AKA, “The Ally.” I broke this down into two types. I know there are many more, but this is based on my most recent and very personal experience. If you’d like to discuss other sneaky douchebags, my inbox at SnarkyFeminist.com is always open or feel free to leave a comment on my SF page/FB post.
- The Friend: You know this guy, chances are all too well. He’s the one who says all the right things, who encourages you, and who seems to support you through thick and thin. Until they realize you’re not going to fuck them, and then they change their tune or disappear altogether.
- The Stark Raving Maniac: Say something that strikes a nerve, and they go off the rails completely. Name calling is usually their first go to. Sometimes after years of an online friendship. It seems out of the blue.
In both cases, they were never an ally but an opportunist. A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing.
For example, the first case: I had a friend whom I and many others considered a true ally. I would even ask him for help on a particular thread because he had a sharp biting wit, was funny as fuck while doing so, and *always* made the perfect point. We were friends for almost a year, and close, too. At least that’s what I thought.
Later I found out he had been stalking me online beforehand; learning my mannerisms, my passions, and he knew exactly how to get my attention. Then, very suddenly, he was gone after leaving a strange glib message about a semi-serious illness I was going through. He confided in me briefly that he was in a dark place, which was something I was very familiar with, and I offered to help. I reached out three times (before I put two and two together) because that’s what friends do.
But a couple of weeks later, I saw his same old fake ally rhetoric on a mutual friend’s post after I unfriended. And that shit hurt because I knew it was about capturing someone’s attention by “defending” them and looking good online while I had been grieving the loss of someone I thought I could depend on. I take responsibility for my part. I took the bait. I followed his breadcrumb trail. I fell for it.
The second example, Jesus Fucking Christ. This seemingly comes out of nowhere and it’s fucking infuriating. It can happen years after an online association, and by all means what I felt appeared to be an amiable friendship. They support you, leave innocuous or even favorable comments, only to lose their shit on a particular post or link. All caps even. Sorry that affected you so personally, sport. Maybe you should look at why. So much pent-up rage. Misogynistic name calling is their first reaction, and it gets progressively worse. Fast. I won’t list an example of this, it happens way too often to pick just one.
I’ll admit, the first example hurt because I can usually spot that coming. But this time I was blindsided. I also felt stupid for not knowing better and lost what I thought was one of my closest allies.
If you’re not an ally, stay the fuck away from me. I’ve been an outspoken feminist for years; this is no surprise. Your true colors will show. And if you are a true ally, I see you and appreciate you. I need all the help I can get.