After artist Anna Gensler had been on Tinder for six months, she was sick of the way that men were objectifying her in their messages. So she decided to retaliate by drawing them pathetically naked and posting it on Instagram.
Gensler's bio outlines three easy steps for "objectifying men who objectify women": "Man sends crude line via internet. Draw him naked. Send portrait to lucky man, enjoy results."
"I'm an artist, so my weapon of choice is art," she told BuzzFeed. "That sounds so lame, but I think it actually can be really effective. I wanted to find a way to make these men feel objectified in the same way that they were making women feel."
The Washington, D.C., resident said she didn't want the men to enjoy the photos, so she tried to make them a little "fat and not very well-endowed," while using their pictures as a starting point.
"It was sort of the most basic, juvenile, immature thing I could possibly do, which was completely perfect," she said. "These guys are immature and their lines are incredibly juvenile, yet they are still offensive to the women they are aimed toward. The same can be said for these doodles."
Figuring she would get even more material from OkCupid, Gensler made an account on the dating site with a disclaimer: “I’m going to draw you naked if you send me rude messages,” and linked back to her Instagram.
Gensler told Slate the warning kind of backfired:
I thought that would creep out a lot of people enough to just not message me, but instead, I got so many messages from guys who were like, "This is the funniest thing I've ever seen! Can you please draw me naked?"
Gensler then began the next portion of her project: sending the drawings to the men, and posting their reaction to their naked portraits.
Some, predictably, got angry.
Some issued corrections: "*Kenny would like me to issue an apology for misquoting him. He actually said 'your fart box' not 'you in the fart box.' Sorry Kenny, that totally changes everything."
Others, she said, had thoughtful replies, which confused her even more.
"[I]f you're smart and seem like a normal person, why are you using opening lines like 'I love butt sex'?" she told Slate.
And though she's definitely enjoyed herself, Gensler hasn't gotten any clarity on why men will approach women in such an demeaning way on dating sites.
"I feel like girls get a lot of messages and matches on places like these, but I don't actually think that guys do, necessarily," she told Slate. "You'd think that when they do get a match, they would actually try to say something nice and intelligent. But I guess not."
But despite receiving a number of both juvenile and offensive messages…
Gensler still believes women can find meaningful relationships through online dating.
"I will say, though, that for women who do hope to find something on these sites, it is important to realize that the internet is like the Wild West. There are plenty of nice, normal people out there, but the internet also brings out a lot of creepers and I think it's important to learn how to hold your own."