When someone returns to our life, we react depending on the person and our past relationship. We may not mind if we are found through social media by actual “old pals.” Or we may not been too thrilled about it for any number of reasons.
Worse, though, may be when you are an author, and a woman, and the individual decides to touch base with you because he found your book and he is going to “critique” it to you, as this young adult novelist experienced:
Since tweeting that reaction to her college “friend” doing that to her, she has received LOTS of eyeroll support from other women. One offers this gif:
Bethany Mangle 🐁 (@BethanyMangle) May 15, 2020
I sat back and thought about the issue. Being a man, I tread here lightly. This is my reaction:
1) We see in that example how writing under a pseudonym has its public benefit. If anyone I once knew (or even still know) happens upon my books online, they are unlikely to know I wrote them unless they look closely, see a photo of me, and they realize… “Hey, I went to high school with him!” Chances are they won’t, and will more likely just scroll by and forget the books and not realize that I was “him.” Excellent that: it does not bother me:
Those “moron guys” I refer to there? More at 4) below.
2) I cannot understand what drives those men who seem to feel the need to fire off their unsolicited opinions to women – but I have my strong suspicions. (Again, see #4 below.) I am somewhat surprised in this case, given their evidently 20-something ages; I would have thought that sort of behavior from men would have diminished since perhaps “my day.” However, communication with “old pals” is now also so much easier than previously, of course, so matters in that sense may even be worse than in “my day.” I went to high school and then university in the pre-Facebook universe. (I long ago lost touch not only with everyone from high school, but also with nearly all of my college friends, including some with whom I did get along with pretty well and we were going to be “friends for life.” Such is life. Life just took us all in various directions.)
3) Men rarely read books like hers, so on one level it is amazing her
“stalker” “old pal” actually bought it and read it. That alone is a positive of some sort, I suppose. I am happy to chat about writing and my books – although I prefer to do it publicly in the comments on here, for example, than privately – and fortunately I don’t receive much “unsought writing advice.” Yes, that latter fact may be because I am a man; but another reason may be most of my readers are WOMEN. Which leads me to this…
4) Women may take that sort of unasked for opinionating from men as sexist and an attempt to belittle them as women, and it may well be so motivated. However, women should know some men do that sort of thing to other men too:
“Hi! Long time, no see! Got your email from Facebook! Whoa! You write? I read your book’s free sample. You were so quiet I didn’t know back in high school that you even knew how to talk. One thing: It starts slow. No sex. That’s a mistake, bro! Anyway, I don’t really read books like yours.”
Okay, that is maybe an exaggeration, but not by much. This that follows is not easy to summarize in a few words. However, I will try.
“Manhood” to some men is a Serengeti. They think they must battle other men because in the end the man who wins the affections of a “real” woman must be, such men believe, the most “manly” of men: “the King.” For there is indeed a “King of the Pride” of lions syndrome out there: the men determined to show they are “king” and will attempt to shunt aside men they consider “lessers” because they think doing so impresses “the most desirable lionesses” – who want a “real” man, but just fear to say so.
A man like he is thinks imposing himself on women is a way to weed out “lesser” women too: for what “real” women secretly crave is a “strong” man and he is sure that is him. Women who recoil at or condemn his “forcefulness” and “manliness,” he feels, well, that merely proves they are not “real” women worth his time. (I have known men who privately have said to me pretty much that.) For example, a man like that will just shrug indifferently at being laughed at by women like those doing so in that Twitter thread: he just interprets their deriding him as merely demonstrating that they are “lessers” among women and don’t appreciate a “real” man.
Such a man never (he feels) loses. The woman he ends up with (assuming he does) actually “appreciates” him – in his mind – “properly” as a man. This is ugly, but I think it is accurate: Women who refuse to submit to his surely correct “manly” viewpoints are either “women’s studies” majors who may “learn” what “reality” is eventually (but hopefully they don’t take too long, poor gals, because by then they may be too old to have children), sad sacks involved with “loser” guys, or just outright lesbians.
I know this is a blog, not a psychology journal; and I am not a psychologist. Those are just some life thoughts based on some of what I have seen in my own life. I hope you are having a good weekend, wherever you are in our current messed up world. 🙂