[This post has been updated. See update below.]
There’s some serious daddy-momma drama going on in the world of parent bloggers.
On October 31, the author of the blog Karen Sugarpants wrote “Dear Internet Boys,” a post addressed to the men of the internet. In some vague, but not completely opaque language, Karen revealed some troubling details. A former rape victim who’s struggled with post-partum depression, she wrote…
In one case, however, I have walked away quietly, but I have a shadow. This shadow never publicly acknowledges my existence, but privately sends me messages of flirtation and has tried to become my friend despite my chronic ignorance of him.
She went on:
So, dear Internet Boy who has preyed upon at least 25+of my friends under the guise of knowing OH SO MUCH about mental illness and depression, I hope you understand that a) us girls talk and we ALL know you’re a total douchebag creeper; b) no, we do not want pictures of your penis and c) CUT IT THE FUCK OUT.
According to Karen (she asked that we not use her last name), the daddy blogger in question (who we are also not naming) initially sought her out in 2007 after reading about her struggles with depression on her blog (then known as Troll Baby).
“He offered his friendship, a shoulder, an ear, and I opened up to him a little,” she told us. “He gave me his instant messaging screen name. We talked over IM on and off and, before long, his side of the conversation went from friendly to sexual. I blocked him on IM in hopes he wouldn’t continue.”
Karen’s only correspondence with the blogger after that, she said, was the “occasional email or Twitter direct message saying he was ‘proud of me’ or I ‘looked amazing/hot/sexy.’”
Starting late last year, she said she stopped answering him after hearing other stories of how he’d preyed on women who blogged about depression and other personal struggles.
Yesterday, we reached out to a couple of other women who the blogger allegedly contacted. “He asked me if I knew the way to get past sexual assault,” one well-known mommy blogger told us. “I asked how—my mistake—and he said ‘tantric yoga.’ Then he asked me if I wanted him to show me how it worked.”
Another former mommy blogger told us:
[He] contacted not only all of us, but also most of our non-anonymous contributors, just being kind of generally skeevy to the point where we had to ask him to stop. At that point he was very apologetic, but shortly thereafter, he started direct messaging me with strangely flirtatious responses to anything I would post on Twitter. He propositioned me for internet live chat video sex/masturbation and sent me some pictures of his penis. Then I blocked him on available channels, and told whoever was interested to hear that the dude was super skeevy.
After some of Karen’s friends told her directly about similar experiences with the same blogger, she said she decided to write the post. “I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back was learning that some of my friends had had similar experiences with him,” she said. “I decided enough was enough, and I would write about it.”
Karen feels that she’s cleared the air for herself and the other women she’s representing. “It really did help the women I spoke with,” she said. “I received a lot of public and private support on the entire thing. I wish I had spoken out sooner, but I was trying to get my own health back on track.”
So, all’s good, right? Not exactly.
There’s still the issue of why she didn’t just come out and name this alleged Brett Favre wannabe. She told us that he’d already made a name for himself and that anyone involved in the situation would know who he was. She also considered how naming him would affect his family.
“At first, when I wrote the post,” Karen explained, “I had said that I didn’t want to name him because of his family—and to an extent, I still think that way. I don’t want his kids to Google their father’s name and find that, years from now.”
I’m sitting here trying to envision how this would go down, and I think it must be a little something like this:
Mommyblogger 1: You know what is totally fucked up? Creepy dude just sent me a picture of his junk by text! OMGWTFBBQ1!
Mommyblogger 2: You know what is even more fucked up than that is that I got a picture of his junk too! OMGWTFBBQ1!
Mommyblogger 1: You too? OMG! What the hell?
Mommyblogger 2: Yeah, and also like 24 other people! Many of whom are talking to each other about it. Now, after the fact!
Mommyblogger 1: What should we do?
Mommyblogger 2: Well, I don’t see how we can do anything. The risks are clearly too high here.
Mommyblogger 1: Yes, because if we said anything to anyone, I mean, other than each other, we would —
Mommyblogger 2: We would suffer awful consequences, clearly. Awful consequences that dare not speak their name
She went on:
YOU DO NOT call somebody a hero for posting a passive aggressive post that reveals but doesn’t reveal, but does, but doesn’t reveal… behavior about which many, many people have known for a long time and could have done something to protect other people but chose not to because they were selfish and wanted to do something for their own gain.
Asking that people take personal responsibility to protect others from being victimized is not “blaming the victim,” and you know it. YOU KNOW BETTER. Suggesting otherwise is insulting to the women who have been physically assaulted by men they have worked for, who have spoken up and lost their jobs, and not been able to feed their children, and not been able to get back to where they were in their careers even 10 or 20 years after the fact. That is harassment. That is a high risk situation, THOSE are consequences.
Viele took it upon herself to reveal the semi-anonymous blogger, mocking Karen for not revealing his full name.
As of now there are no other details, outside of Karen’s meta-confession. The blogger in question has discontinued his blog. Karen says he sent her an apology on the day of her post, but she didn’t respond.
[Update: The unnamed daddy blogger in question declined to comment on this story]