Read this article in DeutschIf you share my passions online shopping and vintage fashion, you might have heard of Vinted. I love it for seeling as well as buying second hand and vintage clothes but the platform faced one big problem: sexual harassment on Vinted. Not only was I harassed, the real problem emerged through Vinted’s reaction and the sexism I faced in the forum – coming from other women who blamed me.
It’s not very likely that you don’t know this page, but just in case, let me explain: Private sellers can use this page to sell their clothes. I created my profile quite some time ago and love selling just as much as buying. When I’m super bored I browse the forum, in which users can discuss the most useless topics or most personal stories. You’re 16 and pregnant? The Vinted trolls are here to help. Your budgie is sick? Vinted will assist you.
Vinted is a platform mostly used by women – a fact which seems to attract lonely weirdos. You want to sell your sneakers? Well, first you’ll get a dick pic to your inbox. This problem was sometimes talked about in online media, but for a long time it didn’t happen to me.
Sexual harassment on Vinted
I uploaded a bikini I wanted to sell. I had it twice so I posted the only pic of me wearing mine with the intention to sell the other one. If I happen to have a picture, why not show it? What followed didn’t bother me much but it annoyed me: Some dude with a fake name and a fake profile sent me a long text telling me how raunchy I looked. I sent a screenshot to the Vinted service so they could delete his profile.
But I was wrong. They simply told me, that there was nothing “unusual” about his message and told me to block him. That really upset me more than the original message from that guy. Is Vinted a place for selling clothes or some kind of Tinder? They actually ignored my answer.
I wanted to discuss this topic and posted a thread to the forum. Do other users think this reaction was acceptable? Did they experience something similar?
Never did I see those attacks coming: Instead of actually discussing the topic of harassment, everybody told me how inappropiate my bikini looked and how it was my fault that I received the message. There were some women telling everyone that they receive dick pics and weird texts even without a single picture of them in their catalogue but that didn’t keep the mop from victim blaming at all.
One user told me probably the same dude messaged her too – that would not have happened, if Vinted had deleted his profile straight away.
The women complained that I even protested, telling me to just ignore those messages “without making a fuss” and moving on. Deleting those profile didn’t make sense to them, since they would simply sign up again. That is not at all what I think, and I am tired of being told as a woman to just “suck it up” when it comes to any form of harassment. Some people even called it a “compliment”.
The bigger problem
The thread was a symbol for sexism in our culture: It’s the women’s fault for wearing a certain thing when they are being harassed. Even though what the victim is wearing never matters at all. Because – news flash – the perpetrators are the problem and not the victims. It’s not up to women to change their behavior! It’s rediculous – some women even suggested not uploading sneakers to not attract feet fetishists. This is a completely wrong mindset and it has to change.
At least I sold that bikini within one hour.
If you ever receive molesting messages in such a forum, don’t ignore them and also don’t just block the person. Always tell the support so they can delete his profile. It happened to me again and next time they actually deleted it. It helps showing those people that what they do will not be tolerated and also safes others from experiencing the same thing. The sexism of other women still surprises me though.
Vinted faced the problems they had through sexual harassment and did everything to improve. They invited me to a feedback meeting and I was told that sellers now don’t complain about such harassments. This is exactly what I experienced: I never faced those problems again and think that Vinted managed to get past this.