This article was published on August 5, 2019

Byte Me #6: Woke awards, breastfeeding on Twitch, and chickbait

Byte Me #6: Woke awards, breastfeeding on Twitch, and chickbait
Cara Curtis
Story by

Cara Curtis

Former TNW writer

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Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3

Each month, our gloriously talented designer, Saïna, illustrates a shitty comment or tweet we receive from one of TNW’s misogynistic readers. Here’s this month’s:

We know you don’t mean it as a compliment, Ari, but as a thank you for your insight, Saïna made this:

the bloody news

that’s what she said: Can feminists wear sexy clothes?

Because we’re all magical and unique snowflakes who don’t always agree on feminist issues — and subsequently feel like we’re “bad” women — we’re going to discuss something we found online in each newsletter.

For this month’s that’s what she said, we’re discussing whether or not feminists can wear “sexy clothing.” We’ve linked to our full discussion here, and included the TL;DR below…

Georgina: OK LADIEZ. Can feminists wear sexy clothes?

Anouk: That question reminds me of this Twitter tantrum:

Georgina: So, I really love that contemporary feminism allows women to dress sexy if they want to. It’s great! Sexy dresses are fun, and women should be able to wear what they want, especially when boys walk around with their man tits out all the time.

Cara: For sure, women should be able to dress any way they want, there’s barely a valid argument against it. But when women wear less clothing, it gives misogynists the ammunition they want. Sexuality is used against women, especially when it comes to physical appearance.

Georgina: Yeah, so that’s the male gaze discussion, which is very true. We can control how we present ourselves, but not how we’re looked at. What’s empowering to us can still be used against us.

Anouk: I agree, but I think other standards — like whether or not clothing is “professional” — makes it even murkier… Do you ever catch yourself judging other women for how they dress? I do.

Cara: I’m sure I do judge women, but I actively try to stop.

Anouk: So research subconsciously, there are effects on men and other women of us dressing in a revealing way. Should we care? Do we want to make that our problem?

Georgina: Well, we have to, because men still hold the powerful positions. They are still the majority of lawmakers and CEOs and managers. So regardless, what they think affects us at work and in life.

You can check out our full discussion here.

Feel free to comment on the document with your thoughts, or send us an email!

the best and the worst

In this section, we ask women much smarter than us about the best and worst piece of professional advice they’ve ever received. This month’s is from Professor Sue Black OBE, a computer scientist and activist who is responsible for saving Bletchley Park:

Credit: Sue Black

The best? “The best is that I should network. I think ‘networking,’ or as I think of it now ‘making new friends’ has been a game-changer for me. I absolutely hated it to start with, but with practice and confidence, I now love it. It’s enabled me to do so many things. People say ‘It’s not what you know it’s who you know’ but in my experience its what you know and who you know. If you want to make something happen, know lots of people that you like and get on with, that you can ask for advice, etc. is amazing.”

The worst? “Something like ‘why are you bothering with all this women’s stuff?'”

tweets of the month

word of the month: Chickbait

Next up in our new and improved Dicktionary (sorry):

Ugh, we really thought “chick” had left our lives and vocabularies around 2012, but last week, on Love Island — a brilliant reality show we both hate and love — contestant Jordan Hames told the other guys he wanted Anna Vakili to be his “chick.” (He dumped her two days later, by the way.)

It prompted us to discuss all the horrors associated with the word “chick” — the appalling “chick lit” (it’s like, uhm, a book about love and stuff), “chick flick” (it’s like, uhm, a movie about love and stuff and also, uhm, Hugh Grant is there), and the lesser-known “chickbait.”

According to Urban Dictionary, “chickbaiting” happens when a woman is leading you on “by making it seem like she’s hot online but seriously ugly in real life.”

First of all, there’s already a word for that, it’s called catfishing. Second of all, let’s not pretend this phenomenon is somehow gender-specific.

Luckily, we found another, more wholesome interpretation of the word. The website carries what seems to be fish-bait inspired earrings — meant for “outdoor girls” cos normal girls are allergic to nature — and they’re amazing.

Credit: ChickBait

They make us want to take up fishing and wear padded vests with lots of pockets. Let’s ignore all the other sexist definitions of the word, and stick with fishy earrings instead.

How to use it in a sentence:

  1. “I got Angela a pair of chickbaits for her rafting gala in Ketchikan.”
  2. “Ow! My chickbaits got caught on your bra strap as you were throwing it into the bonfire.”
  3. “Wow, nice chickbaits. You must be a very intelligent and highly capable woman who just so happens to be stylish, too.”

What do you think of Byte Me? Love it? Tell us. Hate it? Tell us — as female journalists we love hate mail.

Don’t forget…

<3 The TNW shrews

Cara ([email protected])
([email protected])
& Georgina ([email protected]

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