These Online Compliments Turned Ugly Fast

Illustrated by Tania Li.
Many women have trouble accepting a compliment. This is such a common hangup, in fact, that Amy Schumer made a hilarious sketch about it last year. When women are being complimented online, things get even more complex.
Recently, eighteen-year-old Gweneth Bateman noticed that if she didn't reply to a compliment a man sent her online, she got called out for ignoring him. Bateman told BuzzFeed News “If a guy messages me, I usually don’t reply, because most of the time they are complete strangers to me." She explains that despite this, men feel they are owed a response. "When they don’t get a reply out of me, it usually ends up with them calling me ‘rude’ or a ‘bitch.’" Bateman decided to test an experiment she’d seen previously on Tumblr: If she was sent a compliment, she would reply by simply accepting it.
When Bateman confidently agreed with the compliments, things turned hateful quickly — many of the men lashed out, accusing her of being vain. Bateman's experience is, sadly, all too common: A recent study found that 25% of young women have been sexually harassed online.

More from Wellness

R29 Original Series