This TikTok trend fights gender inequality in a small way


TikTok trends come in all shapes and sizes: dance routines that seem so understated they must have been created by a professional choreographer, the “uninfluence” of popular products in the name of reducing wasteful consumption, and even the use of filters to “Get Ready with me” videos for a good cause.

Disinfluence has brought a new trend to the social media app that could have a noticeable social and cultural impact. It’s called “microfeminism.”

Essentially, it's about the small, subtle changes someone could make – particularly in the workplace – to combat gender inequality.

“Instead of standing up, burning your bra, and yelling at people, it's the small actions that make men mad,” TikTok creator Katie Wood said in a video on the topic. “And it’s my favorite thing to do.”

Wood then shares some of the ways she does this in her job as a lawyer.

For example, when someone at her workplace says, “I need to talk to the board,” or the chairman, CEO, whatever, she always responds with, “Let me know what she says.”

“Always her,” Wood emphasized. “By default.”

Of course, feminism comes in all shapes and sizes, but the core of the movement is that people of all genders deserve to be freed from oppression. While “bra burning” and “stand up and scream” can certainly be useful tactics to achieve this goal, practical, everyday actions like these also make a difference.

In fact, they're likely a response to “microaggressions,” or the small, everyday ways someone can experience oppression (think of this clip in which a man assumes a woman is a flight attendant, even though she had actually imagined herself as a pilot seconds earlier). .)

Wood isn't the only YouTuber making the rounds on TikTok to discuss microfeminism.

Creator Ashley Chaney asked viewers what her favorite “microfeminism” act was after sharing that when she emails a group of people, she always sends the email to the woman first and then to judges the man.

Wood and Chaney's original TikToks are extremely popular, with thousands commenting with their own ideas.

“I write real estate contracts and always put the wife’s name first,” one commenter wrote. “The husbands often question this even though it makes no difference to the contract – just their ego.”

“I wrote my wedding invitations with ‘Mrs. & Mr. Jane Smith,” wrote another.

“When a group of male colleagues completes a project or presentation, I say 'Great job, gentlemen' or 'Great job, guys,' just like professional men say 'Great job, ladies/girls,'” one user shared .

“When I send emails, I no longer say 'I' Only wanted to get in touch…'” said another person. “Saying Only diminishes the importance of my message.”

While these small actions are just that – small – Seeing thousands of women come together to share and explore what other tiny ways they have to take back their power seems to empower more than just colleagues on the other end of an email.

Additionally, as major companies cut back on their diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, fighting harmful stereotypes is critical to restoring equality in the workplace—and hopefully reminding employers why DEI work is so necessary.

“This comment section made me realize that we all take baby steps every day,” said one TikTok user. “And it is of great importance.”

Header images courtesy of @facebrook, @katiewood____ and @iamashelychaney/TikTok