The threats and harassment women receive online and off have been well-documented, but if you’re a woman on a dating site, harassment can often feel even more overwhelming. Some women have found creative ways to channel that frustration. Alexandra Tweten started an Instagram account to call clueless guys out.
Bye Felipe, a play on the popular Bye Felicia meme, is a collection of creepy/entitled/aggressive comments women have received from men on dating sites. The mission: “Calling out dudes who turn hostile when rejected or ignored.”
And, you know, dudes who think women these days just have too much darn freedom!
In a piece for Ms. Magazine, Tweten explained why she decided to curate this gallery of hostility, which will be depressingly familiar to many women who attempt online dating:
My main reasons for creating the account were: A) Commiserating with other women (you can’t be a woman online and not get creepy messages from men); B) Letting men know what it’s like to be a woman online (it’s not all cupcakes and rainbows!); and C) To expose the problematic entitlement some men feel they need to exert over women in general.
She also noticed a pattern once the submissions came rolling in:
Since creating Bye Felipe, it has become apparent that a standard trajectory of discourse with men online is this: Man hits on woman, woman rejects or ignores him, man lashes out with insults or even threats.
Tweten says the idea came after someone on Facebook posted this screenshot. She sympathized because she’d recently received a similar message from a man on OkCupid, and added that, “Comparing the two, one comes to the conclusion that women can’t win if they are not interested in certain men. Under their logic, we are supposed to entertain any man who is interested in conversation or a date just because we exist on a dating site.”
As dating sites have become another channel for men to abuse women, Tweten says the culture of entitlement has to change first. That’s a tall order, but in the meantime, women can at least call it out and take some of the power back. We can shut it down with a BYE.