On September 20, 2014 actress and U.N. Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson gave a speech that officially kicked off the movement “He For She,” which aimed at encouraging one half of all people in the world to non-reciprocally support and advocate for the other half. The campaign calls on men and boys to “take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls” but says nothing at all about problems affecting men and boys. While celebrities took to Twitter to profess their unequivocal support to the cause, for a few days at least, the counter campaigns #WeForWe and #SheForHe appeared, encouraging the pursual of equality through equal attention and support, versus a gendered approach.
And for a little while, that was the debate – whether it was better for women’s issues should take the forefront of equality discussions, or if an un-gendered cooperative approach to equality would better assist the attempt to do away with perceived gender roles.
And then yesterday happened.
In a move that has shocked virtually no one, radical internet feminist idealogues have launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging men to simply give their money to women.
On Twitter yesterday, I noticed the use of the hashtag #GiveYourMoneyToWomen. I originally assumed this was a push to help female owned businesses and out of curiosity decided to check it out. What I found was women requesting money for makeup, shoes, and fuzzy blankets. Women demanding money “if you have ever smiled at a woman without her consent.” Women demanding money for being attractive. “You think it’s cheap being this cute? You look, you pay. #GiveYourMoneyToWomen” with an attached selfie image. Within two days, the hashtag has garnered more than 16,000 interactions.
My favorite of all the tweets I sifted through was: “The opposition to #GiveYourMoneyToWomen from men just proves how they don’t get what a chore is for women to exist online or…anywhere.”
What a chore it is to exist online. This young woman actually thinks women should be given free money because tweeting is hard work.
After I met my quota for internet rage quits, I thankfully discovered many women were actually fighting back against the campaign by saying they’re capable of earning their own money. This… this I had to get in on. I posted the following tweet in response:
#GiveYourMoneyToWomen You know, because women are too worthless to go out and work and earn money. Fml with these people.
— Liz O'GingerMcIrish (@lizzyf620) May 30, 2015
In response to my statement, I was repeatedly called a racist, and was informed that the hashtag was started as a way to raise money for homeless women of color. This was a revelation that thrilled me. Perhaps I could draw attention to what this campaign was intended to be, yet was so clearly stolen by greedy people. I could help make a difference. My god, was I an idiot. When I searched the first use of the hashtag this morning, I was left disappointed. The first three uses of the tag were on May 29 by the same user and, in order of posting, are as follows:
Ladies, post your PayPals. It’s Friday & I’m sure men have #FF you because they’ve “learned so much”. #GiveYourMoneyToWomen”
It’s time for them to compensate your intellectual and emotional labor. #GiveYourMoneyToWomen”
We deserve our wife, girlfriend, woman existing in this world bonuses aka rightful compensation.#GiveYourMoneyToWomen”
Woman existing in this world bonuses? I deserve a bonus for breathing while female? That’s my “rightful compensation?” That sort of mindset doesn’t exactly scream, “I am an individual empowered woman, capable of existing on my own. I don’t need a man take care of me, I can do it myself!”
In addition to being inexplicably accused of racism, my tweet was also labeled as “ableist.” Because apparently, being a woman is a disability – according to one self-identified feminist at least.
The mission statement from the movement’s Tumblr account reads “#GiveYourMoney is a global movement. We are unifying women to a cause that slices to the heart of women’s issues: access to capital and resources. This is a global movement to be compensated for our years and lifetimes of unpaid emotional, physical, sexual, and intellectual labor. You treat us like resources and then get mad when we realize how to turn that back on you. Monetizing the male gaze.”
Never before have I felt more cheap, more interchangeable, more needy than when other women decided I, and others like me, deserved unearned money just for existing-while-female. That I deserved unearned money based on nothing more than birth happenstance. I shouldn’t do for myself – I should have someone do for me! By someone, of course, that means a man. Because other women are equally as incapable of doing for themselves as I so clearly am. Why have I been working all this time? I could have just heeded this woman’s advice and posted my PayPal. You silly men-folk are nothing more than walking dollar bills. Bottomless wallet pits.
The first user of the hashtag complained later that she had not yet received any compensation.
You didn't transfer capital or be the "defender/protector" you claim you are either. Please incinerate also.
— Lauren Chief Elk (@ChiefElk) May 31, 2015
You mean random internet men didn’t give her free money for being someone else’s girlfriend before? How it the world is that possible? Clearly the only explanation is sexism, right? Must be sexism.
Obviously, this push isn’t as noble as the participants would like it to appear, if they have to hide behind lies of assisting homeless racial minorities in order to keep it free from criticism. The #GiveYourMoneyToWomen campaign not only reinforced “gender stereotypes,” it has also effectively taken gender roles back to the early 1900s. Way to go, girls. You smash that patriarchy.
Liz Finnegan is a soulless ginger with no political leanings. Pun enthusiast. Self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Person.” Retro gaming contributor for The Escapist.
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