If things said to female writers were clickbait headlines

"I'm taking these dudes' hurtful, irritating or just plain stupid comments, emails and tweets, and turning them into ...

"I'm taking these dudes' hurtful, irritating or just plain stupid comments, emails and tweets, and turning them into something beautiful," writes Clem Bastow.

There are two things on the internet that make me descend into an apoplectic fury without fail: witless responses to feminist commentary, and clickbait headlines. (I mean, there's also one really irritating dog video, but for the sake of argument and clarity let's keep it to the two aforementioned.)

In the case of the former, if you call yourself a feminist or write something ostensibly feminist, you can set your watch by the reliability with which a Twitter 'egg' or a guy with a Lars Von Trier-related username will let you know exactly a) what he thinks and b) why you're wrong.

The types of men who comment on feminist articles are varied but united in their general hatefulness; indeed, a study of Halo 3 players this year found that the male players who sent abusive messages to female players were, more often than not, terrible at the game (quite literally losers, as the internet was quick to note).

It's such a widespread and depressingly common occurrence that in 2013, an 'internet law', Anita's Irony, was stated: "Online discussion of sexism or misogyny quickly results in disproportionate displays of sexism and misogyny."


The second of my two most-irritating internet things needs no introduction if you have the great pleasure of being Facebook friends with any elderly relatives or former schoolmates who are fond of sharing Upworthy or Distractify 'content' with a spray of emoticons and exclamation marks. 

Fortunately, Reductress - '7 Shoes That Will Look Amazing Sitting in Your Amazon Cart Before Getting Deleted' - and The Onion's Clickhole - 'Lucky To Be Alive: Harrison Ford Is In The Hospital After Kissing A Lady That Turned Out To Be A Stack Of Dynamite In A Dress' - have given us all a reason to celebrate the surreal humour inherent in the idiocy of clickbait.

(Though, let's be honest, even the sharpest satirist would find it hard to top currently-circulating gems like: 'These Heroic Rodents Are Showing The World Why We Need To Rethink How We Feel About Rats' and 'What Do Portobello Mushrooms Have To Do With Better Batteries? Everything.')

So, inspired in part by Bookriot's diverting list of classic novels retitled as clickbait (can't wait for Jane Austen's 6 Marriage Proposals That Will Blow Your Mind!), I decided to rework some of the most 'memorable' responses my feminist-adjacent cultural criticism has received into clickbait.

Think of it in the same vein as that browser plugin that turned pictures of Tony Abbott into adorable kittens; I'm taking these dudes' hurtful, irritating or just plain stupid comments, emails and tweets, and turning them into something beautiful.

After all, these dudes are operating on about the same level, intellectually, as an Upworthy headline generator, so it's a match made in heaven.

- 'She Used Facts And Figures To Illustrate The Sexism In Hollywood. His 3000-Word Email About That One Time He Made A Short Film Blew Her Argument Away.'

- '14 Great Egg Recipes That Celebrate The Anonymous Twitter Accounts That Called Me A Stupid Whore.'

- 'This Man's Story About The Second Cousin Of A Friend Of His From College Will Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Intimate Partner Violence.'

- 'Violence Against Women Statistics Are No Match For This Link To A Niche Men's Interest Blog That Features Animated GIFs Of Fire.'

- 'Her Feminist Article Discussed Men's Behaviour In Relationships. The Amateur Psychoanalysis Of The Author's Dating History By A Guy Who Has Never Met Her Will Blow Your Mind.'

- '25 Ways In Which These Women Were Definitely Asking For It.'

- 'This Guy Holding A Trout In His Profile Photo Needs Just 5 Minutes To Change Your Mind About Feminism.'

- 'You Won't Believe How This One OkCupid Message A Guy Received In April Of 2013 Proves That Feminism Is A Conspiracy.'

- 'She Used A Notebook To Review The Inbetweeners 2. He Revealed A Breathtaking Ignorance Of Film Criticism In Less Than 140 Characters.'

- 'This Man Who Had A Mean Gender Studies Lecturer At Uni Shuts Down Feminism In One Incredible Tweet.'

- 'Here's What Happens When A Dude With No Hobbies Is Given A Laptop And Wifi.'

- 'Feminism Has A Dirty Secret. This Guy Who Owns Two Copies Of The Boondock Saints Uncovers It.'

- 'When You Check Your Facebook 'Other' Inbox, It's Amazing What You'll Find.'

- 'Why Is A Woman Who Claims To Be Single So Determined To Ignore This Unsolicited D--k Pic?'

- '9 Out Of 10 Women Are Completely Wrong About This One Aspect Of Men's Entitlement.'

- 'She Deleted His Defamatory Comment On Her Facebook Page, So He Surprised Her With A Fifteen-Message Screed. What Happened Next Will Amaze You.'

- '8 Powerful Photos Of The Windowless Apartments Of Guys Who Referred Uncharitably To My Inability To Get A Date.'