Hashtag Nation#IfIWereABoy: The Latest Rad Feminist Hashtag CampaignRachel Grate

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:







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=811755463 Izzy Quu

    I support this campaign. While some of the messages are a bit inaccurate about the privileges “boys” have, they’re very true about how much pressure male assholes out there exert on women to keep them under the glass ceiling.

    Calling them out on their “date game”, among lots of other tactics they employ with their good looks and drinking/party invitations, should help suffocate these creeps and their bar life the way they suffocated our straight, drunk/harassment/flirt/catcall-free life (that they so easily call boring. It’s 2014, kid. Get a job. The economy has no room for your roided, useless brain).

    If I were to start a similar campaign, it would be #IamaMan. #IamaMan so I don’t get girls drunk. So I don’t do hookups. So I stay a friend even if it didn’t work out with you. So I don’t wait for thanks. So I be honest with you right off the bat. So I watch out for myself. So I accept your generosity too. So I respect your independance. So I don’t put other men down. So I don’t believe in the friendzone. So I hope you can understand me. So I will try to understand you.

    Just a thought.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537608606 Stephen Willybean

    You have the choice to do what you want with your body. Just because adverts decide to project a certain body image for women doesn’t mean you have to follow it, if people don’t like what you do with your body then that is just their opinion. I’ve met just as many shallow women as I have men. I can sympathise with not wanting to be told to smile all the time but the bit about degrading memes is false, true equality means you can either make fun of everyone or nobody not just certain groups. Oh and in terms of expressing emotions, guys have it far worse. We’re idealised to be strong and soldier-like otherwise we get called ‘pussies’. At the end of the day all these gender specific idealisations are the influence of Christian and Islamic beliefs. During pagan times a woman could be/do anything a guy could. The world is slowly coming to, evident from the large number of male feminists. So maybe it’s about time we started saying we are Equalitists? Women have it much better in western countries now than they ever did. Don’t let a few arrogant people get you down, it’s not worth giving a damn about them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=811755463 Izzy Quu

      It’s not easy to ignore opinions that body-shame. After all, social exclusion is built on the collective opinion people have of you.

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

      The “what you want to do with your body” is less (if at all) about looks, and more about people (mostly men, but yes, some women, too, so don’t try to derail with that) trying to legislate what women are allowed to do with their own bodies.
      And there is a difference between “degrading” and “making fun of”. I rarely, if ever, see memes degrading men AS A GENDER. Sure, there are memes that make fun of specific men, or male stereotypes. But there are plenty of memes that degrade women AS A GENDER, that degrade specific women, that degrade female stereotypes, and it is not comparable to “making fun.” One is done out of cruelty, contempt, and feelings of superiority. The other is done in jest, teasing among equals.
      And the argument that women have it better than any other time in history is such a fallacy. So just because it could be worse means we shouldn’t try to make it better?
      It’s easy to not give a damn about a few arrogant people. It’s harder to just not care about people’s opinions when those opinions directly affect your ability make your own decisions and live life on equal footing with the rest of your peers.
      tl;dr? Empathy, get some.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1182583388 Evan Roman

    Because I was a boy, someone mutilated my genitals.

    These responses use the same “IfIWereABoy” scenario that Elite Daily used, but acknowledge the practice of genital mutilation in the United States.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005362235479 Albburon H. Mulliqi

    This is really retarded.

    1.These girls look like they are living in a western country, and in the west, girls have the right to make choices about their body. They can have sex with who they want (if the parter in legal), they can have abortions, they can dress how ever they want. They can be fat and skinny. No one is stoping them to do any of those things. However, boys get circumcised without their approval. And, if a girl decides to have an abortion, the man can not do anything about it if he wants to keep it or if she decides to keep the baby and he does not want that, she can have the baby and put him in jail for not giving money to her (even if that was only her decision).

    2.A lot of people that i know (boys and girls) go to clubs to meet people (maybe have sex with them), so a boy can not read your mind to know why are you at the club, maybe you are there for the music or maybe you are looking for someone to have sex with. And if you don`t want a drink, you can just say “NO”, you don`t have to come here and play the victim.

    3.They make stupid memes about everything, so why are you offended only about the ones for females? I thought “feminism” was for “equal rights”. Hypocrisy.

    4.I know a lot of boys that love to talk, and i know girls that don`t want to talk and have deep conversations. So where is your point here? And if someone does not want to have a conversation, why is that a bad thing?

    5.Why should i appreciate a girls ability to express her emotions? What so amazing about that, that i need to appreciate it? I know a lot of boys that cant control their emotions (myself included, sometimes), and i feel like that is not a good thing. Why can`t girls learn how to control their emotions?

    6.And this one…. WHAT? Don`t tell a girl to smile? So, if a man sees a girl that is sad, he should go and make her feel worse?

    And you really wonder why people make fun of feminism?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6509393 Laura Simpson

    I love it when the comments only help make the authors point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008299023526 Paulina Montemayor

    Is it wrong to tell us to smile? I’m not sure if this campaing is “okay”.. I’m a woman and i find it overeacted. I think the solution is not about equally, it’s about love. If we learn to trully love each other we don’t need to claim for equally because we will be being fair and justice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000281773622 David Price

    Hey I do number 6 with everyone boy or girl

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1345396785 Terri Williamson Ru Lon

    Not to make light of all of this, but #ifiwereaboy I’d get a sex change. So many beautiful reasons to be thrilled about being a girl

  • 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?

  • 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=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!


    Someone with a brain.

  • 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=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.


  • 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=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=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=1317270200 Robert Sanction

    #ifyouwereaboy you’d man the hell up.

  • 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=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=100006983675260 Ian Watson

    Is that irony

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