Mia Matsumiya, talented professional violinist and former member of American band Kayo Dot, has had an interesting hobby for the past decade – she’s been collecting the creepy online messages strangers have sent her. And now, she’s calling them out.
Any woman (and some men) who has ever used an online dating app (ahem, Tinder) or dared to venture into the mysterious “Other” folder on Facebook can attest to reading her share of creepy messages from complete strangers. How do we deal with them? We shudder, close the page, and forget creepy guys exist for the next year before that accursed curiosity convinces us to check in once again. At least we can pretend.
When you’re a public figure like Mia Matsumiya, however, those creepy messages don’t just lurk in the deep recesses of your social media profiles – they are loud and proud and unapologetic. Ever since the day she first went online in 2000, Mia has consistently received inappropriate and arguably demeaning comments from strange men. Instead of ignoring their reality, however, Matsumiya has done something nobody has ever dared to attempt before – she’s brought the nitty gritty parts of the internet out and into the light.
Mia Matsumiya began publishing the abusive messages on an Instagram account, @perv_magnet. Here are some examples she’s already posted:
“Use crest and you’ll be alright…can I tie you up and brush your teeth?”
“How are you today mia i wonder where you live”
“If I could have anything at all, I would have you on the beach, in this dress, when the sun descends, alone. I’d have you dolled up everyday, ready to welcome the sunset, so we could play make believe til the end of dawn. I’d take photos of your silhouette against the dusky sky until you became jealous of your fading shadow and narcissistic of your timeless image.”
“WOULD I LIKE YOUR SWORD IN MY NECK!!!!”
“I want to marry you, so add me please
(three weeks later): add me mia i love you violine
(two weeks later): come on add me i dont stalk but i would marry you and give you ALL”
“after i dissect you i’m going to cook and eat your upper lip first.”
Feel sick yet? And these were the tamest messages I could find – a lot I couldn’t even stomach enough to read, let alone post. Now imagine reading hundreds of these. Daily.
Receiving online messages may seem harmful enough but Matsumiya told Dazed how she had to “hide out in Japan” for six months after one man began sending her death threats. One of the worst messages, according to Matsumiya, was yet another man who wrote her “pages and pages of fantasy stories about coming to [her] concerts and then raping [her] in the bathroom.” He was later arrested for stalking another Asian woman.
“This is not so much a vendetta towards the perverts as it is a demonstration of what horrific things are said to women online when everyone else’s heads are turned,” Matsumiya explained. “I want to start a dialogue by sharing, commiserating, and discussing these messages…Personally, I don’t know any woman who hasn’t been the recipient of creepy behavior. It’s unacceptable and so depressingly rampant.”