday, May 21, 2007

The perils of being passive-aggressive

On a gay networking website that I sometimes use, I received an email from someone. I read his profile and decided we had nothing in common. In cases like this I don't usually reply back, hoping that silence will be effective. In the past I would send a polite rejection email back, but it usually resulted in abuse or questions such as "why, what's wrong with me, who do you think you are anyway?" I guess you can't be friends with everyone. And because I am good-looking in a bland, generic sort of way, gay men often can't really see past that, viewing me purely in sexual terms (rather than as someone with interests, personality quirks etc).

Anyway, a few days later I received another short email from the same person. It said "Ignerent camp queen" The person had also blocked me from responding to them.

I guess because it's intended as an insult I should count it as abuse. And I've reported the person to the site adminstrators. But as insults go, it's not a very good example of one. If you want to call someone ignorant then I guess you should at least try to get the spelling right - otherwise it says more about you than the person accused. Additionally, I can see where they're coming from with the "camp queen" bit. But I actually like camp queens and am a bit camp myself at times. The "camp queen" insult always makes me a bit sad, because it's a form of kowtowing to homophobic, heterosexist values which heterosexual men have made. And ultimately, I've found that people who call each other "camp queens" are usually camp queens themselves. It's not really an insult you could see tripping off the tongue of say, Sylvester Stallone could you? But put it in the mouth of a Blackpool drag queen and it works better. Additionally, why insult someone you were just complimenting a few days previously? The story of the fox and the "sour" grapes comes to mind.

On the rare occasions when people are mean to me I try view it in terms of the person having a bad day or being drunk or something, rather than classifying them as "evil" or a "bastard". I think it's more charitable to do this, and also it makes my own worldview less dark. And ultimately, there is something a bit passive-aggressive in not responding to someone's friendly email.

With that said, I've still reported the person. Abuse is abuse. Even if it doesn't have the intended effect and gives me a blog entry.


matty said...

Excellent blog posting! And I do so enjoy that fact that this idiot can't spell "ignorant" but feels someone else is.

I understand your frustration and I'm glad you reported it.

The best insult tossed my way was to call me a "skinny castro bitch" ...all because i didn't know these two guys were behind me at the grocery store and I backed up into them.

it was back up to the bumper. I said i was sorry but was called a 'skinny castro bitch'

i knew i should be pissed off, but they called me skinny! I loved that!

camp queen would not bother me either -- but "ignerent" ...well, that's a whole other issue!

so many idiots out there. so little time.

kleverkloggs said...

Some saying comes to mind along the lines of "sour grapes into wine."

I had something similar with someone I had never met, demanding me to download to them three years of research. My lack of response left them "uncomfortable!"

Trashbinder said...

I support your action in reporting the igneramus (sic) for sending an inappropriate message.

I recall my first forays into using, which was the most popular website for gentlemen who prefer gentlemen at the start of the new millennium.

When using the chat rooms I had decided that I'd avoid responding to any personal messages that failed to introduce the sender properly, such as 'stats?' or 'how big is your knob?'. I'd always reply to anyone who said 'Hi, are you busy?' or even just 'Hello'. It was important to me that someone had common courtesy as opposed to just being common.

I still recall the vitriol that slid off the screen onto my computer desk in the main chat rooms and the spineless insults that I'd receive from the 'stats?' senders all because I'd failed to acknowledge their message.

'Why don't u like me? What's wrong with me? UR probably ugly anyway.' or 'Cunt' were typical private message responses from those I'd ignored.

In many ways, the bravery that using an internet chat room gives to men versus real life settings was helpful in weeding out the chaff. Whilst in the main, my foray into internet dating was frustrating I did meet my partner via in 2001 so I'll always be grateful.

As I get older, I'm far less fazed by insults and having a career that deals with a large volume of the general public has reinforced how little I take insults to heart from complete strangers. As a teenager I used to worry endlessly if I was liked by everyone and now it just isn't important.

Roadrage, cocky kids on street corners and stupid comments on my blog have washed over me in recent years. The energy expended on dwelling on such matters is a waste of time.

Regarding your situation, I would have reported the individual too, just to keep the site free from those who are ill mannered.