Unsolicited dick pics are a disgusting fact of life for women on the internet, and the problem is many times worse if you’re a model with a popular Instagram account. Emily Sears, an Australian model who lives in L.A. and has 2.3 million Instagram followers, told BuzzFeed that she’s fed up with receiving unwanted photos of penises on a daily basis. So she’s started fighting back by screencapping the messages and sending them to the lecherous men’s wives and girlfriends.
Sometimes she’ll just Google a photo of the offending dude with his girlfriend and send it back to him. That usually gets a quick — if insincere — apology, and, best case, deters the dude from doing it again.
“We send the photos as a reminder for them to have respect for women,” Sears told BuzzFeed. “I think it provides an accountability that people seem to lose online, being behind a screen gives people a false sense of anonymity.”
Sears’s friend Laura Lux, a DJ with 670,000 followers on Instagram, has been shutting down dick-piccing dudes in the same manner. She told BuzzFeed the idea came to her two years ago, when she went to block a guy and saw photos of his girlfriend on his profile. And the girlfriend had commented on the photos, calling him the “best boyfriend ever.”
Lux decided the woman should know what the “best boyfriend ever” was doing in his spare time.
“I sent her a message with a screenshot of our conversation telling her that I was really sorry, but I thought she deserved to know how her boyfriend was behaving towards other women,” she told BuzzFeed.
This response to men being scummy on the internet is entirely warranted, but does it work?
Sears thinks so. Since she started calling out guys in a personal way, “the number [of dick pics] has been significantly lower. I think my followers are slowly getting the message,” she said.
Really sad that it’s come to this, but at least the victims of online harassment have created a hilarious (and apparently effective) way to regain some agency.