#WrittenByMen: The TikTok hashtag that’s so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh
23rd Aug 2021
Men, they’re at it again.
People have continually turned their noses up at TikTok, and while it definitely has its downsides, it also has many positives too. It’s a great place to stay up to date with the latest fashion, beauty and makeup trends, for one. It’s a constant source of useful life hacks, like how to do your own at-home French manicure, for another.
People on the app can also be really funny too. Like really, really funny. Of course, there are all the hilarious dog videos that make up the brunt of our group chat conversations but if you want a proper belly laugh, I advise looking up the “written by men” hashtag. Comedy gold.
A hashtag that pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin, TikTokers have been using it to poke fun at the male gaze and how male writers tend to portray women. For example, say you’re a woman exercising alone in your room. Naturally, to a straight, cisgender man, this is synonymous with you wearing little to no clothing and you engaging in a highly sensual dance with whatever exercise machine happens to be in the vicinity.
Maybe you innocently cut your finger while peeling a mango. This equates to big doe eyes, pursed lips and you morphing into a vampire who decides sucking the blood from the wound is better than, I don’t know… maybe getting a plaster?
In another scenario, you’re on your hands and knees cleaning the floors. All while wearing a pristine white dress that shows off your cleavage. Men aren’t familiar with mops, it seems.
You get the idea. Soundtracked by a line from Portishead’s Glory Box, each video begins with the line “For I’ve been a temptress too long”… and each video is more ridiculous than the next. Showing just how laughable and off-the-mark most depictions of women are, the hashtag also highlights how these absurd beliefs have even seeped over into mainstream TV shows and movies.
You could probably use just about any film or series as a reference, but the below clip from Skins does a pretty good job in proving said point.
However, while the videos are definitely funny on the surface, they do point to a wider issue. Female characters written through the male gaze are usually one-dimensional beings, with undue attention often being paid to their physical attributes and descriptions. Male characters, on the other hand, are always multi-faceted. They get a well-developed story that goes beyond just what they look like and how they serve other men.
Admittedly not a new topic of conversation, it’s one that has been broached many a time before, so while TikTok can’t be credited with discovering the problem per se, it has certainly facilitated more open discussions on the matter… which can only be a good thing, right?
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