As of December 2018, one college student has begun to single handedly take on both toxic masculinity and modern dating culture one tweet at a time.
Mirroring the style of one of Twitter’s more wholesome accounts, “WeRateDogs,” which highlights the best pups around and rates them out of 10, Michaela Okland, a senior at Arizona State University, founded “SheRatesDogs.” Okland’s account has nearly eight million followers who patiently await her daily updates.
The account is a viral sensation. Its motto is simple: “the dogs are your exes.”
“SheRatesDogs” goes beyond just highlighting bad breakups, however. The daily updates feature submissions from Twitter users, typically women, that focus on failed romantic experiences they’ve tragically encountered. There’s laughable responses from Tinder matches who didn’t quite impress, cringe worthy text conversations after horrible first dates and an abundance of horrific language that is typically thrown without being provoked.
The account is an open and colorful shaming of men who don’t quite seem to understand boundaries, how to communicate with someone without being demeaning or frightening to whoever’s on the receiving end or basic human decency. Take your pick, because Okland’s followers have supplied it all.
The ASU student has essentially created a space for anyone to anonymously confide the moments that made them question if they truly ever wish to date again. After reading a few of her posts, it may have you asking yourself the same thing.
Each caption features a rating of these terrible men that rarely goes above a negative six out of 10. Despite the plethora of generally abhorrent content, Okland’s goal isn’t to promote some kind of “men are trash” agenda, which is certainly unfair to the gender as a whole, but is more focused on highlighting the horrendous truth behind today’s dating culture.
Okland’s using her voice, which is both humorous and blunt, to show her followers that they are not alone, while simultaneously outing to the world that individuals like this do exist and their behavior should not be condoned.
The “behind closed doors” messages that are posted to the page are undeniably appalling, and far too real for many who have experienced exactly the type of behavior Okland is working to put on blast. Due to this, there seems to a rallying cry woven through her timeline that has not only encouraged a growing number of Twitter users to come forward about their experiences, but has also pushed them to voice their concerns and call out actions that should never be deemed acceptable.
Examples of this behavior include being told to “rot in hell” after refusing to respond to unsolicited photos, being called a “slut” for not cheating on one’s significant other and generally having to suffer through awful pick-up lines that assume women want to be objectified during a first introduction.
Scrolling through “SheRatesDogs” is intended to leave viewers laughing, of course, but there’s a balancing act in place that also ensures followers know these messages must not be taken lightly. It may be funny to read a bad pick up line or a rejection gone wrong, but the death threats, insults and overall sexist behavior that her followers submit is alarming to say the least.
“SheRatesDogs” is continually growing in popularity, with merchandise, such as hats and t-shirts, now being sold that feature iconic quotes from the account, such as “girls f*ck” and “my d*ck isn’t tiny.”
Okland’s gem of an account has just enough comedic touch to highlight the ever-present issues for those who know the woes of relying on texting and Tinder to spark their love lives. Her mix of humor and hard to stomach content are a blend worth seeing.
If you have yet to check this account out, I highly recommend giving it a follow.