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A Curious Texture

Textual Harassment by Donna St. George made me reflect upon my own texting habits and the differences there may be in the ways that males and females text each other. Are we different in the ways that we text by virtue of gender or do we share all of the same feelings on the inside? Have I ever harassed (unintentionally) or have been harassed without being aware?
Let me start off by admitting that yes, I am guilty of sending all three of the texts that George mentions in her article (“where r u?,” “who r u with?,” “why didn’t u answer me?”) without the spelling shortcuts. Now before anyone starts thinking that I am the jealous type, I assure you that this isn’t the case. I have all the trust in the world in my fiancé and would never suspect her to be doing anything that would intentionally harm our relationship. What it really is, I believe, is the gender role instilled in me. I want to be protective of her and I would not want her to be anywhere unsafe or with anyone that was not trustworthy. As for the “why didn’t you answer me” I do that to show that I care. No matter her answer I would never get mad at her for not answering me.
Is this simply an issue of gender roles? In my personal experience it is not. I like it when my fiancé asks me questions asking where I am. But she knows that I interpret it like I feel like she really cares about what I am doing even when I am not with her. In a sense, this would suggest that it isn’t a gender role issue. However, I think that she learned how to interpret those questions from me.
It is so important to make sure that when someone texts something that you disagree with or find weird that you immediately express your feelings about how it makes you feel. This is where gender does become an issue because as we have discussed in class it is instilled in girls more than in boys to go along with things and not to ask questions. If this mindset bleeds into the form in which we all interpret what is appropriate to question when it comes to texting, then it could explain why men feel that it is easy to get away with such harassment. Unfortunately, this harassment to females has happened to people that I have known in the past and there is no simple solution. And this problem is especially prevalent in high school when you know that you have to see these people five days a week no matter how well you don’t respond to their texts.


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