The anti-feminist drifts of TikTok, where women destroy other women

The anti-feminist drifts of TikTok, where women destroy other women

From tradwife to girlboss, on the social network there are more and more women who confine the female gender in stereotypes, here are some hashtags related to the phenomenon.

It catalogs everything, even women. And on a social network, like TikTok, who works on hashtags, this phenomenon is amplified. On the platform there are women fighting to assert their rights, but there is also something else, or rather, others. Women who video after video they destroy feminism. Consciously or not. From tradwife to girlboss, the common denominator is the desperate search for identity that leads to dangerous, flat, spooky stereotypes. They are women who tell other women how to be a woman. And feminism suffers.


Under their video there is usually also the hashtag #submissivewomen, #submissivewifes e #antifeminist. Brush up pin-ups that have been transported since the 1950s to modern and well-equipped kitchens. They clean the dishes in slow motion, cook their husbands’ favorite dishes, show shiny appliances with Doris Day singing “It’s a lovely Day today” underneath. Women cannot do everything, they say, “it is therefore right, natural, to give up financial independence and devote oneself to housework.” They exalt submission, dedication. They replace “feminism” with “femininity,” they write. This is the basic matrix. As Petite suggests, “husbands always have to come first to have a happy marriage.” With a style entirely Cath Kidston, between pastel flowers and lipsticks that manically enclose very smiling lips in perfect shapes, suggest the return to the era of agricultural maternity.


A completely different scenario. The lipsticks are smudged, they only serve to smudge the lips. To mix with the mascara that encrusted the lashes from the night before. On TikTok, the Fleabag woman has become an icon. Very dangerous. Halfway between a femme fatale and a ‘heroin decadent, basks in black, synthetic pain. Often in videos, girls shoot themselves with dark makeup dissolved by tears. “Women are born with inherent pain,” they write. The name of the hashtag is inspired by the protagonist of the homonymous series. A young London woman who has a troubled life, with unstable sentimental and sexual situations. The Fleabag effect is based on dissociative feminism. Term coined by Emmeline Clein in 2019. A nihilistic attitude towards female progress. Women describe their desire to persist in harmful relationships, drastically change their appearance to feel beautiful, crawl over a deep dissatisfaction that empties them of value. Romanticizing suffering is a long Internet tradition, think back to the years of Tumblr. Troubled and broken women who analyze the bleak reality of contemporary femininity. And they cry, a lot.

Customizable avatars also arrive on TikTok


Caution. It’s a short circuit. Girls teasing other girls teasing other girls. It all starts with the pick me phenomenon (literally choose me). They are women who seek male approval by indirectly or directly implying that they are not like the others. In doing so, they denigrate the female gender through behavior misogynists. To understand this, the pick me girl is the one who says: “I only have male friends because other women are jealous and superficial”, or “I never wear makeup, I eat a double cheeseburger, not a salad like everyone else”. Then the fashion changes. Better, it reverses. That targeted is the pick me girl. In the videos on TikTok the girls imitate and tease the pick me. In the end, playing on irony, however, they carry out a specular behavior. They pose as “those without filters“, superior. In doing so they create a stereotype about how to be “real” girls. In short, like the pick me, they are women who criticize other women.


A phenomenon that can be risky and despite good intentions at the start has many weaknesses. A girlboss is a successful career woman, an entrepreneur who stands out in a male setting or who occupies a leadership position. The term is often used as a hashtag on TikTok. The women are put on stage with photos and videos where they show themselves in strong poses and elegant dresses, playing on the mix of femininity and dominance. They recover at work, with huge cups of coffee at six in the morning. Feminists have pointed out that women at the top of the corporate world do not actually solve the great structural problems of patriarchy. On the contrary, they strengthen the system by becoming the anomaly that climbed the wall of success and conquered power, all by itself. It is the drift of a corporate feminism where the woman does not win the rules of capitalism but is inserted in them with an individualistic trend. A sort of #girlboss aesthetic is created on TikTok that says, if you want to be successful you have to be that way. Ultimately it is another branding of feminism.

All labels branded with hashtags, which crush the female gender into predetermined categories. It is a very old story, there has always been someone who says how to be a woman. From the clothes she wears to the role she occupies in society. Make-up, nutrition, profession. In order not to corrupt a very tiring path towards emancipation, perhaps women should be the first to stop doing it.

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