I’ve been accused of loads of things in my life. Being a liar, a cheat, a monster from Satan’s lair (my friend did not take it exceptionally well when I told her I liked olives). My brand of feminism has come under similar fire – “aren’t you just doing this for attention?” “but girls lie about that stuff all the time” “yeah but not all men talk like that”.
As mainstream media begins to identify feminism within different cultural circles, Goddess of the Earth™ Tavi Gevinson said that she “feel[s] weary of … celebrity culture masquerading as activism or as conversation or action… it’s clickbait.”
I think the very idea of 'clickbait feminism' is fascinating. Urban Dictionary's definition of clickbait is “[a]n eyecatching link on a website which encourages people to read on… often paid for by the advertiser or generates income based on the number of clicks”. Normal clickbait bores the pants off me, probably because I’m too busy doing a quiz about what type of bread from my childhood I’d be. ‘Clickbait feminism’ on the other hand – that’s a whole different slice of WonderWhite toast.
Feminism is now a ‘buzzword’, used by The Internet At Large™ to “… capitalise on the popularity of female empowerment”. With its notoriety, we sell products, sell artists, celebrities and people in entertainment, we even try to sell feminism to feminists – just an upgraded, more “you” version of our basic human rights. But when the mainstream media uses attention-grabbing headlines to market a movement like it’s a fucking George Foreman, they degrade their feminist consumers. It seems hugely demeaning to have false feminisms sold to you when you’re trying your best to fight the real stuff every goddamn day (seriously, dude from Allex Constructions – if you shout out to me one more time, I will Ultimate Punch™ you in the penis). No matter what form it takes, ‘clickbait feminism’ is insubstantial and flimsy and the very use of it neglects to actually champion women in all their flawed forms. Consequentially, as a human woman, I can very much understand why feminists would be pissed about that.
As our access to media and news sources has increased exponentially, we have begun to categorise ‘clickbait feminism’ into a number of different categories, two of which being:
~ A Taylor Swift-ian approach to feminism – all white, well meaning and celebrity-endorsed.
~ Sensational headlines from other less well-meaning publications – the Daily Male™
(I’m copywriting that one as well) or Buzzfeed.
The first embodies all the problems that Tavi suggests – a glitzy allure of celebrity with no real evidence of self-sacrifice. The latter is just downright bullshit – provocative and over-promising titles which attempt to lure women into believing that their feminism should fit This Publication’s mould or not at all.
This leads me right onto the tracks of literal ‘clickbait feminism’. All the feminists I know are funny, witty and tired as hell, and satire seems to be one of our most enduring tools. Below, you’ll find my list of ‘clickbait feminism’ titles to really help you realise how easy we find navigating modern feminism in all its quasi and half-baked forms. And also so that you never have to write for the Daily Male™.
It Took Claire 1 Hour And 46 Minutes And Four Gin And Tonics To Write This List – What Happens Next, You Won’t Believe!
A Woman Had Experienced Oppression All Her Life, And Recognised Similar Discriminations In The Popular Film, ‘Love Actually’. A Man, Who Took One Film Studies Class And Whose Profile Picture Is Him Next To A Chained Tiger, Will Change Everything You Thought You Knew About It.
5 Summer Cocktail Recipes To Accompany The Spew Of Online Hatred You’ll Receive When You Name Your Rapist On Twitter.
“You’re Not Like Other Girls And I Th- Wait-Where-Where Are You Going-Wait-You Didn’t Finish Your Lasagne-Wait-Sarah-Wait!”: A Collection of Award-Winning Short Stories That Will Blow Your Mind About Modern Dating.
Four Men In Backwards Caps Make A Rape Joke At A House Party. Every Party Goer, Who Knows That Rape Jokes Are Predominantly Fucking Despicable, Hears Them. What Happens Next Will Make You Laugh Harder Than You Should.
She Hadn’t Thought About Her Body Until A Man Named Trevor Who Is Shirtless In All Of His OKCupid Pictures Told Her To Be Ashamed Of Showing So Much Skin – You Won’t Believe What She Does Next!
10 Healthy Salads To Scoff After Being Groped On The Train On Your Way Home From Work.
What Happens When Jayden From Your Economics Class Sits Next To A Hijab-Wearing Lady In Your Exam? You Won’t Believe How Long It Takes For Her Formal Complaint To Be Processed!
What The Model Of Car Your Tinder Rejects Have In Their Profile Picture Says About Them.
“Adam And Eve, Not Adam And Steve” – 16 Rhyming Couplets With The Words “Utter Fuckbadger” In Them To Put You In The Christmas Spirit!
12 Very Good Very Solid Very Promising Reasons To Unfriend Your High School Football Captain On Facebook Who Still Wears Cargo Vests And Kisses Fish On The Mouth
A Black Actress Is Told That This Role Was Written For A White Woman For No Reason Whatsoever. Take Our Quiz To Find Out How Many Times YOU Could Tolerate This!
Of course, the problem with These Jokes™ is that they obviously fall short of actually helping anyone in their real human lives. But, it takes $0.00 to laugh about our pain when we spend the rest of our minutes and dollars trying to erase the roots of it from our lives. But I am still angry and I am still on the internet, which begs the question: is it possible that I am continuously misrepresenting myself in my online feminism? On my Instagram, of course, but in my activism? Maybe. Maybe I’m praying to be more provocative than I am in reality. I am white, able-bodied, cis-gendered and middle class – how inflammatory do I think I really am? And yet, and of course I’m biased, I still think my feminism is worth noticing. I think all feminism is worth noticing. Even the headlines with more exclamation marks than words. #click