Memes. We all know them, love them, laugh with them, and sometimes even cry. Memes are pairings of text and images that are so relatable, we can’t help but share them. In the evolution of meme-making, a feminist subculture has been born. Meme admins and makers are creating safe spaces on their pages, challenging the hyper-aggressive aspects of internet culture, and revealing what it is like to be a girl alone on the internet.
Many of these accounts critically engage with feminist theory and activism, as well as social issues. The below meme makers tackle issues ranging from mental health, white feminism, heteronormativity, and the patriarchy. Memes are not to be overlooked as internet nuances, but larger reflections of sociopolitical discontent. They should be admired and legitimized as both art and twenty-first century activism. Widen your feminist horizon with these kick ass meme makers!
It’s only right that we begin this list with the high priestess of dank memes herself. @gothshakira specializes in creating some of the most relatable, intersectional memes, on the internet. Her long form text, paired with stars such as Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez, create a feminist Latina narrative. Her work digresses on the over sexualization and fetishization of marginalized women in mainstream media. She is also the driving force behind the collective Girl’s Club. The group promotes a safe space for self-identifying women to share and create art. Check out the website here!
Self-described as “The Sylvia Plath of memes,” bun’s astrological existential memes analyze mental health with humor. Her use of “smol” animals with heavy topics, creates a dark comical solidarity. The account’s transparent discussion of depression and trauma is an approachable conversation starter for topics that are commonly stigmatized.
With an astonishing and deserved 62k followers on Instagram, @scariest_bug_ever is no secret. Her nonsensical, ingenious, and brutally honest work, arguably makes her the most influential female meme maker. Her Instagram is also a hotbed for hilarious meme makers. As she often reposts lesser known gems. The page has become an amazing space for feminist narratives in itself. @scariest_bug_ever never fails to make me say “same,” proving she is scarily relatable.
Talk about a meme account that hits hard! Tackling white privilege, female body hair and online harassment, @namaste.at.home.dad exposes the hairier parts of marginalized identities. Matched with an unpolished MS paint aesthetic, her imagery is singularly unique to her account.
This meme page is another well-curated space that offers commentary on depression, self-care and shared experiences in a patriarchal world. @esoteric_queen’s work opens a transparent narrative about self-worth and mental health that is unique to medium of memes.
If you’re a '90s baby and Ren and Stimpy lover, this account is for you. @deadbeatpunkboyfriend is one of my personal favorite meme makers, and is quickly becoming a key player in the sphere of meme making. their use of nostalgic toys like Betty Spaghetti and Simpsons images, re works familiarity with social criticality. @deadbeatpunkboyfriend dabbles in everything from wholesome memes, to calling out patriarchal oppression.
This meme account takes a late '80s stylized approach to shutting down patriarchal bullshit. The typically feminine colors, and images of body commodification, offer an ironic reflection on what is “girly.” In juxtaposition to topics such as menstrual blood, Trump and cis privilege, this page offers a reclamation of the hyper-femme identity.
An up and coming meme page shared by majority of the other meme admins and creators on this list, @goldnosering utilizes early 2000s cartoon culture and is currently owning the “starter pack” format! Their compilations of pseudo-feminist male imagery and capitalist feminism is so accurate you feel like you should have made them.
@ada.wrong’s intersectional meme page reflects on what it means to be a woman on the internet, particularly the fetishization and appropriation of Asian and Asian American women. Her use of stock images makes us question what dictates something as a stock image? She continually reveals how innately sexist and racist online forums can be and the risks of being a meme maker.
@memewench serves up fire selfies and memes all day long. The account’s queer and intersectional commentary aims to take down white feminism and heteronormativity.
This post was originally published on November 17, 2016
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Mo Johnson is a twenty-one-year-old women’s studies major at The George Washington University. Her writings on sex, relationships, and what it means to be a millennial woman can be found on her blog. Follow her on Instagram.