'Bye Felicia' is one of those pop culture phrases that has become ubiquitous. Originating as a punchline in the 1995 Ice Cube movie, Friday, the phrase is often used to dismiss a person you no longer care to interact with or hear from. According to urbandictionary.com, 'Bye Felicia' is best used "when someone says they're leaving and you could really give two shits less that they are". In a forward thinking twist on the popular statement, Instagram account Bye Felipe not only morphs the phrase but uses it as a feminist slogan to expose the misogynistic underbelly of online dating.
Bye Felipe boasts over 391,000 followers and lists this mission statement on its bio: "Calling out dudes who turn hostile when rejected or ignored". The account was started by writer and avid online dater Alexandra Tweten after seeing a Facebook post in which a friend shared a screenshot of a hostile message from OkCupid. Bye Felipe's account is chock full of screenshots of texts, social media exchanges and online dating chats in which men resort to physical threats, name calling, and unwanted sexual advances once they're rejected. The content of these posts reveals a disturbing reality of online dating.
With the constant influx of posts about alpha male man children Donald Trump and Kanye West, I can't help but think we're living in a society that perpetuates this behavior. The louder you are, the more violent you are, the more quotable you are, the more inappropriate you are-the further your message will reach. Messages of positivity are often very appreciated but never seem to spread like viral wildfire. Not like words of hate or ignorance. Even if many of the posts about men like Trump and West exist to mock them, their images and names are still being spread across the Internet at a rapid pace. Their online presence is growing exponentially.
Millennial guys of today are taking the same approach to dating. I can't think of a more misguided approach to finding sex or love. How limited does a person's mental capacity need to be to think, "Hey, if this woman doesn't respond to me, I'll just call her a cunt. That will make her want me more." That's insane. And frightening. And sort of funny but more insane and frightening.
Social media has allowed all of us to gain access to very intimate parts of each others' lives and the lives of those we idolize. Because we can comment on others' pics and engage them in conversation so easily, we feel like we know them. And because of this level of comfort, seemingly all sorts of decency and common sense have flown out the window.
I'm embarrassed for these men because of their complete misunderstanding of courtship and romance. For their complete misunderstanding of how human interaction and respect work, in general. I applaud Bye Felipe for exposing these creeps to the public and using Instagram as a platform to communicate a strong social message and not just another selfie. Hopefully some sad sack of shit will see his messages reposted there and realize how foolish he is. It's not just about men respecting women. It's about all of us respecting each other and not using social media familiarity as a crutch and excuse to treat others badly. Kindness and respect still stand as tenets of societal discourse. Especially when you want to get laid.
For more info on Bye Felipe, check out this sit-down with founder Alexandra Tweten over at The Cut.