This Is What Happens When Women Actually Accept A Compliment From A Man Online
"Social experiment: Whenever a boy compliments you, agree with him."
Gweneth Bateman had a problem that many girls and women experience online. If a boy messaged her with a compliment – on Twitter, Tinder, or elsewhere – and she didn't reply, they'd criticise her for not replying.
The 18-year-old said most of the boys who criticised her felt they were owed a response and that she should be grateful for the compliment.
"If a guy messages me I usually don't reply because most of the time they are complete strangers to me," she told BuzzFeed News. "When they don't get a reply out of me it usually ends up with them calling me 'rude' or a 'bitch'.
So she decided to run an experiment she'd seen on Tumblr: If a boy messaged her with a compliment, she would reply with a warmer, nicer answer, agreeing with and accepting the comment.
Here were some of the examples that herself and other women (who shared their images on Tumblr) received when they started accepting their compliments:
"As predicted the response is still the same: hateful," the West Midlands student said.
A Tumblr user, Claire Boniface, shared her original idea for the project and some of these snaps on Tumblr. Her post has since had over 250,000 notes.
"I've received an incredible amount of both support and negative responses for this, from insults to people telling me they hope I get cancer," she told BuzzFeed.
Bateman said the responses that she and other women had received perfectly showed how uncomfortable boys are "when women own their own awesomeness".
"The response to the tweet has been mostly negative," she said. "I think this is because when faced with information that they dislike, people feel the need to lash out.
On Tumblr, 22-year-old student Katie Smith added: "For many men, beauty, coolness, [and] desirability are gifts they alone can bestow upon women. They get baffled, even aggressive when you show you've known you possess those things all along."
Bateman added that she felt it was crazy that the acceptance of a compliment led people to believe that someone was vain.
"It just seems a little crazy to me how people believe is perfectly OK for women to doubt a compliment they receive, [but] when they actually believe the compliment they receive, they get shamed and branded as 'vain' or 'conceited'."