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News platform NowThis used a Snapchat filter on Tuesday to transform the gender of presidential portraits in the most stereotypical way possible, apparently an attempt to imagine the crazy idea of America having women presidents. Critics on Twitter are roasting the initiative as everything from tone-deaf to downright cursed.
These Snapchat filters are giving Americans the women presidents they’ve never had pic.twitter.com/XIgQwX5Tfe— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 28, 2019
For context, a recent slew of stringent anti-abortion legislation has many feminists on edge, wary that Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale may not be fiction for much longer. So, it’s understandable that women may not be in the best mood for cutesy “Girl power!” publicity stunts. It looks like Snapchat couldn’t read the room, though.
It also probably doesn’t help that NowThis shared the filters on Twitter Tuesday with the caption, “Thanks to a Snapchat filter, we can have women presidents.” As if that wasn’t something already absolutely possible and vehemently campaigned for.
Or, and stay with me here, we could elect a fucking woman.— The Sassiest Semite (@LittleMissLizz) May 28, 2019
can yall just elect one instead https://t.co/RXO82bjfyM— urethra franklin (nsfr) (@gillykaron) May 28, 2019
Could we please just fucking vote for a woman this time instead? https://t.co/PHmffSOw1P— Cristian Ramirez (@FanboyCristian) May 28, 2019
The icing on the cake, though, may be the incredibly white names NowThis gave these newly gender-bent presidents. Barbara Obama, Donna Trump, Tammy Jefferson—it’s like America’s chief of staff is two seconds away from demanding to speak to a manager.
Several users also critiqued how these filters claim to change presidents into women via an extremely stereotypical definition of what women look like.
“This is ‘what would happen if U.S. presidents had no facial hair, narrower jawlines, fewer wrinkles, and all knew how to do a perfect smokey eye on their weirdly enlarged eyes.’ The idea of what women look like it presents is stiflingly narrow in looks and presentation,” wrote Twitter user @NeolithicSheep.
wait so is this what we're settling for https://t.co/SrFSH1HdlQ— Chelsea Cirruzzo (@ChelseaCirruzzo) May 28, 2019
Progressives think gender is a costume. https://t.co/v1zLIENJ1Q— David Marcus (@BlueBoxDave) May 28, 2019
Most users shared the same simple, resounding message: This ain’t it.
Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.