It’s no doubt been a weird year to be female. While the #MeToo movement has been empowering for many women, it’s also been triggering, and many of the responses to it from men have been disappointing, to say the least. It’s been a year where we’ve had to loudly defend our rights to ownership over our own bodies, not to mention our need for things like equal pay, adequate maternity leave, and a definitive end to our society’s pervasive culture of rape and sexual assault. These are serious issues, to be sure, and sometimes, it can feel so heartbreaking not to have them taken seriously by those in charge. That’s where humor comes in. The best memes provide us not only with a straightforward way to communicate about complex issues, but with a way to turn our frustrations into something we can laugh about, even if it’s just to stop us from completely freaking out.
And despite the fact that memes were once associated with trolly dudes living in their parents’ basements, the past couple of years have seen a significant uptick in women using them to express truths about navigating the world as a female. The hardships outlined in popular feminist memes typically range from the minorly inconvenient (think unsolicited d*ck picks from dating apps and our love-hate relationship with makeup) to the majorly not okay (e.g. sexual assault, rape culture), but whatever the topic, it always feels like something we’ve lamented to our friends a thousand times. Good memes, like good art, articulate things that may be difficult to express with words alone, and that’s why we love them. Below, a few of our favorite feminist memes of the year.