The Further Adventures of Jane

    Hello, and welcome to The Further Adventures of Jane. In case you hadn't guessed, I'm Jane and this column is here to lead you through some of the more interesting episodes I encounter in my life. You might remember my old column from Issue Five. It's been scrapped and replaced with this one, which allow me to express myself a little better. Be sure to drop me a line to let me know what you think of it. Now, let's get started...

Try a cold shower...

    Over the years, I've spent a little time in various chatrooms around the Internet. One common thread I've noticed running through these experiences is that with an obviously feminine name like Jane, it's almost impossible to carry on any sort of sensible on-line conversation. More often than not, I find myself being propositioned for cybersex by some hormonally-charged 14-year-old with a nick like "Bg10Incher" in no time flat.

    In light of this fact, this surfer girl decided to run a little experiment. Logging on to IRC, I entered the #chat channel. I thought to myself, "Jane, what could be more harmless and neutral than this channel?" Well, it was only a few moments before I got a DCC talk request from someone calling himself "Jerralbny." Here's what transpired immediately thereafter:

Session Start: Wed Feb 05 22:15:14 1997

<Jerralbny> Hello there.
<Jane> Hello! How are you tonight?
<Jerralbny> Remember me?
<Jane> Not right off...I must be a different Jane.
<Jerralbny> What do you look like?
<Jane> I have blonde hair, hazel eyes, and I'm fairly tall.
<Jerralbny> How tall?
<Jane> About 5'10".
<Jerralbny> Nice legs?
<Jane> I'm not one to say...
<Jerralbny> What are you wearing now?
<Jane> I'm wearing a tee-shirt and a pair of jeans.
<Jerralbny> Bra?
<Jane> Yes.
<Jerralbny> Panties?
<Jane> Yes.
<Jerralbny> Do you know what I have on?
<Jane> No.
<Jerralbny> I'm wearing a tee-shirt and flannel shirt.
<Jerralbny> And that's all.
<Jane> No pants, eh?
<Jerralbny> Nope--I'm at home, relaxing.
<Jane> It sure sounds like it!
<Jerralbny> Do you like massages? I would love to massage your back.
<Jerralbny> How about I hold you close?
<Jane> ...
<Jerralbny> I'm holding you close, kissing your lips passionately. Mmmmm...
<Jane> Yes...
<Jerralbny> Would you mind if I removed your shirt?
<Jane> Can I ask you a question?
<Jerralbny> Shall we remove our clothes?
<Jane> Can I tell you something very personal?
<Jerralbny> Go on...
<Jane> Are you sure?
<Jerralbny> Go ahead...
<Jane> Well, I'm a journalist. Congratulations! You've just become an example in an article I'm writing -- on chatroom perverts! I never indicated I was interested in any way in cybersexual relations, yet you came on to me anyway. How does that make you feel?

DCC session closed
Session Close: Wed Feb 05 22:26:25 1997

    There you have it! It was on for approximately thirty seconds when Jerralbny requested a private chat; within a little over ten minutes, I had been chatted up for cybersex. All the while, I did nothing to encourage or promote these relations, and the channel I was on had nothing to do with sex. This was the equivalent of talking to someone while in line at the DMV and them suddenly offering to take off your shirt! And, once I called him on it, he immediately disconnected, probably afraid I was Andy Rooney doing an exposť for 60 Minutes.

    Worse still is the way in which he handled himself in the entire matter. Within the confines of a few short lines, he had asked me about the nature of my undergarments--a bit too forward for this girl. Then, he launched into his twisted cybergropefest without my indicating in any way that I wanted to engage in such activities. Where is the appeal in this kind of behavior? For that matter, is it just me, or does the entire concept of cybersex seem a little off-balance? Personally, I can play make-believe much easier if I'm not sitting in front of a computer.

    This all only goes to prove my point. If you're a woman on the Internet, you're going to have to be ready to put up with some shit. You can't just go into a chatroom and expect to have a normal conversation with most of the "men" out there. The only consolation that a woman really has in the matter is the fact that it's hard to type with one hand.


[back to verbosity]

Jane obtained the above IRC log without the permission of the perpetrator. If he has a problem with it, too bad!