Being on Skype while Female

I resisted getting a Skype account for many years. I just didn’t feel a need for it. Then my daughter went to college and suddenly Skype offered a valuable way to keep in touch with her. I installed it and learned how to use it. That was lovely.

What was less lovely was that I kept getting pinged by strangers who wanted to add me to their contact list. The profiles all had male pictures and the messages were usually along the lines of “I saw your profile and thought you were beautiful. Want to chat?” So I removed the webcam shot of myself as the profile image. It wasn’t a great picture anyway, but it did make me visibly female. That slowed the contact requests for a while. But it did not stop them.

This past week the rate of contact requests increased a lot. I’ve no idea why. It was getting annoying. I wanted Skype to be a private place for me and my kid to communicate. I didn’t want it to be social. Blocking the requests was fairly easy, but they kept coming. So I went to my profile and set my gender to blank. The contacts still kept coming. I finally resorted to renaming myself on Skype to something that sounded neutral-to-male. The combination of all these things appears to have worked. I’m glad I found a solution to my problem. I’m sad that being on Skype while female = available for romantic solicitation.