Facebook is a wonder to behold. Everyone is on it, everyone uses it in the way in which they are most comfortable. Some people lurk and don’t post much. Some people post too much. Everyone kind of does their own thing, which I think is part of the beauty of it.

I am Facebook friends with a girl I went to high school with. For anonymity sake, we’ll call her Sapphire, probably because it would be her stripper name. I mean, it would be mine for sure, so why not hers?

Sapphire is my age — we graduated high school together — so she’s pushing 40. Over the last few months, it seems to have dawned on her that 40 is fast approaching. She has been posting videos of her self doing various gymnastic moves with little to no clothes on. It’s clear that she’s doing it for attention. She wants people to “like” the videos and post nice (and creepy) comments underneath. Needless to say, it is working very well.

But then one day, instead of posting a front-handspring in boy shorts and a tank top with no bra or whatever, she posts a screenshot of a private Direct Message that somebody had recently sent her. I don’t have it in front of me, but I believe it went something like this:

“Hey Beautiful, it’s [REDACTED], we went to high school together. I was wondering if you could privately send me some pictures of you in a thong and bra. You’re so hot. Let me know.”

OK, so sad and creepy, we get it. The man is married and has kids. But to post a screenshot of that message on her wall, and include a message like, “Ew, no thanks creep.” (Again, I’m paraphrasing.) I think that’s too much. Her post really got under my skin. It took me a while to put it into words, but eventually I did, and here’s what I told her:

Sapphire, you’ve been posting pictures and videos of yourself doing gymnastics in skimpy clothes for months now. You’re doing it for attention; it clearly appears to be working.

And so some dingbat from high school comes along with a rather PG-13 request and you grasp for your pearls in shock and bewilderment? Take this picture down. Stop ruining this poor fool’s life.

She ended up taking the post down. The whole thing got Cathy and I talking. Was I wrong to chastise her like that? It’s clear that she’s been throwing herself out there to be stared at and masturbated to, yet as soon as someone comes along and asks for more she gets all self-righteous?

She’s proud of her body, nothing wrong with that. Just last week she wore a shirt before the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game that said “Go Carolina!” but the photo was just all boobs. Like, no neck, no face. Just boobs. In my mind, I immediately judge her for that. I think of her as a “bimbo” or “slut” or whatever. But why?

I’m for women’s empowerment across the board. I think women can and should be allowed to enjoy sex the same way men do. Why not? Any alternative is just an attempt to put women back into a submissive, protected, little girl role and I don’t think that’s what we’re shooting for nowadays.

But Sapphire’s actions are a little too narcissistic. It’s the whole hypocrisy of the matter. She’ll post provocative pictures and videos of herself, but if a sad little misguided man tries to take it a step further, she reacts with a real righteous indignation. How dare you, sir. If anything, she should have just privately replied, “No, that’s not something I’m comfortable with.” That seems sensible. But publicly shaming the guy seems out of line.

This dips ever-so-slightly into the realm of “she was asking for it” so I’m careful not to draw that connection. A few days after the recent mass dump of nude celebrity photos, I saw Lena Dunham tweet something like “Saying these women were just asking for it by posting nude photos of themselves is the same thing as saying a woman deserved to be raped because she wore a nice, skimpy outfit. (And yes, as always, I’m paraphrasing.) And while I agree there is some connection to the two incidents, they are also oceans apart. And it all has to do with degrees.

Having a nude photo of yourself revealed to the public is like getting raped in the same way that getting a paper cut is like having your head chopped off. Sure, there is a slicing motion involved and some blood is lost. But COME ON. It is super irresponsible to equate the two. There are degrees of severity to consider.

Am I saying that Sapphire deserves this kind of salacious come on by doing the things she does online? Yeah, I think so. I think she deserves it and should be prepared for it. I just keep coming back to intent. Why is she doing it? To get attention. And attention she gets. Hundreds of “likes,”  dozens of “looking good, beautiful”s, and naturally, a few personal requests in her inbox for more of the same.

In fact? I wonder how she would have reacted if the guy had not been some poor, fat ugly dude from her past with a wife and kids. What if some hot guy from the gym DM’d her the same thing? Would she shame him? Or was it maybe what she was going for all along?

I’d ask her, but she blocked me. 🙁

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