Alexandra Tweten created the Bye Felipe Instagram account three weeks ago so that she could compile harassing and hostile messages men send women online after being rejected or ignored. Bye Felipe is clearly a play on the dismissive phrase, “Bye Felicia,” made popular by Ice Cube and Chris Tucker in the movie “Friday.”
What the screenshots display are disturbing and violent reactions to men “not getting the time of day” from the objects of their adoration. It was this hilarious, but alarming screenshot that sparked the Instagram account @ByeFelipe. Tweten compared it to a hostile message she received on OKCupid and knew that there was a bigger message here: no matter what a woman does online, if a man feels rejected, he will retaliate with hateful words.
Maybe in the minds of these men, they think we’re supposed to feel privileged that they have given us any attention because we’re on dating sites or social media, looking for the attention in the first place. According to Tweten:
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.
Seeing these disgusting messages altogether in one place is laughable, but still, there’s an issue here that similar to the issues that the Hollaback cat calling video drummed up. Women are expected to be gracious when approached and if we’re anything less than that, we’re chastised or worse, killed.
There’s a Tumblr called “When Women Refuse” and it’s a lot of horrifying reads about women suffering through domestic violence all after refusing a man’s advances. We’ve heard about tragic cases like Mary “Unique” Spears who was shot and killed because she wouldn’t give out her phone number. She’s not the first nor the last woman to suffer at the hands of a man who can’t handle rejection. But it’s social media/viral efforts like this Tumblr and the Bye Felipe Instagram account that help give voice to victims. They create breeding ground for women to know they’re not alone and we can’t deny the conversations they spark.
Buzzfeed reached out to Tweten to give a forwarding message to the men she’s exposing:
“To men: Don’t take it personally if we aren’t interested. Realize that we get these types of mean messages, so don’t contribute to it. Don’t feel entitled to a woman just because she’s on a dating site. Just move on to the next one if she’s not interested. I want people to be nicer to each other. As a whole though, I wanted to expose the social atmosphere that breeds these types of messages from misogynistic men. It’s really a symptom of a larger problem.”
This is bigger than catcalling. Bigger than even disrespecting women. What we need is to all be better. Is that too much to ask? What do you think about the #ByeFelipe Instagram account?
Celebs Who Have Survived Domestic Violence: