While the fight for gender equality continues raging on, it turns out the patriarchy is a slippery opponent.
Women in the developed world (for the most part) have more rights and opportunities than ever before, but there are certain 21st century hazards that have raised their ugly heads.
As well as day-to-day harassment, we now contend with online rape and death threats, slut-shaming, body-shaming… just dare to be a woman on the internet and it’s guaranteed some anonymous men’s rights activist will try and think of a way to shut you down.
That said: some women manage to take those lemons and turn them into glorious bittersweet takedowns of their haters.
Bow down to these queens of the comeback, who have shown us how it’s done:
Michelle was sent a horrible message about her weight by a man she went on a Tinder date with – but instead of letting the experience destroy her self esteem, she turned it into an opportunity to call out sexist body-shaming and encourage women to celebrate their looks.
Kiss. My. Exquisitely. Unmarriagable. Arse.
Check out her hilarious open letter here.
Amber was organising a Slut Walk in Los Angeles when – ironically – commenters tried to slut-shame her for ‘only dating rappers’.
[Shaking my head] I am an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and several other charities but hey enough about me I’m just a slut right? Who cares.
Read her comeback post here.
Sewing blogger Jenny gave the digital middle finger to a hater who told her to eat less cake by, well, eating cake, and hundreds of women joined in.
Food isn’t moral, and neither is fat… My health is mine. It doesn’t affect anyone else… And nor do I exist to be sexually appealing to you.
Two for the price of one, here: a fellow comedian decided to trash talk Dameinne for a) her weight and b) her disabilty.
Luckily for everyone, Damienne was able to eloquently school the guy on the difference between comedy and bullying.
Hey Ari, have you ever heard of stem cell research? Because my arm just started to grow back. Watch!
Watch her diss video here.
Alexis Frulling had a threesome that was filmed without her knowledge and uploaded to Reddit. Someone identified her, triggering a torrent of sexist abuse.
I thought, ‘This is f–king stupid. I’m not going to have all of these people hating on me… So I was like, ‘You know what, it was me’… I don’t see why I should get bashed for it when the guys don’t get bashed for it.
Alexis trolled her haters back with a video in which she explained she wasn’t ashamed by what they thought – and mimed giving a cucumber a blow job to boot.
Zendaya was the teenager we all wish we had been: smart, successful, and unafraid to call out sexism and racism when she sees it.
The actor came to the aid of beauty blogger Shannon when a misogynistic Twitter account tried to make her feel bad about her makeup – with a burn so bad those guys needed ice:
Check out Shannon’s response here.
The Norwegian women’s football team made a short mockumentary ‘fessing up to what sexists have known for a long time – women’s football sucks!
We’re sh-t. We suck, plain and simple.
The desperate players said they needed the rules explained to them and reached out to Sepp Blatter asking him to make the game easier for women with a lighter ball, smaller pitch, and the addition of an extra goalie or two.
Student Julie has Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a condition in which the body doesn’t deal well with gravity and can make even the simplest actions like standing up difficult, but has no physical symptoms.
When someone accused her of faking her illness for a parking space, her open letter helped open the eyes of many to the nature of chronic disabilities:
Today my illness was invalidated, but it doesn’t make my illness any less real or my fight any less important. I will continue to park in the handicap spot and I will raise my head high and continue to join the fight in searching for a cure.
See the rest of her post here.
The Friends creator said that on set there was a “running misogyny issue,” mainly thanks to the sexist views of one executive.
But in what deserves to become known as the Greatest Feminist Shut Down Of All Time, the showrunner sent her boss a surprise package:
He was a little hurt by something I said once. So, I sent him a basket of pantyhose, tampons, lip stick and nail polish.
Read the full story here.
Rachel was clothes shopping when a family near her in the shop picked up a top in her size and started laughing at how both kids could fit inside it. The experience reduced her to tears but Rachel ended up plucking up the courage to go buy it anyway.
I ended up buying that tank top because, it turns out, I look fierce in it!
Yes, we know she’s fictional, but bear with us.
In Melissa Hunter’s YouTube series ‘Adult Wednesday Addams’ the no-nonsense character gets catcalled by two men, and visits them at home with some large and intimidating male friends to get even.
Most forms of verbal assault on public property are perfectly legal. Isn’t that just twisted?
Check out the video here.
This article was originally published in May 2015.