Memes can be a powerful force for social change. A succession of three popular memes in a row, for example, changed the entire way that women interacted with men.

The first was probably the cruellest. It was a photo taken by a rapist of his victim. It entered the public consciousness when it was tendered at the rapist’s trial, and several tabloids chose to run it on their front page. It showed a woman who was clearly nude, and being violently fucked, but it cropped out just enough detail so that it could be shared widely. 

The thing was, her expression was hilarious. Yes, her face was streaked with tears, and her mouth twisted into a grimace of misery, but there was just something about it that was funny. She looked ridiculous – like she was overreacting, like she was being deliberately dramatic – and overnight the image became the go-to meme to suggest someone was being a drama queen. It would be captioned with text like “All Out Of Low-Fat Ice-Cream – Life Is Ruined!” or “New Franchise Movie Is Imperfect – Childhood Raped!”

And of course, it carried the implicit subtext that being raped wasn’t all that bad, and women should stop being so dramatic about it. After all, no one wanted to be the Dramatic Rape Face Girl.

The second meme, known as Orgy Prude, showed a picture of a party. The men were dressed in suits. The women were completely nude, or dressed in scandalously slutty outfits. None of the women were at all bothered by this – except for one naked woman, just right of centre frame, blushing wildly and attempting to cover her breasts and pussy with her hands. Her shyness was conspicuous and ridiculous, and it started making the rounds as the image for suggesting someone was having a problem that literally no one else was worried about. Sample captions included, “Feminist Dilemma – Objectify Self, Or Admit Ashamed Of Cunt?” or “If I Keep Preserving My Modesty Long Enough, Maybe One Of These Men Will Notice Me”.

The subtext was that being the shyest girl in the room was uncool, and deserved to be mocked.

The last meme was the “Bride Shop” meme. It was a cartoon, showing six women standing in a window. Five were dour, ugly, flat chested, dressed in conservative clothes, and frowning. A sign above them said, “Bitchmo 5000 line half price.” The sixth woman was nude, big titted, wearing a collar and a leash, red-lipsticked mouth open in a way that suggested readiness to suck cock, and holding cleaning supplies in each hand in a way that suggested eagerness to perform housework. A long line of men were queueing to buy this sixth woman, while the other five were ignored.

The meme was used as a “superior product” meme. When a new videogame (such as “Death Souls X”) was released that destroyed the competition, the nude woman in the picture would be captioned “Death Souls X”, with various aspects like her breasts and cunt labelled “10K resolution” or “persistent open world”, and the other five women captioned as its competitors. And meanwhile, women learned what being a superior woman meant.

The memes were so popular that by the end of the year, women being naked at social occasions was starting to become commonplace. It only took one woman being naked – and immediately getting male attention – for other girls to start disrobing. Those who blushed, or continued to cover themselves, would be openly laughed at and mocked. “Don’t be an Orgy Prude,” their friends would say, or “Look at the Bitchmo 5000 over here.”

Being cool meant being nonchalant – pretending you didn’t care even when men ogled your naked body, objectified you, commented on your tits, and discussed your pussy with their friends. It even meant being nonchalant if you got raped – as happened frequently. It was common at a party for the prettier girls to just be grabbed, and feel a dick pushed into their cunts in front of all their friends. When that happened, you just needed to relax and submit, and pretend nothing strange was happening, because no one wanted to be Dramatic Rape Face Girl…

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