I only know awesome men so I don't really understand the men behind the online vitriol targeted at women, but it pisses me off.
This post is about taking the meme back. Memes are hil-ar-ious - and friggen' effective. But if it just me, or are chicks not creating them??!
I know I've been lucky re the awesome men comment, I've worked in the tech industry for over eight years. Maybe because it was for a female boss, maybe because we were usually a 50/50 gender split, or maybe it was because everyone I worked with was pretty damn awesome, but I've never really encountered sexism in the industry.
Things to not blog about - anything with the word Woman
1) Talking about feminism or gender issues; and
2) Talking about being a woman of any non white background and talking about racism. It's not because I think they should be silenced, it's because of the unrelenting trolling and horrible comments they will likely get.
Last month I read an article on Medium by Yassmin Abdel-Magied - you can read it on The Guardian, the hate comments were immediate and foul. I admired her for even bothering when she would have known exactly the reaction she would get.
Even as I was writing this tonight and wondering if I should bother posting it the Destroy the Joint facebook page posted this video poem by Agnes Török about all the hate and rape comments she gets, and for the second time in a day I was reminded of the shitty way women who speak up can be treated online.
We don't all have to agree, but the viciousness that is directed at women I actually find quite weird. And it's messing up the internet for everyone. You want to know why Twitter is dying a slow death? Because it can be a shitty place for women to be. Do you know what happens when women don't want to go somewhere? They don't go. If you want tech investment advice you'd be a sucker for overpaying for a space that half your population don't go to because it's full of wankers.
So how do you #fightlikeagirl?ABC Facebook page of Jessica Bennett speaking to ABC news about her book Feminist Fight Club. Most of the comments were the standard, but what struck me this time was the number of memes posted. I made a tounge in cheek comment about the organisation of having such memes on hand so quickly - do they save them on a Pinterest board or do they have a folder on their phone?? One Cranky Meme Poster replied he just googles "feminist memes". So I did too. And most of them are mean - I was pretty disappointed.
Fortunately I think I'm funny and I laugh at my own jokes therefor reinforcing my internal hilarity - it's an excellent approach.
So if Cranky Meme Poster finds memes hilarious and I find memes hilarious, surely the way to find common language is through memes?!
So I meme-zooied him. Zanga. You know what happened? He deleted one comment and didn't reply to another. Personally it's the first time I've shut someone like him up online (and I say him, but we know women do it too - I don't get that either).
Do you want to get your #feministmeme on?
So, my small contribution to reclaim the internet from jerks is to add to and support the feminist meme collection
Here is how you make a #feministmeme
Firstly, there are so many ways - find an app, use a meme generator website, use Pixlr, use something fancy, hell, use Microsoft paint.
The good thing about apps is they have the pics and you can have one made in seconds.
Find your images and use them as the basis for your inspiration. Most of the images about women in these apps are stereotypical and shitty *surprise*, but you know what, this is about men and their insecurities and demands for wha-tention, so play on that.
Notice the names I use? All the dumb crap they add to their memes and will most likely search for - keep files names short, it's better for google, but again be strategic.
When you upload your meme to a website alt tags and title tags matter for seo so type all of your meme text into those fields if you see them.
Once you make your app to increase the chance of it being indexed by google add "feminist meme" to the file name as well as a brief discription of it, which can be the text in your meme if it's not too long (google doesn't like long file names). To get google to see it you have to post it somewhere online (which is the benefit of a meme creation website but be warned they do have commenting so beware the cranky meme haters). If you post it to Twitter use the tag #feministmemes.
Get online and share your #feministmeme
Posting your awesome meme in a facebook comment might be effective but because of the way that facebook converts file names it won't be indexed by google. So you got to get it on a website (a benefit of web generators). If you have Twitter and use the hashtag #feministmeme I'll grab it and post it here. You can also add in a comment to my project Facebook page and I'll post it. There are a few other places online to post them, so definitely share around and collaborate - it's the only way to boost search engine rankings!
If I'm not the only one that things this is a fun/good/effective thing to do I'll arrange to build a dedicated website with an awesome #feministmeme gallery so you can upload yours.
And if you give me any form of encouragement I'll keep making more :D