Slate – When Anna Gensler downloaded Tinder six months ago, the mobile dating app quickly matched her with a selection of her city’s most eligible bachelors. Then, they started texting. “Bet your tight,” Andrew, 19, messaged right off the bat. “If I was a watermelon, would you spit or swallow my seeds,” 20-year-old Kenny wanted to know in his first text. “8==D I love anal,” contributed Mark, 26, by way of introduction.
Gensler, an artist, was not charmed by their opening lines. In retaliation, she began drawing nude portraits of these online creeps, posting the results to Instagram next to their offensive messages, and then sending the final product back to the perpetrators for review. I talked to Gensler, 23, about the process of turning harassment into art, the psychology behind pickup lines like “your boobs are even nicer than my mom’s,” and why all the men in her portraits are so poorly endowed.
Slate: Tell me about the moment when you first thought, “I’m going to draw creepy guys naked.”
Anna Gensler: I feel like this gets me in trouble a lot, but when someone does something I think is rude, I always want to give them a taste of their own medicine. I’m an artist, and I try to use art as my weapon, even though that sounds so lame. So I thought, “What is something I can do to make me feel the way that they’re making me feel?” Obviously, I couldn’t just send them back a sexy message, because they would love that. They would be like, “Yay, it worked!” So I just started doodling how I would imagine them naked … except sad-naked. It was the most immature thing I could think of, because their pickup lines are the most juvenile, basic things, but also still oddly offensive.
This chick is the WORST. Like oh you went on Tinder and were upset guys said rude shit to you and objectified you? Umm you’re on Tinder you jackass. What’s next? Strippers being mad that dudes getting lapdances objectify them? The only reason you go on twitter is to fuck. That’s it. If you don’t like guys saying they want to fuck you don’t go on there. So take your little cartoons and get out of my face with this shit. More importantly these cartoons aren’t even good. Take notes on how to hurt somebody’s feelings with a cartoon for me 1 time.