Women, beware: the men of Twitter are onto your lying, scheming ways.
The #LiesToldByFemales hashtag, which was trending last week, perpetuated damaging myths about women based on the premise that all ladies are prolific liars.
Some of the tweets (which, it should be noted, were posted by women as well as men) mention tired stereotypes about women -- that they take forever to get ready, pretend to be more laid-back than they actually are, are shopaholics and lie about making baked goods from scratch.
Unfortunately, other tweets (specifically, ones that use this hashtag unironically) paint a pretty depressing picture. If the hashtag is to be believed, women constantly lie about their sexual histories, can't be trusted to have male friends, purposefully get pregnant to entrap poor, innocent men, get upset about absolutely everything, focus on material things and live for attention. The moral of the story? Women absolutely cannot be trusted -- about anything.
As Tracy Moore at Jezebel pointed out, many of these alleged lies are directly related to what society expects of women -- namely that they are effortlessly beautiful, emotionally and physically low-maintenance, and, in the wise words of rapper Lil' Jon, "lady in the street but a freak in the bed."
"FYI: The best way to get someone to lie to you is to set a standard for unattainable perfection and sit back a crack open a cold one," Moore wrote. Moore notes that she does not encourage lying as a matter of habit, but that these impossible standards may explain why some women feel the need to conceal the extent of their beauty routines or downplay being upset about something.
The tweets about women's sexual histories are particularly telling. Many of the tweets claiming that women lie about being virgins, or downplay their past sexual experience, are accompanied by photographs of caves or groups of men peering into large holes in the ground. (Because, obviously, there's no such thing as a non-virgin without a cavernous vagina.) When facing such a judgmental mindset about female sexuality, it's hardly surprising that some women may choose to portray themselves as less experienced than they actually are.
Several Twitter users reacted to the trend with humor, and others tweeted using the #LiesToldByMales hashtag (which failed to go viral).
#LiesToldByFemales That fedora really compliments those cargo shorts
— George Dubstep Bush (@hamsandcastle) March 5, 2014
I did not have sexual relations with that woman. #LiesToldByMales
— ♀julia♀ (@manic_mermaid) March 9, 2014
#LiesToldByFemales nah baby, i'm not dating you to get to your bitcoin fortune and stock options in the local cargo pants and hat outlet
— electro lemon (@electrolemon) March 5, 2014
Though we love these more witty contributions, #LiesToldByFemales is more depressing than funny. Easy as it is to make gender stereotypes the punchline of jokes, perpetuating these ideas can only do more harm than good.