Social Media As The New Frontier for Anti-Gender Work

In our interconnected world, social media has become a meeting point for transformative feminist movements, acting as a catalyst for different revolutions and uprisings such as #MeToo and #EatTheRich. It empowers individual activists and organizations to amplify their voices and effect change beyond their own contexts.

I have harnessed social media to carve out a dedicated platform for sharing my feminist journey, using it as a tool for combating anti-gender bias. However, social media is not a neutral ground for progressive forces to form and prosper.  Digital platforms have evolved as a battleground for anti-gender networks in the last few years. With figures like Elon Musk acquiring Twitter and influencers such as John Doe, Andrew Tate, an emerging discourse of the Transformed Wife, and others propagating sexist content, including offensive jokes and regressive ideals on womanhood, their platforms are quickly becoming a challenge for feminist organisers.

One prominent group, the red pill/manosphere community, an all-man group initially camped out in Reddit and now prevalent across mainstream social media, embodies everyday misogyny and patriarchy. This group perpetuates harmful beliefs, viewing women as only suitable for childbirth and servitude. Actively recruiting through podcasts, YouTube, and videos, they undermine men’s self-esteem and foster general hatred towards women. Despite facing backlash, some of their influencers exploit this controversy to bolster their businesses. Platforms using algorithms have enabled this rise and drown out healthy conversation to drive profit off rage generated by hate toward women and minorities.

The Traditional Wives (trad wife) is an active community promoting traditional Western gender roles and advocates for women’s freedom of choice as long as it aligns with traditional norms. However, they downplay the hard-won achievements of feminists, blaming women for modern capitalism’s troubles. Their online presence includes shaming women’s life choices through bikini photos.

Religious conservative communities also play a role in propagating anti-gender ideologies, endorsing ideas such as women’s submission and unequal creation. Accounts like Girls Define and Transformed Wives also contribute to a narrative that positions women as inherently inferior. While some feminists believe these communities are not a significant issue and that the fight against patriarchy is offline, I argue that our online silence strengthens patriarchy and recruits new anti-gender advocates.

In response to the surge in online anti-gender activism, I propose a robust counterattack on the prevailing narrative. Feminists like ProfUju Anya, a Nigerian American queer academic, are often seen challenging gender roles and refuting misleading information on queer identities. For instance, many young feminists are using the platforms to face this growing misogynist trend, like @TheFeministWitch, a Zambian feminist who uses X (Twitter) to radicalise the world with feminism.

As feminists, we must collectively take action against online anti-gender work. Africa currently has about 650m internet users, more joining by day; we cannot allow social media to continue as a tool to dismantle our work and that of our feminist ancestors. I urge fellow feminists to unite in the digital realm, preserve our progress, and advance the cause for gender equality.


Massah Esther Nyally Bockarie is a feminist writer, youth champion, and social entrepreneur. As a young girl, she experienced sexism and became an advocate for the rights of girls and women. She is currently a Programmes Coordinator and Social Media Manager at Purposeful and the Co-Founder of Easy Learning Services. She writes on feminism, youth development, climate change, etc.


This is the last story in a series in collaboration with the Yemoja Feminista Fellowship by CHEVS, a queer feminist organisation dedicated to advancing social justice and strengthening LGBTQI+ movements across West Africa. The series features insightful analyses, and fervent calls to action from young feminists addressing issues across gender, culture, and human rights in West Africa.  The stories offer personal viewpoints on the struggles and victories of feminist activism in the region and the critiques of systemic injustices. The authors prompt us to face uncomfortable realities, question entrenched norms, and imagine a future where all people are free to live authentically and thrive.

Amidst growing complexities, regressive attitudes and laws targeting LGBTQIA+ rights, attacks on sexual and reproductive health rights by anti-gender networks, and the enduring impact of colonial legacies and harmful cultural practices, storytelling remains a vital tool. It challenges stereotypes, centers marginalized and minoritized voices, advocates for healing justice and collective care. In stories we honor the legacy of African feminisms and the tireless work to dismantle intersecting oppressive systems and create a vision of the future grounded in equity, justice, and love. – Rosebell Kagumire, Editor, African Feminism. 

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