18-year-old Gweneth Bateman is one of the many women who gets harassed by men online when she doesn't respond to their advances. Instead of quietly enduring their irritating and often violent or threatening messages, she decided to do a social experiment where, instead of staying silent after a man gave her a compliment, she responded with agreement, and documented the response that came after.
Bateman was finding that when these men were giving her a compliment, they felt like they were entitled to some sort of response that indicated she was grateful and owed them huge thanks because they were obviously the one bestowing that beauty and desirability on her. When Batemen responded in a way that indicated she knew she was beautiful and desirable, as expected, it incited a hateful response from the very men whose last message was so seemingly benign.
Online dating and other social media sites aren't the only places women must respond to compliments in a "modest" and "thankful" manner. It happens across many different cultural norms and manifests itself in a hundred different ways; take for example One Direction's song "That's What Makes You Beautiful," which purports that the thing that makes women beautiful is their ignorance about their own beauty. If they knew they were beautiful well, then, they're not.
Many women particpated in Bateman's experiment and took to Twitter and Tumblr with their results, which were pretty heinous. Check some of them out:
Images: Kingforaking/ Tumblr