A new TikTok trend is making fun of the painful ways that men write about women – and the results are hilariously on the nose.
The #writtenbymen hashtag, which now has more than 70 million views, is all about mocking the demeaning inaccuracy of the male gaze. It features creators sending up the reductive and overly sexualised way that women are often depicted in TV and the movies.
Appropriately enough, these TikToks are being soundtracked by a line from Portishead's '90s hit "Glory Box": "I've been a temptress for too long..."
A brilliant TikTok by creator @elletheyuckamoe perfectly skewers the way a male writer might depict a female character working in an office – complete with unnecessary hair-twirling.
Another viral TikTok by creator @tabeabussmannphotography exposes the male gaze ideal of how a woman might behave after a date. She sniffs his jacket, enjoys some ice cream, calls a friend for a debrief, then opens her laptop to message him again. Because, naturally, she has nothing else to think about... ugh.
Meanwhile, a TikTok by creator @luirae highlights the racist and fetishistic way that Chinese women have often been portrayed in TV and the movies. It's now been liked more than 1.9 million times.
The #writtenbymen hashtag is also being used to expose painful examples of the male gaze at work in actual TV shows and movies.
A case in point: this clip of two female characters from Skins performatively embracing one another for the benefit of a creepy old man on a bus. Seriously, how did this scene even make it into the script?