I have a lovely brother, a big-hearted dad, and a truly smashing boyfriend.
I also cherish the company of my male friends, who sometimes make me laugh so much I snort hot tea out of my nose.
So as far as relationships with the men in my life go, I feel pretty blessed.
But I read something online last week that made me question my faith in the goodness of man.
And I mean ‘man’.
Because – honestly – I just can’t imagine any woman being so dense as the chumps who responded to the online dating profile of Aaroncarterfan.
Posted on the US love-match site OKCupid, the profile featured a set of truly stunning photos – and some very, very bad grammar.
A beautiful girl with a great figure (albeit touting a tinge of tango-ed pole-dancer chic), shots of Aaroncarterfan show her frolicking in the sea wearing a bikini, flashing a grin in oversized shades and a corset-and-panties combo, and pouting back at the camera as a child-sized nurse’s uniform rides up her rear.
Despite the lack of subtlety, I wouldn’t criticise anyone for finding her attractive.
But Aaroncarterfan isn’t real. Her profile was created by American columnist Alli Reed, who writes for online magazine Cracked.
Alli wanted to see what would happen if she created a dating profile that was so offensive, shocking, and obscene that no man with the mental capacity to consent to sexual activity would wish to come within a mile of her.
‘I wanted it to be so abhorrent that not even men who comment on YouPorn videos would respond,’ she says.
Yet topping this hideous profile with saucy pictures of her best friend (who just happens to be a model) ensured the men still came flocking. Oh yes, Aaroncarterfan’s milkshake brought all the boys to the yard.
Despite the fact that she boasted about attacking people (‘I love knockin the cups out of homeless ppls hands – its sooooo funny to watch them try to pick it all up lollllllll’), warned prospective beaus of her habit of tricking men into thinking she’s having their child (‘Convinced my ex i was pregnant and he still pays me child support lololol’), and insisted ‘only msg me if ur rich’, Alli’s fake profile enticed 150 messages in 24 hours.
Hoping despite herself to appeal to the common decency of these fools, Alli then ramped up the despicability-meter.
She sent messages explicitly intended to show that (in her words) ‘you do not, I repeat, DO NOT, want to meet this woman’.
Messages like: ‘im just pretending to be a 14 yr old on Facebook making fun of my sisters friends LMAOOOO bullying is fun’
Or: ‘I fake bein pregnant so much Im like amazing at it, I deserve a nobel prize for it lol’.
(Response: ‘I hope you don’t do that trick on me LOL. Would you like to meet up?’)
Defeated, Alli added an element of threat: ‘I THINK YOU HAVE TO MANY TEETH SO LETS MEET UP AND I CAN FIX THAT, I CAN FIX IT BY PULLING OUT ONE OF UR TEETH. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO MEET ME SO I CAN DO THAT’ (All in capitals, for extra crazy).
Oh lordy. The reply came thus: ‘Come pull it out then, when do we meet, tonight?’
Alli drew several conclusions from her dispiriting experiment. Not least that it was time to get a chastity belt and a cat.
As she says, ‘maybe men have been so deeply socialised to value women solely on the basis of appearance that many of them seem unable to take any other aspect of who she is, such as intelligence or capacity for reflection or suffocating douchiness, into account’.
To see the full version of Alli’s story, see www.cracked.com.