Being a woman IRL is challenging, but being a woman on the Internet can be especially rough. Whether you're trying to find a date or just, you know, minding your own business, unwarranted sexist abuse is such a common phenomenon that some women are making it their mission to turn the tables by creating social media accounts that fight online harassment.
If you even vaguely present as female and want to leave your house, like, ever, you learn to deal with unsolicited, sexist responses from strangers. Similarly, if you want to go online, you unfortunately have to do the same. That said, some women are refusing to make "dealing with it" a passive act. Whether they screencap messages they receive on Tinder and post them to Instagram or repost comments or memes from Facebook to Tumblr, these women are revealing the dark side of the digital world and its pervasive culture of misogyny.
Although there's technically a block or report function for this exact reason, we all know it's not as if all the trolls and creeps magically disappear with one click of a button. While we may not be able to ever stop or even lessen sexism online, we can at least shine a light on it. No woman should have to stay silent about the threats or unwanted propositions she receives. Here are six social media accounts combatting online harassment.
1. Bye Felipe
Bye Felipe is an Instagram account started by 27-year-old Alexandra Tweten, who, according to The New York Times, crowdsources screencaps about “dudes who turn hostile when rejected or ignored.” It's really hard not to devolve into vengeful misandry after reading these, but please, try to resist the urge.
24-year-old Laura Nowak created Feminist on Tinder as a way to document the abuses she saw on the hookup app. Her first two Instagram accounts were subsequently shut down, so now Nowak sticks to Twitter and Tumblr to post interactions with some of the very worst that the male species has to offer.
25-year-old illustrator Anna Gensler draws unflattering images of men who send misogynistic messages and posts them on her Instagram account, Instagranniepants. Gensler's M.O. (according to her profile) is: "Objectifying men who objectify women in 3 easy steps: Man sends crude line via internet. Draw him naked. Send portrait to lucky man, enjoy results."
A. Lynn is the proprietor of the Tumblr Sexism! As Seen On Facebook. According to the account's FAQ, its mission is to "join together with others who oppose sexism in a big SIDE EYE to everyone who posts and shares misogynistic material." More of this, please.
Tinder Nightmares isn't billed as a feminist Instagram, nor is it necessarily a platform for women to call out online harassment, and yet, most of the so-called "nightmares" are really just horribly sexist exchanges. Apparently, they have an upcoming book collecting some of them, too.
This Tumblr collects screengrabs of all kinds of misogynistic, sizeist, and racist comments one woman has received from OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, et al. It's not just Tinder that attracts the class acts, kids!
Images: Bye Felipe; Feminist On Tinder; Instagranniepants; Sexism! As Seen On Facebook; Tinder Nightmares; Online Dating: Sexism, Sizeism, Racism And Mo'