I don’t know if you noticed, but feminists have a bit of a bad rep.
There’s a bunch of reasons why this is the case. There has seemed to be a culture of girls who want to wear feminism as a fashion choice – they don’t care about the actual ideals, so they’re getting it wrong. It’s an off-branch of ‘social warriors’ that are causing more trouble than positive change, and, if anything, they’re widening the gap between the genders and making anyone who hears so much as the word ‘feminism’ cringe and roll their eyes.
The latest ‘trend’ that’s causing a divide is the Twitter tag #WasteHisTime2016 that has blown up in the last couple of days. It’s difficult to tell if this was the original hashtag, or if it was a response to the partnering #WasteHerTime2016, but either way it’s pretty gross.
For those of you who missed it, it’s mostly women tweeting ways to waste a man’s time and break his heart. Most of the methods are stereotypically associated with ‘fuckboy’ behaviour, and the tweets are designed to expose and flip these behaviours on their head by reversing the genders.
The internet being what it is, though, this obviously wasn’t the case for many of the #WasteHisTime2016 tweets, and this flew over the heads of a lot of people. It quickly just became mean, sad and pretty pathetic. What began as a criticism of this ‘fuckboy’ culture that gets celebrated just turned into bitter and twisted spitefulness, and the ‘joke’ seemed to become actual diabolical plans.
“Why do people think feminists are man-haters?? That’s not what it’s about!!!”
Of course it’s not. But when you do stupid crap like this, why would anyone think otherwise? Why would anyone read tweets written out of bitterness and anger, that specifically hate on men, and not class that as man-hating? And before you attack me – I am a feminist. I really am. But this isn’t feminism. Planning ways to break people’s hearts by getting them emotionally invested is not a social statement, it’s called being a dick.
Being heartbroken is not a purely female experience. Investing emotion into someone who doesn’t reciprocate the interest is not a purely female experience. Everyone has experienced some situations in love that have made them feel awful. But that doesn’t mean you take to Twitter, planning ways to punish all men because some boy in secondary school stopped texting you back after you said you liked him.
Yes, there’s a whole bunch of shitty ideas on the internet about relationships between the genders – consider the way “side-ho’s” have started to play a large part in memes, for example. But why would you want to add to that? Is that really how you want to achieve equality – by having everyone be equally miserable? No matter how you try to dress this trend up, it’s easy to see it for what it really is: a bunch of lonely single people tweeting about ways people broke their heart in the past.
What happened to the good old days when someone would break your heart and you’d hit the gym and do your best to look irresistible to show them what they were missing, and do your utmost to make it look like losing them didn’t hurt you? This #WasteHisTime2016 trend is the equivalent of sobbing in the bathroom in front of his new girlfriend because you can’t handle how cute they are together. It’s embarrassing. You might as well broadcast to the world “a guy hurt me a long time ago by not being as interested and I can’t let it go and want to punish everyone for how bitter I am”.
Yes we need feminism. Yes we need to work together. But we don’t need to gang up on an entire gender for issues that are experienced by everyone. No gender owns the market in heartbreak. #WasteHisTime2016 is a waste of everyone’s time. Stop obsessing over non-issues and pay attention to what really matters.