I’m Quin, AKA the blogger who wrote that polemical break-up text post, unleashing a digital conflagration of fury from an army of Internet warriors, convinced I’d ruined some guy’s life.
Many publications ran libelous headlines to the contrary, so please indulge me in telling you: no, the sexts were never sent to the boss, the guy never lost his job, and the hyperbolic text response I bloviated back to him was nothing more than an empty, obviously exaggerated threat, dripping with satire and blogged about for levity.
He knew these things immediately upon reading the texts, and not for one second feared for the security of his job. He and I laugh about this now, the incommensurately visceral response so much of the public commented, tweeted, emailed, and otherwise reblogged.
The guy asked for exclusivity two days prior to that correspondence, by the way. That fact is largely edited out in mass journalism, because who wants a sane villain?
So let’s get to the heart of the matter.
I hate to tell you this, but, published or not: this is how women talk about you. My post went viral, mostly via rancorous male commentary, because it struck a nerve.
Organized crime is scary. It isn’t something you expect from “ladylike” women. Nonetheless: we analyze your every move, wondering what that means for our relationship’s longevity. Your “how are you?” text after a year of silence? That gets a full hour. Indeed, a three hour, six-person roundtable brunch went into Googling “douchey WASP names” just to find the perfect pseudonym for my ex in my second memoir. We are laborious, thoughtful creatures. What we aren’t? Flibbertigibbet emotional breakdowns who can’t handle the truth.
The post went viral because it’s a scenario every person who has ever dated has faced. I said something nearly all women have wanted to say at some point. They were just too scared of the vitriolic backlash—we fear being labeled “Crazy,” because, once assigned, that’s a pretty difficult moniker to lose. We are forever pigeonholed as emotionally unhinged, no matter how off base (or exploitative).
It’s in my nature to withstand strong criticism. My dad’s family duck’n’rolled out of communist China, and my mom is a scrappy Scots-Irish Army brat from the wrong side of the tracks. America is built on barrier-breakers. Uninformed groupthink and slander are strong, negative forces, but criticism is in my blood; constructive criticism, my backbone. If you’re a Libertarian living in DC right now, like I am, you have definitely dealt with worse.
So, was this “victimless crime” justly avenged? That would depend on what you consider fair. I’ve sparked an international dialogue about gender roles, etiquette, civility, cyber courtship, and racial stereotypes. All this, and I didn’t even have to twerk up against a married man or get peed on in an adult video.
In the “women” column, I count that as a win.