Tuesday, August 1, 2017

FeMEME Fatales

    The Internet's definition of a "meme" is relatively simple: it is a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users. However, many of these satirical images do not do justice to the subjects they are representing, which in this case, is women. The 6 images above summarize the search results for "women in memes," and unfortunately hearken back to vintage, often sexist advertisements of the 20th century. 
   Many memes featuring women are bluntly sexual, refer to relationships, overreacting or domestic life, as shown in the collage above. These themes are stereotypical summaries of the daily life of a woman, as shown when an innocent image is paired with text attempting to portray a humorous message. The bottom right image is one of the few positive search results that I found out of approximately 300. Similarly, when a woman is shown in a professional or heroic position, such as the astronaut below, a critical or jarring comment against her success is made. 

Black Frame Fame

   Furthermore, many memes highlighting feminism are sarcastic and untrue, often portraying the woman as whiny and unattractive. Quotes such as "a man told me to have a good day. #Triggered" and "insulting men is okay. Insulting women is sexist" paint negative pictures on what feminism is based on, as well as how feminists look/act different than the rest of the population deemed more desirable. As a whole, the influx of negative memes about women may not stop due to society's idea of characterizing an innocent image with an apparently humorous message to relate to people's lives or the behaviors they observe around them. 

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