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Found Feminism: Fun With #Tips for Ladies

2012 April 2

Oh, Twitter. So often a place where humanity can flourish – the instant revealing of oppression or fraud that governments try to hide, news topics trending days before the major channels are brave enough to jump in – but it’s also a pit of despair for feminists on a depressingly regular basis.

Last week’s example was the trending topic “Tips for Ladies”. The online world took this tremendous opportunity to help guide women through life by posting thousands of tweets featuring the words ‘cooking’, ‘cleaning’, ‘clothes’ and advice on how to be more sexually available to men, all with exciting new adventures in spelling and grammar. (Don’t search for it. Just don’t. Your brain doesn’t need the trauma). Okay, look, here’s one at random and you can take my word for it that there are many pages of similar entries:

#TipsForLadies Cooking and Cleaning up does not make you a good woman.Your suppose to do that.

(I choose to read this as “Following society’s bullshit gender roles won’t make you a magnificent person – YOU are the one who must strive to transform yourself.” I choose to interpret it like this, because otherwise I would turn to drink most days.)

But then…

Then I noticed something new. It started small and grew as the rebellion began… BadRep’s very own Hannah Chutzpah brought the first one to my attention:

#TipsForLadies Remember, when enacting nuclear fusion, the nickel isotope is more stable than the iron isotope.

I decided to write one of my own:

#TipsForLadies CERN’s results where neutrino speed appeared to break relativity were probably due to relativistic motion of the GPS clocks.

Markgraf weighed in:

#TipsForLadies Pheasants are easy both to capture and domesticate.

But it wasn’t just Team BadRep on the case.

The way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach… unless your sword is kinda bendy upwards. #TipsForLadies

#TipsForLadies When battling Gorgons, avoid turning into stone by only viewing your foe through a reflective surface.

#tipsforladies The ability to start a fire can mean the difference between life & death in survival situations.

(Ms Bathtub also quoted Rilke).

And another from Ellie Mae:

#TipsForLadies Join a union. You’ll get paid more and have better working conditions.

Even Darth Vader’s PR team got in on the act:

#TipsForLadies Don’t be a Bella Swan when you could be a Princess Leia. #StarWars

An image of Princess Leia from The Empire Strikes Back. She is dressed in cold-weather clothes and standing to the right, gazing left with a challenging expression.

The line says "Remembered for 30 years, the same way Bella Swan won't be."


And I felt a little better. Found Feminism is often about finding voices fighting back in unexpected places, and that’s exactly what I hope people take away from this. In the online environment, we are surrounded by people too young, inexperienced or just plain bigoted to spread anything but the easiest, most poisonous dreck society has to peddle. The answer is to speak up. Use comedy, use popular trends, but even if it’s just you and just once, speak up for equality. And we’ll leave little beacons of hope in the places most easily reached by the most people.

Twitter is regularly a hopeless mess of misogyny – I could pick a new trending topic every week.

That just means we have to engage with it MORE.

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