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Snapchat CEO emails talk about "bitches" and "sluts"

Emails from Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel reveal gross fratboy misogyny in the wake of UCSB shootings

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
May 28, 2014 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3730

Breaking news: rich, white man says awful things. Other white men rally to his defense.

This time, though, the timing is pretty damn bad. How bad? Like, emblematic of the institutionalized misogyny and rape culture that was at the root of the UCSB shootings-bad.

Behold: the wacky, zany fratboy antics of Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, as told via email. ValleyWag got a hold of some of Spiegel’s undergrad emails from his time at Stanford, right as he was building the first embryonic structure of Snapchat. And it’s ironic, because this is exactly the type of thing Snapchat was designed for: saying/doing things you don’t want other people to know about.

The emails are particularly vile, even for a douchy fratboy. One email, titled “URGENT,” included the following: “LUAU FUCKING RAGED. Thanks to all of you. Hope at least six girl [sic] sucked your dicks last night. Cuz that didn’t happen for me.” Signed affectionately, “fuckbitchesgetleid. Spiegel.”

Adorable.

It gets worse—and downright rapey—from there. Another email, titled “ACTION NEEDED,” reads: “TO GET PIPHIS THIS FUCKED UP.” “Pi Phis” are members of the Stanford sorority Pi Beta Phi—the implication being that Spiegel’s frat needed to get the sorority girls “fucked up” to have sex. Spiegel opined in a later email that the “PiPhis are more frigid than previously anticipated,” and “PiPhis don’t rage. Bummer.”

He then goes on to wonder if he accidentally peed on a girl in his sleep, and then wonders if his TA has ever been peed on, adding: “she’s pretty hot for a TriDelt.”

He makes gay jokes, refers to “SororiSluts,” offers to “roll a blunt for whoever sees the most tits tonight,” talks about bringing cocaine to a party, MAKES A GODDAMNED SALLY HEMMINGS JOKE (and I quote: “get some, Jefferson”), tells his friends to give themselves a pat on the back for their awesome work—or “have some girl put your large Kappa Sigma dick down her throat.” And to really round of the douchiness of it all, he jokes that “hot bitches” don’t like lasertag, adding: “I thought the point was to shoot lazers at fat chicks.”

Slow clap.

We have reached out to Snapchat for comment, but in the meantime, Spiegel has responded to TechCrunch with the following statement:

 I’m obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic emails during my fraternity days were made public. I have no excuse. I’m sorry I wrote them at the time and I was jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women.

Because in the last five years, all of his massive success and billions of dollars have really helped him evolve as a human being and develop a better understanding of the culturally entrenched misogyny that allows nearly one in four women to be raped or nearly raped during her time in college. And he now knows that fewer than 5% of completed or attempted rapes of women in college are reported, and that students found “responsible” for sexual assault (i.e. rapists) are rarely punished.

The thing is, Evan Spiegel’s fratboy brand of sexism is not harmless. Last Friday, 22-year-old UC Santa Barbara student Elliot Roger went on a misogyny-fueled shooting rampage, leaving behind a 141-page manifesto outlining his hatred of women, along with several chilling YouTube videos in which he promised to “slaughter” every “spoiled, stuck-up blond slut” who wouldn’t have sex with him.

Elliot Roger didn’t happen in a vacuum. His shooting spree wasn’t the isolated, random act of a madman. Elliot Roger was the product of privileged male entitlement and misogyny, combined with easy access to guns and a healthy dose of sociopathology.

He was the product of a cultural narrative that contextualizes the bodies of women as something “owed” to men, the prize at the end of the rainbow, something that the good guys “get” in movies. It’s a narrative that defines women as “bitches” and “sluts” (because she’s a bitch if she says no and a slut if she says yes) and characterizes “fat chicks” as an object of derision.

Let me make this unmistakably clear: Evan Spiegel’s sexist bullshit is not the harmless, kooky spoutings of an immature fratboy. His attitude is what causes and promotes violence against women.

Over the weekend, millions of women joined in the hashtag topic #YesAllWomen with their stories of sexism, assault, slut-shaming, victim blaming, and more. The stories are sobering, terrifying, and heartbreaking. Here are a few of my own:

-My 70-year-old boss started sexually harassing me the DAY I turned 18. I had been working at his store for two years and he had granddaughters my age.

-My friend and I were both assaulted separately, by different men, at the same conference.

-A person very close to me was raped, taunted, and then stalked and kidnapped by her rapist and his friends. When she went to the police, she was told that there was nothing that could be done about it since it was her word against his.

-I don’t walk my dogs or push my son in a stroller down busy streets because I don’t want to deal with the catcalls. I was catcalled once while holding my three-month-old baby.

-My little sister’s high school just banned leggings because they’re too “distracting” to boys, meaning it is the responsibility of teenage girls to make sure that teenage boys (the students who really matter) are able to focus on their studies.

I could go on. There are lots more stories where those came from. But the point is: Evan Spiegel’s misogyny isn’t harmless. Misogyny in Silicon Valley isn’t harmless. (And if you want to see misogyny in Silicon Valley, just read the comments section of any TechCrunch article. It’s the quickest way to lose all faith in humanity.)

You could make the argument that Spiegel was only 18 when he sent those emails. That may be true, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Spiegel’s transformation from a rich 18-year-old to a rich 24-year-old has not magically given him a sense of human empathy.

Sadly, this incident will probably not stop anyone from using Snapchat. It probably won’t even impede Spiegel’s rise through Silicon Valley. But hopefully it will give Spiegel and his ilk something to think about when they make jokes about bitches, sluts, and fat chicks. 

 

Image source: businessinsider.com


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