Hashtag Nation

#IfIWereABoy: The Latest Rad Feminist Hashtag Campaign

On Tuesday, twelve Elite Daily staff members took a stand against sexism by starting the hashtag #IfIWereABoy. Beyond being the lyrics to an awesome Beyoncé song, this hashtag had a deeper message. Here’s how these female journalists described why they felt the need to participate:

“When we’re young, we’re told that boys and girls all have the same fair shot to get what they want out of life. . .We don’t think we’ll ever be fighting for our right to be heard, to have a voice. We don’t realize men in power will decide how, and when, and where we do what we want to our bodies. We don’t even think that the world will write us a set of different rules.”

So the women decided to take a stand to create the equality they believed in when they were little–when they were confident that competing for jobs and achieving your dreams had nothing to do with your gender. To do so, they answered how they would behave differently if they were men, if they were truly equal. Here are some of their  responses:

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As it always is whenever a feminist hashtag takes over Twitter (I don’t even want to remember the backlash to #YesAllWomen), the reaction has been mixed. Some on Instagram have taken the opportunity to turn the conversation to one about circumcision, to highlight some of the struggles that men face as well. But amongst the differing opinions, there are certainly some who appreciate the inclusion of a Beyoncé reference as much as I do.

— Look Different (@LookDifferent) August 5, 2014

Whether or not this specific campaign ranks as a hashtag everyone should start using, it’s always encouraging to see feminist messages on social media. We listen to our friends, and when friends post about feminism, it’s an educational opportunity that we don’t have often. If just one person reflects on the state of gender equality in our world because of this campaign, or if another realizes that a way they have been behaving is sexist and stops, then the campaign has been a success.

Now for some inspiration to keep fighting for the good cause, let’s all take a moment to appreciate the fierce feminist who inspired this movement:

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Images via, gif via

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508845533 Catherine Bool

    I cant help but feel creating an “us and them” situation isnt helpful to the feminist movement. I love feminism and what it stands for, but I do struggle with the shutting out of men from feminist dialogue. Alienating men from the issues of sexism (which exists for both sexes, albeit with different intensities and visibility) by accusing them as a homogeneous group of not appreciating female behaviors. This campaign tars all men with the same brush – isnt that the exact mentality we are fighting when we are defending women’s liberty? There are countless forms of femininity or female/gender identity, this is just as true for men. I’m sure there is a much more inclusive, positive way for us to celebrate feminism and advocate complete equality – maybe we start by inviting men to share in discussion rather than blocking them out and criminalizing “males”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500358586 Adam Wimpenny

      Made an account just to agree with this comment!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003331987669 Marek Bartosiński
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=895875595 Abbie Rose

      Sexist men’s response to it. When the women are talking about not being sexually assaulted, and then the men for that come up with ‘learn the offside rule’ and ‘know when to be quiet’. Excellent; because the two are totally on the same level.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=559203968 Jeff Trigger

    Thank you Catherine Bool. I am really concerned about the modern “tumblr” feminists practicing the things that they are protesting. It is very important for women (and men) to point out problems in society that affect women. It needs to be honest. However, alienating others isn’t going to make the problem any better. It’s akin to the militant atheists preaching all over how militant religious preach all over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1074130743 Timi Akinsowon

    This isn’t feminism and has nothing to do with gender equality. This ‘campaign’ generalizes men and makes out that we are all misogynistic. It’s actually pretty offensive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1132615223 Katy Bucher

      This is really irritating. It’s a derailing tactic and something that common sense should tell you is a fallacy.
      I don’t know how many actual feminist-minded people you know, but I’m guessing it’s more than you think, whether or not they label themselves as such.
      Women, feminist or not, do not literally mean ALL MEN when they discuss men, problematic behavior, sexism, and problems with gender inequality. But really, at this point, do we have to keep saying “and by the way, I don’t mean all men when I say this” every other sentence? No. It’s implied. If I said, for example, “It’s really obnoxious that dog owners keep letting their dogs off leash. There’s always dog shit in my yard.”, it would be clear to most reasonable people that I was talking specifically about dog owners who ACTUALLY DO THAT. Plenty of them don’t, and anyone with sense knows that, so if I said that, and a bunch of people were like, “Well, I have a dog and I don’t do that, and neither do any dog owners I know, so it must not happen.”, most reasonable people would also say that isn’t relevant. So knock it off with the whole Not All Men thing. Trust me. WE KNOW.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000917670730 Jake Ham

    #ifiwereagirl
    I wouldn’t make BS misandry filled comments.
    You can make choices about your body. Having a vagina doesn’t make you a special fucking snowflake.
    Feminism does not mean you can generalise men and post degrading hastagged comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000917670730 Jake Ham

    #ifiwereagirl
    I wouldn’t make BS misandry filled comments.
    You can make choices about your body. Having a vagina doesn’t make you a special fucking snowflake.
    Feminism does not mean you can generalise men and post degrading hashtagged comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7936846 Jonathan McBride

    The first image is false. Little boys are circumcised before they’re too old to talk, much less consent or make a choice. Plus, both genders are (generally) required to get immunizations before attending public school.

    And most of the other ones are just kinda weird. Are you saying that you DO currently assume that buying a drink means taking someone home, or that you DO presently post degrading memes on the internet, but that if you were a boy, you wouldn’t? I thought the point of the exercise was to point out inequalities – things you can’t presently do (or that are at least frowned upon) because of your sex or gender. Not just point out things you wish men would do.

    Additionally, ‘boy’ is a derogatory term. Let’s try and elevate the of discourse here.

    To be clear, I understand and appreciate what you’re trying to do here, and I absolutely am a feminist and stand for sex and gender equality. But if you’re gonna make a bold, public, controversial statement to get a reaction, it’s gonna be subject to scrutiny, even by your allies. This was a cool idea, but poorly executed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7936846 Jonathan McBride

      *level of discourse

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506841985 Sarah Jane

    ‘If I Were a Boy’ is actually an awesome song by BC Jean. She deserves the credit, not Beyoncé.
    http://youtu.be/KSBhtSRDIMw

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006983675260 Ian Watson

    Is that irony

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729251779 Natasha Venzke

    My boyfriend’s doctor told him he’s to young to make that kind of choice when he wanted to get a vasectomy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000371816565 Lucas Kennerley

    Getting really tired of your shit tumblr “feminists”. Enough playing the victim, grow the fuck up and deal with actual female discrimination and oppression not this petty, individualistic bullshit. You’d be amazed at how many people support your cause if you actually dealt with it. The first one would be legitimate if I knew what she was referring to, the next one is incredibly petty and only refers to a minority of men, the one after may be legitimate depending on the context of the posts (good natured banter doesn’t count) the last three are unspecific, one sided bollocks that to even regard in the same breath as feminism is frankly laughable. Come on Tumblr “feminists” there really are actual causes out there that desperately need your attention not whether a guy wants to have a conversation with you or not. Jeez!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1317270200 Robert Sanction

    #ifyouwereaboy you’d man the hell up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000695290756 Kristin Nichole

    Wow, how sad. Quit blaming your gender, ladies, and take life by the horns. Stop playing the victim card. It’s old, tired, and makes the rest of us vomit in our mouth a little. If you are with a “boy” that doesn’t make you happy or appreciate you, trade him for a man.

    And NO ONE keeps you from making choices about your bodies. You are allowed to do whatever you want. BUT, when your actions bring another innocent child into the mix it’s not just about your body anymore. It’s your body and your child’s body. Quit trying to kill your child – that’s not feminist. Murder is the opposite of femininity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=852779629 Dalia Kochnev

    Somehow all these problems addressed in the example hashtags are coming from a predefined position of weakness. I can’t even pinpoint it – but it reeks of “I’m a delicate flower and “boys” should be making an effort for me”.

    It’s not exactly feminism, this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1369754926 Steve Docherty

    If you were a boy, you’d go through the same social upbringing that teaches boys to treat women a certain way, and you’d be filled with testosterone that would make you feel a certain way towards the female appearance. All normal enough. Just educate instead of denigrate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30501218 Emanuel Elmo

    You ladies must be out of your minds.

    The first one is the best:
    #if I were a boy I’d be able to make choices about my own body.

    You must be a new kind of stupid. The only time body image does not matter to a man is when he is a billionaire. Beside that, men live by the same social standards that women do when it comes to body image.

    Even us men, if we want to attract a women and get her in bed, it is not our personality that shines but our presentation which is our own bodies. So this is just BS.

    The Second one is also such garbage. What you are promoting is that women just want free crap. Damn straight I am going to assume I am coming home with you. I am now a broken ATM machine just to be shelling out money to every pretty face I see. I guess you would also want a free dinner without me expecting anything in return. Tell you want, why don’t women buy guys drinks and dinner? Oh wait, cause they would be spending money and that is no good.
    Tell you what, if you don’t want a guy to assume anything while he is out with you, either become a lesbian, do out with your best gay guy friend, or go you with your brother or a best guy friend you consider your brother. STOP being such hypocrites and grow up because guys pushing for sex is what make the human population continue to grow.

    #3, If you want guys to do that, you women need to stop being the but of all jokes acting all slutty, and dressing all provocative. EX, couple of weeks a go a women decided to do a live strip-tease in-front of cops so she would not get her call towed. That was not only disgusting but that shows how little you women have progressed.

    #4 you women want to have a conversation look in your friend zone. You can have plenty of conversation there. Cause I bet, all the guys you have in your friend zone all want to only have a conversation with you. So just stop this non-sense of, we just want to have a conversation. If you women just wanted to have a conversation stop going for the ass-holes and the bad boys. When the last time they wanted a conversation. The hypocrisy continues……

    #5. I can get behind this. Us men need to be a little bit more understand of this. Women do need to express themselves and we just need to listen.

    #6 The hell is wrong with this one. Seriously, never tell a women to smile.

    how about these for guys:

    #If I were a girl, I would not go out with a guy because of his money.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710356639 Kevin Dennison

      Slut shaming, check.
      Victim blaming, check.
      Extreme denigration toward females, check.
      Creepy belief that you are entitled to sex with a female because you chose to buy her a drink, check.

      Seriously man… just awful. Every now and then I too get a little defensive about trends like this, but then I get to the comment sections and read something like what you spewed out and it reminds of why these things are needed and how much people like you set men back. It’s not the 50s, its 2014.

      And don’t even get me started on this: “STOP being such hypocrites and grow up because guys pushing for sex is what make the human population continue to grow.”

      Yeah…. real classy there. Let’s just go ahead and promote sexual harassment, assault and rape, you know, for the growth of humanity and stuff.

      Terrible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1629880826 Shane Mabrey

    This is not feminism, this is not equality, this is another girls are better than boys and here’s why campaign. Instead of realizing that their is a problem with SOCIETY these women just want to play the blame game and say it’s all your fault men. Guess what?? Some of these men you hate probably had mothers. Mothers also do most child rearing. Women are just as much to blame for the state of affairs as men only #ifyouwereaboy someone would tell you to stop whining like a little sissy bitch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1558007634 Ricardo Mourão Motta

    This is such an AMAZING amount of bullshit that I can’t even take it seriously. Let’s see here:

    #1 – There IS pressure by the media to follow beauty standards. If you’re remotely interested in fashion then you are following those standards WILLINGLY. You’re free to do as you will with your body, so stop implying that you’re not and live up to your responsibility as an adult! Men are just as affected by beauty standards as women, albeit in different ways.

    #2 – Buying someone a drink is a universal sign. It doesn’t imply ANYTHING other than one person finding the other attractive and trying to gain the other’s attention. Whether that results in a date/hook-up/whatever depends on how both people get along. Also, it works the other way around too. Most men appreciate the gesture just as much. Vilifying something like this is ridiculous.

    #3 – What, like what this whole “#ifIwereabuy” campaign is doing towards men? Last I’ve checked, feminism works in FAVOR of gender equality and NOT for male bashing and pretend fact-checking… By all means, keep it up if you mean to offend most anyone who doesn’t partake in your ignorant tunnel vision.

    #4 – And i do. And a lot of people do. This just makes it look like guys are total sociopaths who can’t articulate a sentence without having their penises involved. Just grow up and try speaking to an adult for a change, you might be surprised.

    #5 – Well adjusted people are accepting of other’s emotions. And how funny is it that a girl complains about such a thing when men are still generally looked upon as weaker or whiny or unbalanced when they let their feelings show? If anything, if you were a guy, you’d actually expect women to take your own feelings seriously, because the other way around is already a given.

    #6 – Unless you’re talking about selfies or just having your picture taken I don’t even know what you’re talking about… So yeah… I guess you mean that you’re expected to look your best at all times regardless of situation, which is a complete lie and only serves to show how self-centered and self-entitled some people are.

    Again, what a load of crap. This helps no-one at all and serves no actual purpose than saying “boo-hoo, we’re women and look how mistreated we are for it”. Stop victimizing yourselves and others around you and grow up!

    Sincerely,

    Someone with a brain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000337865664 Amanda Matson-Kesti

    #ifiwereaboy I would have my penis mutilated, so that women would find it attractive and pretty. #girlsareprotectedwhynotboys #boysdeservebetter #wholenetwork

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1151892244 Lee Kiddell

    #ifiwereawoman I wouldn’t purposefully degrade men by calling them “boys”.

    #ifiwereawoman I wouldn’t use “feminism” as an excuse to made ludicrous accusations about men.

    #ifiwereawoman I wouldn’t try and put down a man’s masculinity by implying he had feminine qualities.

    #ifiwereawoman I would stop aggressively belittling other women about their appearance and/or body shape and then claim it’s only men that actually do that.

    #ifiwereawoman I wouldn’t tell a man to “man up” or “stop being a pussy”.

    #ifiwereawoman I would understand that men and women have their differences physically, emotionally and mentally and that’s ok.

    #ifiwereawoman I wouldn’t expect anyone to have to buy me anything (drinks, a meal, gifts etc.) to make me like them or give them any attention.

    #ifiwereawoman I would appreciate a man’s ability to express his emotions, when given a chance.

    #ifiwereawoman I would look around and see that there are actually women in high positions in business and industry and just because there aren’t as many this doesn’t mean there are none.

    #ifiwereawoman I’d see that men can love someone just as much as a woman can at an emotional, as well as a physical, level.

    #ifiwereawoman I wouldn’t resort to using the fact that I am a woman to claim that I have so many more struggles in life than men, when things get difficult.

    #ifiwereawoman I would stop using tired, old, largely incorrect male stereotypes to make myself look like a victim.

    #ifiwereawoman I would understand that gender equality is not achieved by solely focusing on one gender.

    #ifiwereawoman I would understand that these responses are pretty exaggerated to show how stupid it is to generalise an entire gender.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3613140 Melissa Kane

      Right on Lee. So true. As a woman, I’m really getting sick of these “feminist” hashtags … they are so one-sided, over-generalizing and demeaning to men. And some of them are just downright LAME – seriously – “Smile” that’s what pisses you off throughout the day… a guy telling you to “smile”?! There is such a double standard here. There are other, more educational and creative ways for women to have their voices heard and fight for more men to treat women with respect. But this is just silly and counter-productive.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=68119123 Danielle Englund

        I completely agree! These feminist hashtag campaigns do nothing but make ALL women look like lunatics who take offense to every little thing. Men and women are different, but one is not better than the other. How about we just accept each other and treat each other with respect?

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