Misogynistic comments and posts made on Instagram is a particular concern due to the growing number of individuals using the platform and the level of such comments being made. The large volumes of misogynistic comments and posts that occur on a daily basis has prompted a focus on the platform, in the efforts to stop and prevent further hate from being published.
Misogyny refers to the ‘dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women’. Misogynistic hate can involve slut shaming, sexual objectification and the promotion of violence against women – all of which will be highlighted through examples provided below.
Unfortunately, the following examples only demonstrate the tip of the iceberg of such misogynistic hate being published on this platform.
Accounts Set-Up for Sending Misogynistic Messages
Many Instagram accounts have been created to publish misogynistic messages to their followers, further promoting this type of hate.
Account: ‘anti-feminist boys’
The Instagram page ‘anti-feminist boys’ has 1,647 followers and promotes views which are misogynistic and anti-feminist. This is evidenced by the name of the page and the biography which demonstrates it was created to ‘troll cunts’.
The account is made up of 275 posts, all of which relate to anti-feministic views. The focus purely on these views provides a space for further comments and remarks to be made by others also sharing the same beliefs, therefore encouraging this type of hate to flourish and for this behavior to continue.
Since this Briefing was written, the account has now been removed
Rape and Feminism
This post highlights the extreme view some anti feminists hold and a view which is continuously laughed about – which relates to women classifying any unwanted men’s behaviour as rape. The account’s caption ‘comment below…make sure to like…share the post around’, also demonstrates the page’s purpose of encouraging and distributing anti-feminist views, which it has successfully achieved evidenced by the comments received on the post as well as the number of likes the post has received.
The above examples also highlight further posts aimed at the link between rape and feminism, using humour to portray a message similar to the first post provided. Rape jokes are widely used to portray misogynistic views and beliefs and should not be tolerated on social media platforms such as Instagram.
The account’s views are further exemplified in the above post which again uses humour to belittle women, portraying that women should remain in the kitchen – as was the case in the past. Sexist jokes such as these which draw upon female stereotypes, allow women to be disrespected as such disrespect is often masked with humour.
Account: ‘blk chauvinist’
The ‘blk chauvinist’ account is a further example of the lengths some users will go to in order to project their misogynistic views on others. This account continuously publishes memes which promote misogynistic hate, which is further evidenced through the name chosen for the account. Although this page has less followers than the account previously examined, it nevertheless demonstrates an example of the many various accounts created with the sole purpose of encouraging this kind of hate towards women.
Women’s Physical Appearance
The above post displays Lisa Simpson – a character on The Simpsons – who regularly asserts her feminist views throughout the television show. This meme has circulated the internet with a variety of messages being displayed behind her. However, in this instance, the screen has been altered to display a message which conveys the notion that only unattractive women possess feminist views, thereby objectifying women based on their physical appearance. The hashtags used on the post also demonstrate the account users’ views towards feminism, viewing it as cancer. This coupled with the acronym ‘MGTOW’ referring to ‘Men going their own way’ – a group also holding anti-feminist views, further displays the account’s misogynistic views.
The caption together with the tweet referring to ‘losing weight and being feminine’, implies that a woman’s ‘failures’ relate to the inability to look or act a certain way, which then drives them to hold feminist views as a result of this. However, this is not the case as the majority of women hold feminist views as they believe in equality between the sexes, not due to their own personal failures. Again note, the use of the hashtag ‘FeminismIsCancer’.
The account’s misogynistic views are further depicted in the above post, which refers to the stereotype of a female’s household roles which was particularly seen in the past. The misogynistic nature of the account is further illustrated by the hashtag ‘MenAreThePrize’.
Again, this image focuses on the stereotype of women acting and behaving a certain way in order to be respected and valued. Thereby, further exemplifying the accounts misogynistic views also highlighted through the hashtags included as earlier explained.
This post demonstrates the account providing a ‘reality check’ for women, justifying domestic violence, suggesting such violence is a result of women choosing not to respect men. This implies domestic violence victims have no one but themselves to blame for the pain inflicted upon them from their male partners, and to simply ‘deal with it’.
Comments by Users – High Profile Instagram Accounts
Instagram is not only occupied by accounts made to specifically publish misogynistic views, but is also occupied by individuals who choose to use their accounts to express their misogynistic views through comments made on various peoples posts. This is largely seen on posts made by high profile Instagram accounts, where such a post is often flooded with hateful comments.
With over 168 million followers on Instagram, reality TV personality Kim Kardashian receives hateful comments on a daily basis. The comment above demonstrates a hateful misogynistic comment. The user’s use of the phrase ‘ladies sit with their legs crossed’ draws upon the idea that women need to behave a certain way otherwise it is deemed as being unladylike or disrespectful, signifying elements of misogyny.
The above post further demonstrates a misogynistic comment as it is seen to sexually objectify women – in this case Emily Ratajkowski. Sexually objectifying women involves viewing women as objects, purely focusing upon their physical and sexual nature, demonstrating misogyny.
Former reality television star Abbie Chatfield has a large following of over 144,000 users on Instagram. She uses her platform to encourage women to accept themselves while also promoting discussion around feminism. A downfall of her account’s purpose is that it also invites many users who do not embrace feministic views. These users often instead value traditional views of women and the ways in which they should act and particularly how they should dress and present themselves to society. This is evident in a comment published on Abbie’s photo stating she must ‘keep something for [the] imagination’, implying an element of misogyny that a woman has to act or present themselves in a certain way to be valued.
Reporting and Removing Misogynistic Messages from Instagram
It is evident, Instagram is a platform where misogynistic views and behaviours are posted and seen by individuals every day, all around the world. This highlights the importance for such accounts and comments as described above, to be reported and ultimately removed by Instagram to prevent such messages from being published and remaining on this platform.
Researched & Written by: Lauren LC
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This article is part of our May 2020 campaign to Stop Online Misogyny. We are currently running a fundraiser to expand our June 2020 campaign to tackle online Antisemitism. The full plan for our campaigns in 2020 can be seen here.