Online dating isn't as simple as it looks, #byefelipe exposes the dark underbelly of female-targetted aggression.

Liang Hwei  |  Singapore
Published 2014-11-10 14:00:43

Online dating apps were created to make dating life much easier. But any girl who’s ever been on a dating app would know all the evils that come with them. But between the disappointing conversations to the endless requests of “DTF”, nothing is worse than the aggressive, hostile guys who take out their frustrations on you.

To expose the aggression that women face from online dating apps, #byefelipe is the next solidarity group to hit Instagram. Created by Alexandra Tweton, a operations coordinator for Live Nation and a feminist, she explained her motivations in creating an instagram page that “compiles harassing and hostile messages men send to women after being rejected or ignored” in an article for Ms Magazine.

“Since creating Bye Felipe, it has become apparent that a standard trajectory of discourse with men online is this: Man hits on woman, woman rejects or ignores him, man lashes out with insults or even threats.”

A photo posted by Bye Felipe ???? (@byefelipe) on

A photo posted by Bye Felipe ???? (@byefelipe) on

The saddest one was probably when the guy you thought was a ‘nice guy’ turns out to be a complete jerk. 

Be A Better Human Being, Because The Internet Is Watching

As a woman, I will say this – men do have the tougher end of the stick when it comes to online dating. They’re the one who do most of the approaching, and with the many options, its almost like sending out tons of resumes to companies and getting rejection letter after rejection letter. Heck, some of them don’t even reply. And how many times have we wanted to lash back at those companies who have rejected us?

But as much as we want to ‘get even’ when rejected, it doesn’t make you a better human being. Heck, it even exposes bigger issues, like men portraying acts of aggression, while women have no choice to take the aggression, because does anyone see a way out of this? The scary thing is that with the short time I spent on dating apps, I never had a second thought about men swearing and insulting me on a daily basis. In fact, I took that as the norm, which is revealing and terrifying all at the same time.

“Censoring these messages may help in the short term, but the messages featured on Bye Felipe are like an immortalized version of the catcalls and threats women receive on the the street every day, just walking around and existing,” says Tweton. “Until we change the cultural atmosphere, women will continue to receive these hurtful messages online and in real life.”

With 233,411 followers on Instagram, #byefelipe is definitely trying to change the culture. But until real changes can be made, just know that online solidarity and vigilante groups are on the prowl on the internet. And even if you are sending a private message to one other person, you may not be so private as you think. I mean, just look at Jover Chew.

So stay on your best behaviour, kids. You wouldn’t want a screenshot of your latest incriminating message to come out on your nearest social network.

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