Vine reinforces attitudes of misogyny in society

One of the fastest growing iOS apps today, Vine allows users to become self-made cinematographers through vignette-style videos, six seconds at a time. Videos include everything from cartoon animations to shots of lovable animals. Though Vine is undoubtedly a creative outlet for budding artists, there have been a disturbing amount of videos depicting women as vapid, vain and slutty.

Danny Razzano | Daily Trojan

Danny Razzano | Daily Trojan

Many Vines star men dressed up as women, presumably for comedic purposes. But these videos only further negative stereotypes of female habits.

“This party is so lame,” quips a male Vine user in a falsetto voice. After a few moments, his friends squeal in unison, “Mirror pic!” and squeeze together in front of a small bathroom mirror with chests and buttocks sticking out, arms at waists and pouty lips frozen in duckface.

Though meant to be silly, these Vines unnecessarily satirize women’s daily activities.

Several of these Vines also portray women as clingy. One video presents a woman holding her boyfriend at gunpoint while he “Likes” all of her Instagram photos in succession; a similar one features a girl asking her boyfriend which other girls he finds attractive, but his sentence is cut short by her pointing a gun at his head.

One video entitled “You hang up first” features a girl on her phone in her car, lovingly telling her boyfriend that he should hang up first. But when he actually does, she goes into a fit of rage and speeds down the road.

The clingy female stereotype seems to be a current craze, but characterizing women as though they are of unsound mind is no new idea. Historically, men have portrayed women as highly prone to insanity. Hysteria in women was a diagnosable disease until the early 20th century. These were all tactics to dumb females down. In retrospect, these beliefs are shockingly obsolete. But in this age of technology, why are we reverting to old ideologies?

In addition, there were also videos that trivialized sexual harassment of women. One Vine depicts a girl being approached and grabbed by two boys, and upon her escape, the spurned boys dance to Young Dro’s “F-ck Dat B-tch.” Albeit staged, the video echoes one of the main aspects of rape culture: that a woman should be grateful for lewd remarks and flirtation attempts, otherwise she is a “b-tch.”

Another video, entitled “How to pick up girls,” shows a boy running down a sidewalk towards a girl. He then grabs her from behind and lifts her up, carrying her away as she screams. Staged or not, the video pokes fun at the harsh reality of street harassment that so many women endure.

With each “Like” and “Revine” of these insensitive videos, women are further and further objectified. When young people are finally taught to recognize misogyny in even the little things, such as Vine videos, the Internet will become a much more hospitable place for women, and Vine can once again be used as a creative outlet rather than a sexist one.


Sareen Palassian is a sophomore majoring in French and international relations.

 Follow her on Twitter @sareenie
24 replies
  1. Peter Coffin
    Peter Coffin says:

    I’d have sided with you entirely if you hadn’t attempted to paint the whole thing that way with the headline. Because I agree, this is unacceptable. But a platform isn’t to blame, it’s people’s misogynistic upbringings.

  2. Blake
    Blake says:

    I wonder how many people saw the Venus symbol in the cartoon and immediately scrolled down to write a mindless comment…

  3. Nope
    Nope says:

    This is an outright ridiculous article. Feminists like you are making women look worse, not the videos that you shouldn’t be taking seriously in the first place. It’s amusing to poke fun at stereotypes, and women are no exceptions. You ma’am, are a spoiled brat who needs to get a sense of humor.

  4. Rukh
    Rukh says:

    A little bit of common sense would say “Some vine users are reinforcing misogynistic attitudes”. A normal amount of common sense would say “A certain type of female’s behavior is being parodied, but that’s ok, because everyone gets made fun of on the internet, and as someone who is all for equality, I’m ok with this, because it’s not as if I want to be on a pedestal or anything like that.”

  5. Jpaps
    Jpaps says:

    I wonder when people like this author will understand what hyperbole is and realize that that’s all people take it for.

    • Rukh
      Rukh says:

      Feminists don’t have that kind of common sense. They see dumb stuff like this as evidence of some sort of over-arching conspiracy to subjugate women.

  6. JWolf
    JWolf says:

    Stereotypes exist for a reason: There are elements of truth to them. If the shoe fits…

    Build a bridge and get over it.

  7. Olga
    Olga says:

    The Daily Trojan really needs to start adding a feature that reads someone’s comment back to them before they post it to curb the amount of ignorance and stupidity we all have to experience.

  8. k
    k says:

    I’m regularly shocked by how many men and women condone portraying rape, assault, and harassment as acceptable. Thank you for bringing attention to this. It’s so infuriating that even in these comments people can’t intelligently debate but instead resort to the ever-so-creative “it must be her period.”

  9. yarch
    yarch says:

    Cripes a mighty! People will complain about and accuse ANYTHING of victimizing them these days. I am so sick of the entitled attitude and perpetual claims of victim-hood of people like you! Offended by any little thing and ready to scream I AM BEING OPPRESSED by anything that you take even the SLIGHTEST offense to, it is a characteristic of an excessively thin skin and insecure self-esteem to write pointless tripe like this. This millennial generation is full of entitled whiners who have no idea what it means to be oppressed, discriminated against or hurt. Here’s a reality check for you: the world is not obligated to tiptoe around your precious feelings, then change its ways to suit your delicate sensibilities! Real life will hurt more than your petty feelings! It can tear you apart and even kill you!

    I wish you grew up in my time, as a black person, like I did so you could learn what REAL oppression is, what REAL victimization is, and see that you have it so good today and have NO RIGHT to complain about things like this. Your entire article is petty! Grow some backbone and get over yourself!

      HCHARRY says:

      I was born to a black, baby boomer parent and I’ll tell you right now I couldn’t agree with you more. Just please know that not all of us millennials are this whiny and entitled. I feel the same way as you, even though I could only imagine the horror of what my ancestors experienced. I honestly hang out mostly with Gen Xers because I can’t stand so many in my age bracket. I also hate radical feminism with a passion.

  10. Hilljack
    Hilljack says:

    Video editing apps hate women. Another insidious conspiracy of the patriarchy nobody even thought to consider, I guess.

  11. Ras
    Ras says:

    The author should feel free not to feel like a victim. I am so tired of everyone today coming out like a wounded victim of some made up injustice. If you are not a vacuous female – then these vids should not be belittling you. How many guys have been insulted by the Carl’s Jr ads where they claims without their restaurants, most guys would starve – followed by some male dolt trying to make a meal for himself. How many guys are wounded and hurt and insulted by this ad which is stereotyping men as buffoons who could not feed themselves – that is if the insulted men were thin-skinned serial victims looking for the next person to cause them harm.

    BTW – have you noticed most stereotypes are deemed most insensitive – especially when there is a tinge of truth to it? Otherwise, we wouldn’t be getting our panties in a bunch pretending we do not understand where the origins of the insulting stereotype even comes from.

    Are we only now allowed to tell plain vanilla, mediocre jokes and only allowed to make fun of middle aged white guys? Really?

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