Perv Magnet (Not At All Family Friendly)

It’s awesome that Perv_Magnet has gained so many followers and press already, but all the attention is a bit terrifying too, since it was so unexpected!

Five years ago, I wanted to make a coffee table book out of all these fucked up messages. I thought they were hilarious, anthropologically interesting and would make an entertaining but disturbing read.

I never really had the courage to launch it though, but the messages kept coming and coming and never stopped, especially the abusive ones (It was like a Lars Von Trier Film, haha!)

Individually, I found a lot of the messages darkly funny, minus the death and rape threats, of course, but looking at them collectively, it’s pretty upsetting!

I definitely don’t deserve to be the recipient of such vitriol, just for posting photos of myself and tweeting and blogging harmless self-expressions. – Mia Matsumiya, quoted in David Farrier, “A Conversation With The Woman Who Saved More Than 1000 Gross Online Messages,” Newsworthy, October 20, 2015

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She could have posed with the instrument or her playing…but, she chose to pose with a provocative, pouty look….she’s looking for trouble….and I agree with the poster who said that if she hates this country so much & is so afraid to live here, why live here? And if you are disgusted by the social media posters you’re attracting, why go online & join all these media sources where you will be guaranteed to hear from everyone from nutcases to perverts? – Comment by lyndajm16, 10:27 CDT, at Yanan Wang, “A Woman Violinist Exposes 10 Years Of Lewd, Fetishizing Messages From Men Online,” Washington Post, October 21, 2015

One of the hundreds of images Mia Matsumiya has saved and published on her Instagram account @perv_magnet

One of the hundreds of images Mia Matsumiya has saved and published on her Instagram account @perv_magnet

The topic of online harassment is large, covering everything from high school kids ganging up on some poor soul through actual stalkers who constantly change online identities to what is becoming run-of-the-mill sexual harassment by men seemingly unafraid to write the most graphic messages to women. With law enforcement still trying to figure out how to deal with real-life stalkers and harassment, they are utterly unequipped to deal with very real yet virtual stalkers, predators, and your garden variety perv. One woman has done the world a service by saving over a thousand such comments – complete with online identities and even photos when available – and offering the world a glimpse of part of her online life over the past 10 years.

In the above quoted and linked interview with a New Zealand journalist, she calls the comments she’s gathered “anthropologically interesting.” A study, perhaps of the online grazing patterns of men who find accetpable offering graphic sexual advances to women?

In any event, a story in this morning’s Washington Post – also linked above – is offering yet another sociological study: How people react to stories about women being harassed online. Below are just a some of the as-of-11:18 CDT-169 comments on that story. I’ve included their online identities and the time stamps of the comments. Once again just press here for the link:

I actually followed up and looked at this woman’s tweets… she posts racy stuff all the time, including suggestive pictures of herself and comments about people smelling like semen, how to clean semen off of things, etc. The one thing I did not see were any tweets about her music, which is supposedly what she is known for. It seems to me like she is trying to use her sexual appeal to get ahead, yet crying foul when people respond to it. My own conclusion is she’s a hypocrite and this is just a publicity grab from yet another person not making it as a musician. – ManuelPhillips, 11:17 am CDT

While I applaud her good humor under very frightening circumstances, what she is doing is feeding the trolls. No good can ever come of this practice. – Keelah Sentry 10:21 am CDT

I’d never heard of her, so I googled her and found that the internet is littered with pictures of her in sultry, pouty, schoolgirl hooker type poses. Looks like if we’re going to talk about fetishists, she’ll be exhibit A.
So, whatever. – hillarys2billioncampaign, 9:56 am CDT

So she’s like an internet hooker? Matsumiya Seems like she is profiting from her appearance adn the comments from her appearance.. Not exactly a victim Her life, her choices. – InHeavenThereIsNoBeer, 9:49 am CDT

There’s a real issue with how women are being treated all over the world , but to use this to create some buzz for yourself is shameful , If she was really serious about these issues it would have been less about the me me and more about the issues at hand. – D3mokrazy, 9:12 am CDT

Yes, there are weird men and women in this world, and the internet let’s them express their weirdness. And this is news, or is this just another ‘men are pigs’ click bait article? The new WaPo loves to encourage the ‘war of the sexes’ it seems. Good for clicks = good for their bottom line. – Dr.Who3, 8:53 am CDT

Asian women are so hypocritical and love playing the victim. And the media is complicit in this victimhood, including the author – an Asian woman. Let’s examine facts. Anytime a white man expresses interest in an Asian woman, he has a fetish.  But, measuring data and behavior, the census shows that the MAJORITY of Japanese-American women (like the subject of this piece) marry white men. So who calls them out as having a white man fetish when over 50% date and marry outside of THEIR race? Nobody.  If there’s any group with a fetish, it’s Asian women who fetishize white men.  Less than 5% of white men are married to Asian women.  Approaching over half of all Asian women (depending on Asian subgroup) are married to white men.  Who has the fetish? – Harvey32, 8:20 am CDT

Definately seeking publicity. This is going to make her money and “semi famous.” Nothing more. Wait until she poses for Playboy and complains about the “sexually aggressive messages.” – Phil306, 7:58 am CDT

I have dealt with men who think slut-shaming is a perfectly acceptable response to women who report everything from online harassment to rape. Whether they call themselves liberal or conservative, whether their stated reasons for doing so are paternalistic or not, it all boils down to men being angry at women for being human beings. I am quite sure Ms. Matsumiya will receive much the same kinds of comments on her Instagram account that the story at the Post is receiving. It is a wonderful experiment in creating conditions for having a larger discussion about misogyny in all its forms.

I want to be clear: I’m certainly no prude. I often take a few extra moments to look at online photos of random women on the Internet. I might even have a passing thought about how attractive they are. People who post explicitly and explicit sexual photos are OK with me, too. Since this, however has nothing to do either with a passing smile or those racy memes some folks post to social media, this isn’t about me being a prude, either. Rather, it’s about folks – mostly but not exclusively men – who see a woman exposing online harassment and being so enraged they feel the need to shame the woman in to silence. There’s a world of difference between mutually consenting adults behaving sexually online and someone insisting that a woman presenting online harassment is just an attention-seeking slut who deserves what she gets.

I do hope Ms. Matsumiya understands that she has turned over a large rock with truly awful things crawling around underneath it. Good luck.

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