1. Bye Felipe is an Instagram account set up by Alexandra Tweten where women can share screenshots of abuse on dating platforms.
2. In a blog for Ms. Magazine, the creator explained she made the account “in order to compile harassing and hostile messages men send to women after being rejected or ignored”.
Bye Felipe began “three weeks ago” after a friend posted a screenshot of a hostile message she received on OkCupid to Facebook. Tweten had to laugh, because she has recently received a similar message. As she wrote on her blog:
Comparing the two, one comes to the conclusion that women can’t win if they are not interested in certain men. Under their logic, we are supposed to entertain any man who is interested in conversation or a date just because we exist on a dating site. Which is completely ridiculous.
So Tweten decided to compile women’s experiences of harassment on dating sites online. She started the account, she said, with the purposes of:
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.
She said that when asked what the solution to this sense of entitlement is, she struggles to answer, adding:
This is just a symptom of a larger problem. 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. Until we change the cultural atmosphere, women will continue to receive these hurtful messages online and in real life.
3. BuzzFeed News contacted the Tweten to ask her about the account.
Online dating is universally terrible for guys and women. Guys have to message lots of women to get maybe one response. Women get inundated with messages from guys who clearly did not read their profile. It leads to frustration. You can see the guys’ desperation in the messages that I post. However, that doesn’t mean that they have permission to make women feel bad.
She had one final message for men dating online:
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.