Very, very thankfully, I have had only two stalkerish episodes in my life, outside of the usual bad-breakup scenarios in which one party has a more difficult time moving on; in that scheme of things, I have been guilty of my own share of unwanted phone calls or emails for the subsequent week after The Bad Talk.  Fortunately, I can take take a hint, and believe that the one or two boyfriends I’ve had who have ended things against my wishes still regard me fondly (I base that on friendly, occasional Facebook hellos that indicate we are in good stead and happy with our mutually infrequent communication).  I wish them well, they wish me well, and there is no drama or involvement.

Yeah, so.  While I have pursued a few guys beyond the point where they displayed disinterest, I can say with honesty that I’ve never harassed anyone or caused them fear (to my knowledge; I am sort of paranoid about that now, but given the “Ice Queen” accusations more commonly thrown my way and my general unwillingness to destroy someone’s car or call their mother to tell them what shits they are, I’m pretty sure I haven’t crossed that obvious, glaring line).  Which is a good thing, as I just spent about four hours of my afternoon reading the entire contents of Psychotic Letters From Men, as fixated on this blog as I was watching the final seasons of The Wire.

I was glued to this site to the point that my live-in Boy Person was annoyed that I would not go out into the rare London sunshine for a walk or a drink, so obsessed was I with reading about Terrible Men and The Women Who Despise Them.  Why is this site so good?  A few reasons.

For one, the writer (Weasel) is funny, talented, and, shockingly, a man.  But he seems to be a man who “gets us,” not in a condescending way, or in the way of some dude trying to score pussy points, but in the way of an actual human being who is sympathetic to the insane bullshit that women are so often subjected to by the be-penised.  It is a disappointing state of affairs that I was as surprised as I was, and needless to say, I now have a mega-crush on him, because intelligent, thoughtful men who actively oppose misogyny are the black pearls of the internet ocean.

Obviously, I am going to first send him a casual email declaring my adoration, and then escalate in the face of his non-responsiveness until I eventually show up at his place of work, sobbing.  When he rejects me, I will send him three emails an hour on average over several days, culminating in a threat to kill myself or him, but not before I suss out his home phone number and those of people close to him, and leave insistent messages that he ruined my life and possibly impregnated me.

Terrifying?  Oh, hells yes.  But completely in keeping with the myriad selection of insanity on offer by a range of women who have suffered through one bad date to those that have put up with years of manipulation.  It is probably the only compilation of systematic abuse that I can describe as “entertaining.”  Interestingly, although Weasel appeals multiple times for men and gay folk to submit their own tales, the two stories provided by lesbians detail their harassment at the hands of men.

Can women pull this shit?  Of course they can, and do!  But this brilliant blog is evidence of an all-too-familiar pattern of intimidation, abuse, and annoyance perpetuated by men who have been rejected, be it by women who didn’t respond to their online dating inquiries or women who have dumped them after long-term, and even casual, relationships.  I studied domestic violence in a couple of different college classes (one taught by a respected and pioneering advocate of women’s rights), which included stalking, and it never ceases to amaze me how by-the-book this shit is.  The Domestic Violence Handbook is so clear as to be sacred among asshole losers, but the Stalker Handbook has many, many correlations and once you understand the basics, you pretty much have a handle on everything that is to come, be it email assholery or the guy who actually threatens your life.  Here’s what your stalker wants you to know:

The torrent of abuse ranges from so mundane to so scary, and yet nothing is original.  This should be required reading for kids in high school, so that they know without a shadow of a doubt, that this, for example, is not okay:

Hi. It’s been two months since you dumped me. I know I didn’t take it well at first… I thought about driving into oncoming traffic to see how many people I could take out at once, or killing myself, or killing you, or raping you. And you know I could have.

But I didn’t, so really that means I’ve been handling this pretty well considering. I would hope that considering this you might finally come to your senses and go see a movie or something with me this weekend? Maybe a romantic dinner too if that’s not too pushy.

Ah, romance! While I imagine the majority of our readership are veterans of this kind of manipulation, it never hurts to have a refresher course.  Psychotic Letters From Men offers a beautiful and compelling summary of the variety of abuses to which we may be subject, and a reasonable awareness of the trouble zones.  Send the link to your female friends under the age of 25 – they should know about this like they know about condoms – lifesavers.  They should know that this is NOT ACCEPTABLE.