Author and activist Feminista Jones is a full-time social worker based out of Philadelphia.
Jones uses social media to spark discussions about women’s issues, particularly women of color.
This past Friday, Jones jokingly tweeted a challenge for her followers: “to piss a man off today.”
She continues, “Tell him you agree with his compliment of you.”
Jones told BuzzFeed News that she felt obliged to talk about this concept based on her own personal experiences as well as a multitude of articles written about this dynamic.
“It’s not a new idea, but in my own experience when [a man] complimented me and I say, ‘I agree,’ they get upset,” Jones said. “It’s the idea that they bestow the compliment on you, and you’re not supposed to be aware of it.”
I've had SEVERAL men tell me they found "thanks" an offensive reply to a compliment given to a woman 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
— TheDevil's Sidechick (@FeministaJones) May 13, 2017
“Generally we’re taught that we’re not supposed to compliment ourselves,” Jones added. “When a woman does that, she needs to be humble.”
Jones said that she finds this concept to be profoundly “interesting.”
She said she found this assumption that society subscribes to profoundly “interesting.”
Numerous women started responding to Jones’ tweet with screenshots of conversations with men. With one screenshot in particular, the man direct-messaged the woman a compliment, she agreed with him, and he therefore retracted the compliment.
— 🐈 (@afrawlmiau) May 12, 2017
Jones gives another example of the kind of humility women are expected to have. She says she thinks she’s an excellent writer, but that “people tell me that it’s not for me to decide. … You’re not supposed to have that confidence about yourself.”
— alex (@girls0nfilm) May 12, 2017
“Why are people so bothered by someone having self-confidence and self-love? We have a culture that says it’s ‘rude’ — we obligate people to be appreciative of a compliment.”
However, she wants to make it clear that not all men do this. But she does want to challenge men who deny that this occurs:
“Just because you don’t do it or you don’t see it being done, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen,” she said. “When men go, ‘Not all men,’ they make it about ‘I’ve never seen it, I’ve never done it…so it can’t be true.’ I’m saying to listen to what women are saying — try to understand what’s going on.”