It’s Like “Single White Female”, Hopefully Sans Stiletto Heel

Hi again, Internets,

You remember that post of a few days ago, where I whined non-specifically?

Well, I tend to do that sometimes because I don’t know how to tackle situations where I might need to confront people.  And I need to confront someone.

Someone who is calling herself Madame Meow and is not me and should stop it because it’s creepy and weird and not very original.   Any ideas?

_______

I have been Madame Meow –my sobriquet, my creation, my little pet name for myself– ever since I was married.  When I was single, I called myself Miss Meow– I can still remember spelling it out next to the email address ending, and waiting for the person to realize what it was and then laughing out loud.  It still happens, though I think my being a madame commands a little more respect these days.

A few people I knew through work and play still call me that, even.

So when I got married, I toyed with Mrs. Meow, but it didn’t have as nice a ring to it, I felt.  However, turn it into French and suddenly Madame Meow…. Mme. Meow for short, bien sûr…. it has panache and it’s chic.

And everything sounds better in French.

_________

When I started using that sobriquet, there weren’t too many other uses of it — according to Google.  There were some pictures of a cat –named Madame MeowMeow– and there was an Australian girl who kept a poetry blog under Madame Meow (who gave me a shoutout in her blog once…. thanks fellow Meow!)

That was pretty much it.  That has been it for the almost four years I’ve called myself that (est’d. Feb. 2004!).

So when I started an account in a pregnancy forum almost three years ago (May, 2005), it was a no-brainer what my name would be there (I’ve since asked the admin to delete that account).  And there I met many great people and a few okay people, and a couple of crazy people.

One of them was the future nickname-stealer, whose nickname at the time was something else entirely.  She wanted to be my friend but at the same time did not like me much. 

I wasn’t interested in being friends with someone who sounded very mentally unstable.

I should have known.

_________

So here is where you, my dear online friends, fit in.

What would you do?  What can I do? How can I protect myself?

If you want to drop me a line and give me advice, I would be eternally grateful.

Thankfully in advance,

Madame Meow™

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This entry was published on January 25, 2008 at 4:25 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “It’s Like “Single White Female”, Hopefully Sans Stiletto Heel

  1. Well, unless you actually copyrighted the name there isn’t anything you can do. It’s difficult to copyright names unless they are for artists and writers. Even then they aren’t so much a copyright as an official alias.
    When I started online with my persona back in 2000 there was only one other person with the same nickname (and one of us has a space in the name). Now there are hundreds of people calling themselves RedVixen or variations thereof. Luckily for me, no one else has my other alter ego’s name.
    Unless she is specifically infringing on the areas where you hang out on line and is trying to get people to believe she is you, you can’t do anything. You can let people know that this is not you and as long as she isn’t claiming to be you it isn’t identity fraud.

  2. I was going to say something very similar. We see it all the time when new members sign up on our message board. Sometimes someone sees a name and just thinks that it’s cool and adds it to their selection of user names.
    Sadly, even when someone in impersonating (or stalking) you, there’s not much that a site can do about it without legal help. And I have a feeling you won’t be going down that road as it can get pretty expensive.
    Good luck with things

  3. Identity theft of an online identity – there’s a concept. I can imagine it would be unsettling at best.
    I don’t really have any advice, since I use my own name online (and I’d be in REAL trouble if someone tried to usurp that). Like you, I prefer to avoid confrontation as well. All I can do is wish you the best and hope that you get better counsel from some of your other online friends.

  4. Guess I’m lucky that no one would actually want to BE me…
    Don’t know it there’s any legal leg to stand on about keeping your name to yourself, but hunting her down and strangling her with her computer cords is an idea…
    or not…

  5. Copyright is one thing; a trademark is something quite different. I suggest you bone up on trademarks, and consult an atty. who specializes in that sort of thing.
    You can easily prove you had the moniker long before she did. I think trademarking might be what you need.

  6. i’m all for confrontation! tell her off! take your name back! it’s your name, dammit!!
    i got your back if you need me to hold her down while you slap her silly.

  7. Send the posse ’round… CATFIGHT!
    Seriously though, I’m sorry this has happened.

  8. Wow, I just followed your link from the “other” meow’s site and seriously I think you’re the one with the issues. So she used “your” nickname. It’s not like other people don’t share names. Is it really that big of a deal? So she likes to tell stories on her blog that may stretch the truth. It’s her blog. And for the love of mercy don’t be such an ass on a post about an obviously bad day.
    Some people really are that disorganized in real life (I live with one) so don’t get all up on your high horse just because you’re organized and she’s not.
    Take a chill pill please and at least be civil.

  9. Mariela on said:

    I agree with E and think you are exagerating. It’s just an online alias, it’s not like she scribbled your signature in a legal document.
    Relax, breathe, and get over it. I really doubt there is really anything you can do about it besides complaining. Not to be mean, just my opinion.

  10. Mariela on said:

    hmm got the post divisions confused… my bad… who’s post is before mine… “me”? Yeah that person.

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