Last week, I wrote about Kurdish men in Iran who were dressing in drag to promote feminism. It's an awesome, inspiring campaign. This week, it seems Saudi Arabian men and boys have been painting their nails, posing "like girls" and photographing it. But the moral of this gender-bending tale is not quite as heartwarming.
According to Global Voices, the Saudi men posting the photos are part of a Twitter hashtag (#صور_كنك_بنت) that translates to "Take a Picture of Yourself Like a Girl Does." Unlike the Kurdish men — whose photos were intended to provoke thought and promote equality — the whole point of this selfie campaign is to mock women for their perceived vanity and frivolity.
"The boys are poking fun at girls sharing their pictures on social media — of the shoes they wear, nail polish they apply, the coffee they sip and gifts they exchange with each other," Global Voices says.
A lot of people seem to think this is hilarious — and, admittedly, some of those photos might be kind of funny when taken out of context. But then you remember that this is a large, coordinated effort to make fun of women for having the gall to photograph their lives. In taking and posting these images, the men are casting themselves as inherently above women and their silly self-expression and beauty rituals. The joke lies in the fact that men, of course, don't do such stupid things. A few examples:
Now how much do you wanna bet that many of the men posting and retweeting these types of things both a) like when their girlfriends or wives to do some of the very beauty work they're mocking and b) have liked and ogled many of the selfies that women on social media tweet? I hope that some Saudi women aim back at this with a "Take a Picture of Yourself Like a Dude Does" hashtag. I'll start working on flexing my ab muscles and grab a pair of aviator sunglasses just in case.