A Craigslist post by a mom looking for a women studies tutor for her 22-year-old son went viral in April, but when a writer for Salon looked into the post, she found something really weird: the ad appeared to be a story fabricated by a sexist Internet troll.
This was the original post on Craigslist:
My son, Nate, is 22 and a student at UCLA. He has been struggling the whole quarter with his gender studies class that focuses on feminism and feminist theories, and he has a big paper that will be due in a few weeks, and he has not even started. He's a very typical young man his age - finds the whole idea of feminism and gender studies boring and uninteresting. However his graduation is dependent on successfully finishing this class.
I'm looking for someone who is knowledgeable in this subject and can meet with him 2-3 times a week and help him develop and bring this paper to fruition. We live in Bel-Air near UCLA and you can either meet him here, at any campus library or over lunch (he's quite the sophisticated young man who enjoys elegant restaurants!) I anticipate he will not need more than 1-2 weeks worth of time to prepare this.
Writer Ruth Graham reached out to the mother, "Dr. Alexandra Rose, Phd," who gave her "Nate's" contact information. Graham reached out to him, but discovered after some research that there was no one with his name enrolled at UCLA. Furthermore, there are no psychoanalysts named Alexandra Rose in California, nor were there any lawyers matching the name he gave for his father.
Realizing something was up, Graham eventually deduced that "Nate" appeared to actually be Nader Modgeddi, a 27-year-old misogynistic Internet troll who has continually tweeted rape threats and sexist slurs at various women. Writes Graham:
This casts the ad posted by “Nate’s” “mother” in a scarier light: A guy accused of serial harassment of women places an ad seeking an expert in feminism to meet with him in person. When we first spoke about his need for a tutor, “Nate” said his class focused on “modern feminism,” after the year 2000, “more of a younger, more intersectional feminism.” He would have preferred Gloria Steinem–era readings, he said, which more closely align with his own views. “I find the whole younger, more modern approach to feminism more problematic,” he said. When I asked him which writers were assigned in the class, the only person he named—and complained about—was Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti.
Graham was able to get "Nate" to confess to his real identity, and he even went on the record to say things like this lovely gem:
People don’t say, ‘Don’t blame that person; she left her diamond ring in the car and unlocked.’ People would call that woman an idiot ... but when it comes to the crime of rape people say it was fine that you blacked out on a densely populated campus at 3 a.m.
That's where he's wrong, since it's apparently just as risky to become a feminism tutor. Seems like just being a woman is the dangerous part. Read the whole scary story here.