Why I Created Bye Felipe

I created the Instagram account @byefelipe three weeks ago in order to compile harassing and hostile messages men send to women after being rejected or ignored. Since creating Bye Felipe, it has become apparent that a standard trajectory of discourse with men online is this: Man hits on woman, woman rejects or ignores him, man lashes out with insults or even threats.

When a woman on Facebook posted this screenshot, I saw it and laughed, because I, too, had recently received a hostile message from a man on OKCupid. Comparing the two, one comes to the conclusion that women can’t win if they are not interested in certain men. Under their logic, we are supposed to entertain any man who is interested in conversation or a date just because we exist on a dating site. Which is completely ridiculous. You can see their frustration and desperation in the messages, which is why it’s both funny and deeply sad at the same time.

Reply or die. #BYEFELIPE #hostilemen of #okcupid



My main reasons for creating the account were: A) Commiserating with other women (you can’t be a woman online and not get creepy messages from men); B) Letting men know what it’s like to be a woman online (it’s not all cupcakes and rainbows!); and C) To expose the problematic entitlement some men feel they need to exert over women in general.

Obviously, Bye Felipe has struck a nerve. After The Atlantic featured it in an article on Monday, it has gained 25,000 followers and is growing by the hour. I’ve gotten many thanks from both women and men for exposing these heinous messages. It’s now been featured in The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The New York Post, Cosmopolitan, Elle and The Daily Mail as well as on numerous blogs.

After seeing these disturbing messages grouped together, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that our society has a misogyny problem. The same forces that taught Elliot Roger that he was justified in murdering women for rejecting him, the cultural atmosphere that says it’s OK for hundreds of men to catcall any woman in a public space, the thing that drives men to brutally injure women who ignore them are all connected to the sense of toxic entitlement some men possess.

While Bye Felipe (a take on the meme “Bye Felicia”) uses humor to take away some of the power these insults may carry, I also like to point folks to the Tumblr “When Women Refuse,” which chronicles the serious problem of actual violence women experience at the hands of men who have been rejected.

I have been asked multiple times, “What’s the answer to this? What can these dating sites do to curb this problem?” And I struggle to answer, because this is just a symptom of a larger problem. Censoring these messages may help in the short term, but the messages featured on Bye Felipe are like an immortalized version of the catcalls and threats women receive on the the street every day, just walking around and existing. Until we change the cultural atmosphere, women will continue to receive these hurtful messages online and in real life.



Alexandra Tweten, a former Ms. intern, lives in Los Angeles and has been online dating as a feminist since 2010. She now works as an operations coordinator for Live Nation.


  1. Hold up. Do you know the origin story of Bye Felicia? Bye Felicia is more than a meme. Read some internets.

    • Not that it matters, but it’s from the movie Friday. It’s become an online dismissive of annoying people or trolls. Adequately used for this blog.

      • Felicia Dale says:

        For those of us with the name it’s become a very hurtful thing to encounter- especially when used against us. :/

  2. This is a problem I have always experienced. A guy who was old enough to be my dad messaged me on a dating site (POF to be exact) and I told him I’m not into older guys. He the proceeded to lash out at me calling me names such as b*tch and c*nt and said I was to fat for him anyways. (I’m 5’7 and weigh 135 pounds) another time, on the street, in my city, I was walking to the bank. It was probably around 2 in the afternoon when this occurred. An older half cut man had yelled out to me when I was walking passed him. He gave me the grossest look, with the worst intentions clear on his face. Uncomfortable, I kept walking. He then got up from the curb and started yelling, even though I was 4 feet away “you f*cking c*nt, come here! I am talking to you!” He then started following me, and I had to run into the bank where he just walked off frustrated. This mentality is dangerous. I hope to see the day that this isn’t a problem men and woman have to face. It’s pretty sad that we do.

    • Jesus, that’s horrible. And frightening. And unbelievably common. I’m sorry that happened to you.

      I get this shit, too. Last week, this guy (who I see every other day – we walk our dogs in the park), but don’t talk to because he’s part of a small group of old retired men, who do nothing but bitch about each other and then bond over thinly veiled misogynistic and racist ‘banter’, yelled at me “your dog is fat, you’re feeding her too much”. Not that it matters, but my dog is in excellent shape. I didn’t immediately reply, but carried on walking, thinking to myself “hmmmn, I’m not really happy about that…” I waited until I’d circled round to where he was standing and said “my dog is perfect shape; don’t say things like that to me”. Although assertive – and very clear, I was calm. He replied (shouting): “I was only joking!” YOU GOT SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR HEAD, YOU HAVE!” on repeat, whilst jabbing his head with his finger. Finishing off with: “bloody women…”

      I wasn’t rude, I wasn’t wrong in standing up for myself. I called him up on his bullshit – with one calm sentence and the guy lost his shit, all over the pavement. What a pathetic arsehole.

      How infuriating that we have to put up with this crap, on a daily basis. Somebody, please, change the damn record…

  3. That’s what you took from this Jeanee?

    • Lindsay Stockton says:

      Amen! And I’m assuming that she is female as well, which also demonstrated how society will protect the arrogant. The article is about the abuse women received from rejection. If you are the proud owner of a vagina, you have probably 99% sure gotten this reaction in some shape or form, you have not signed an obligation stating PLEASE DIRECT YOUR POOR DADDY ISSUES MY WAY BC I CHOOSE NOT TO PARTICIPATE your cat calls, inappropriate passes, and does NOT make me lessor than you.

  4. Thanks for making the account and drawing attention to this!

  5. “Bye Felicia” has been taken over by white people and they just don’t get it. They ruin it like they ruin all things, including feminism. Bye Felicia has belonged to us minorities who grew up getting stoned in front of our vhs player watching Friday since 1996. It takes a dumb azz meme for you people living in your safe world to catch on. Online dating problems are what scare you in real life, its a damn shame as their are SOME REAL ASS problems in da real world ya feel me? As a big ol bull dyke I just want to say that I deal with hostile ass girls I deny on a regular basis on dating sites, its a problem that goes both ways, no need for yall to be complaining all the time. I am not so damn lonely that I need to screen shot whenever someone hollars at me and they get embarrassed and lash out. Feminisim is annoying, feed the poor, help some homies out in the hood. donate to a charity, come kick it at the indoor swapmeet with me and my friends on the weekend, but please stop complaining about a few unkind words that some nugga you don’t know and will never know in real life says something not nice. You types of girls make me embarrassed to be lez, grow a pair!

    • Yes, because only minorities grew up getting stoned in front of their vhs player watching Friday; and that ultimately gives them ownership to a certain movie that was available for all to see. It was a comedy in the 90s, written and produced by rich comedians. Everyone watched it! But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that this MOVIE DERIVED quote “Bye Felicia” has been played with to make a suitable indication for a raunchy male (Felipe). Unfortunately, (although you disagree) these ARE real life problems. This sense of entitlement that some have, happens to be at the root of physical and sexual abuse, harassment, and rape. Those things occur in the real world. They are real problems. This site was created to combat the issue and would do so, in the same manner, by any other name. But “Bye Felipe” makes it fun, giving people a chance to laugh at the problems they (luckily) haven’t met in person. Sometimes, however, they are met before these tendencies are revealed. Often then, it is too late to laugh. I’m sorry that you feel your own hardships are worse than those of people you’ve never met. But that is no reason to bash a tool being used against a real life problem.

    • Felicia says:


    • Felicia says:

      Thanks. I was starting to worry that it was me (personally) or where I lived. I am starting to see that it’s epic and it’s nationwide. It is disconcerting. Almost depressing, really. But the relief is that they show their bad temper right away and potentially saved us a lot of heartache down the line. Misogynists beware. This reflex inevitably will work against them and they will get blocked. Nobody wants to date a bully. I would never rage and cuss at someone who was not interested in me. My God. What the hell is wrong with guys these days?

  6. As a guy, I find it hilarious that they are being called out and gross that they said these things at all. Hearing these guys go off over a simple rejection seems foreign and insane to me, and I think it speaks as much to ego as it does to entrenched gender roles, and for a lot of guys, they wont realize its a problem until they are called out on it. I wonder, Am I not like this because I’m used to rejection? Am I too comfortable with it? Do I just not care if I am rejected? Is that a form of self consciousness? Is it because I have two sisters? Do I subconsciously consider how I’d want a guy to treat them? I know I definitely would prefer it if they never felt that kind of hostility before. Are these guys the exception to the rule or am I? Its a trend that makes me ask myself a lot of personal questions. It’s also hard to speak about it, because to support them in any way looks like I support this kind of treatment of women. Not that I ever considered supporting this crap, but its the internet, and a copy/paste job to make a convo sound crazy is easy to people who want to feel included. But to come out against it, can make one seem even sleazier. One of those guys who plays sensitive to score points. I just want guys to be able to ask out girls respectfully, without it being treated like its some groty, chauvinist, perve move, and when the guy hears no, don’t flip out like your “manhood” is on the line every damn second of every damn day. And for anyone on either side who may be doing any of this just for attention. Whether its posting profiles with no intention of dating but just wanting to see if they garner interest, as some sort of ad hoc, ego boost (absolutely not accusing anyone of that) or flaming girls extra crazy, in the hopes it goes viral because too many don’t know the difference between fame and infamy, I beg those people to STOP. You are making everything worse.

  7. I too can’t help but think of Elliott Roger anytime I see men acting like entitled babies when it comes to female attention.
    As a man I have always been the first to admit how misogynistic our society is. As soon as I saw some of your posts I immediately shared it on all my networks and encouraged women to participate. Sucks it has to come to online shaming but maybe that will get the conversation going and maybe men will think twice before being assholes.

    I can admit I’ve been mad before when a girl quickly loses interest or doesn’t respond. It sucks. Hurts for a a bit. But I said oh well and moved on. I understand that women receive exponentially more attention than men and their attention spans are a lot shorter when it comes to these sites. Never could I have imagined that men would be this ridiculous. Its sad because they have mothers or sisters or daughters.
    Its literally a lose lose situation. If you respond and let them off kindly, they will lash out. If you say nothing, they lash out.

  8. I think this Instagram account is amazing! Thank you for starting this conversation. I wrote about this on HelloBeautiful.com and I would love to chat with you about it! Check out the article and let’s connect!


  9. andrew west says:

    As another mere male can I just add my view that these guys probably act like arseholes in all contexts. I spent most of my working life working with, and often for, women. Most of my friends are women, and indeed most of them are a good deal stronger and more together than me. Some of them I fancied like mad, but that’s another story!
    Distressing as unpleasant messages are, it’s always good to remember they come from weakness and inadequacy!
    I thank you for your time!


  11. I appreciate the men who have commented in support of respect for woman by men. The sad thing about men lashing out at women when they don’t get the response they want is that their intentions are bad, that is – not in the best interest of the women they are supposedly pursuing. I know, because this happens in person too, not just online. I was approached by a good-looking man on a sidewalk while vacationing and I might have carried conversation with the guy had he taken off his sunglasses so that I could see who I was talking to. Next, another man found his way over to me on the same vacation, and all he wanted was to have sex. He didn’t want to get to know me or have a relationship. Just sex, and then he pouted when I told him I didn’t want to be “used”. He tried to make me feel bad about missing out, and said that he could have any woman he wanted. He was wrong. He didn’t get me!

  12. Right, so at first I was disgusted with the guys she posted on her instagram, and then I thought about it some more…

    What kind of response do you expect to get from anyone when you ignore them for 10 months? Granted, I think calling you a slut for not responding after a few hours is very uncalled-for, but come on…

    I was ignored by girls in school and if they weren’t pretending I didn’t exist, they called me ugly. Its one of the worst feelings in the world and apparently the guys being posted here aren’t over that feeling though I can’t blame them.

    That’s not to excuse their behavior on social media – nowadays I’d just return the favor and ignore the person as well, maybe even delete – but my point is that even though their conduct isn’t okay, neither is ignoring them purely for the purpose of posting their obscenity on the net and shaming them for it.

    • First off, let me say that some of the messages I’ve seen there are really immature and horrible. Such behavior should not be condoned.

      Having said that, now I’m referring to messages like that screenshot in the article. If you were a man taking OKC seriously and trying to get to know someone special, it takes a special kind of tolerance and patience to stick with it. Some of the comments I’ve seen by the guys are really just that – comments said out of frustration, of putting in 100% effort and getting nothing in return. Not even a polite “thanks, not interested” or just no thx. Not even the satisfaction of closure in exchange for typing out a well thought out message.

      On the other hand, all girls have to do is sit back, let the messages roll in, and pick those that you like. It seems very silly to me to nitpick a few messages that look offensive and CHOOSE to be offended and threatened by them – even enough to post them up for the whole world to see those guy’s faces! For goodness sake. You can just ignore/block them. What exactly are you trying to prove? That it’s ohh so hard to be a woman in online dating?

      Seeing and learning about what not to do in online dating by highlighting some of the misogyny that exist is helpful. Creating something that’s now become a man-hating phenomenon isn’t. There are many decent guys out there trying to treat women right, and this isn’t helping.

    • Logan, you were bullied at school and that is wrong.

      But these girls who called you names are not a) all the girls of the universe and b) the same girls who you’d meet online. So why would you (or anyone else) take it on completely different human beings that you were mistreated by some other human beings at some stage of your life?

      How do you respond to being ignored? Ignore them back, of course. Why would you want to respond in any other way? Lashing out like this will only make you look like an idiot.

      I hope there will be a day when these guys desperately looking for female attention realise that girls are actually exactly the same as guys. Everyone likes nice people. If you are genuinely nice, you’ll get niceness back (not from everyone, but from the majority). Genuinely nice means authentic kindness; not acting nice to disguise the ultimate goal to get laid as fast as possible. Girls don’t like that in guys any more than guys like bitchy girls who only extract free drinks and meals out of them on dates.

    • Oh stop being so precious about ‘shaming’. It’s typical abuser thinking; “holding me accountable for my behavior is a far worse crime than my behavior itself.” These guys should be shamed. They have a hell of a lot to be ashamed of. The problem with these guys isn’t that they were ignored or picked on in high school. The problem is that they are so utterly self-absorbed that they think they’re the only ones who have had bad experiences in the past, that their pain is uniquely different and far worse than other people’s. Which is exactly how abusers think.

      Stop for a minute, try to consider someone other than yourself for once in your life, and consider the fact that maybe these women have also had bad experiences in the past and the last thing they need is some selfish, whiny man child dumping all his own bad experiences on her as well.

      Oh, and also this: “What kind of response do you expect to get from anyone when you ignore them for 10 months?” This again is classic abuser thinking; “But it’s not my fault! She DROVE me to behave this way! She’s causing my bad treatment of her and she’s FORCING me to be abusive towards her!”

      Grow up and develop a moral compass of your own, get over the high school mentality and start developing some empathy for other people. Because quite frankly, those girls in high school were right to ignore you and they are right to continue ignoring you now. You’re exactly the kind of guy woman need to avoid.

  13. I’m just curious why you are assuming that anyone was ignored for 10 months, I think that is a bit of a exaggeration, but also why would you assume that they are being ignored on purpose? Even if they are doing the ignoring on purpose then both parties are failing a very simple test of character. One that puts all the cards on the table very quickly doesn’t it. One is into mind games and the other is abusive for no reason other their their own inadequacy issues.

  14. 2 notes from a guy’s perspective.
    1. The anonymity of on-line dating contributes to a guy’s willingness to be overtly sexual or misogynistic. The percent of men who behave this way on-line is much higher than those who behave this way off-line. How often do you see guys in bars and parties who, upon being rejected by a woman, suddenly whip out their junk or call a woman names?
    2. I think the best approach is to vet a guy before going on a date. Ask him his last name, add him on Facebook or LinkedIn. There is a fine line between vetting a guy and stalking a guy before even a 1st date but the goal is to establish a level of accountability on both sides. I think you’ll find this level of accountability keeps the guys behavior in-check regardless of your interest post-date. I will add that ignoring a guy after a date is rude and insensitive. If you aren’t interested in a second date simply let him know. With a level of accountability established he’ll appreciate the honesty and move on.

  15. Thank you so much for bringing this issue to light! I have had nothing but bad experiences on the dating websites. Guys are texting me for a booty call late at night, or within the second communication are sexting or being vulgar. As for not responding to everyone or responding with a “no”, I have had my share of comments mentioned above. After two years of online dating, I took my profiles off of the web. If I can’t find someone in a charity or community service setting, or church, then I will stay by myself. God forbid you tell men that you don’t sleep with them for the first few months, it is the “Kiss of Death” for dating. The men will move on to easier pickings.

    I blame some of the women in society who allow this behavior to continue and I blame society for not putting out a stronger message that this behavior towards women is abuse! Every time a woman is stalked or talked to like that, they should be on the phone with the police or threatening it. It is verbal abuse, plain and simple.

    Thank you again for letting me know I am not the only one out there who suffered with this.

  16. Felipe A Marland says:

    I was on fb just now and before I say what I came here to say I’ll preface and let you all, male and female, know that *both parties are at fault many times. More often the male than the female that takes rejection as a vehicle to lash out in a verbally abusive manner. But in many of these cases (now that I actually ended up on an internet tangent out of something that was supposed to originally supposed to be fun and actually saw the screen shots of the full interactions. I’ll explain in a few) the woman in those particular cases is being disrespectful in her own right by either insulting the guy flat out or ignoring him instead of being a decent person and politely saying, “No thank you, I’m not interested”

    To the guy that gets upset about the polite let down: Grow up. If you feel you can choose someone as potential partner then that woman you’re harassing also has that choice and you weren’t it. She dodged a bullet and you were a hollow point “lady killer”.

    Now onto my next point. My name is Felipe and my friend posted a status that involves putting your name and the word “meme” into google and picking out the first picture on images and posting it to his status wall. All the others were hilarious. All I see when I put my name in were “Bye Felipe” memes so I googled the meaning behind the meme wasn’t too happy to have my name associated with this nonsense. This entire thing makes me feel just as uncomfortable as when some of you women are harassed by these men online.

    It is really disappointing you (whoever you are) decided to use the name Felipe as the “John Doe” equivalent since John is a ubiquitous name. People create associations with things like names and now things make a little more sense when I’ve been introduced to a few girls (girls in general, and only just a few of them. I’m married) within the past year and a strange look came over their face, almost like one of amused disgust. It’s that easy to create negative connotations between things when the right propoganda material is passed around.

    Maybe this sounds like it’s not a big deal, but that’s like wanting to win a superbowl badly and your team doesn’t make it by 1 yard and someone tells you, “It’s okay, it’s just a game, get em next year”

    You’ve worked harder than anyone realizes pre season and throughout the entire season to make it to this place and now you’re given that line. I’ve worked hard my entire life to estabish great relationships with people and on my character so that I know I am a good person whether someone watching not and for a stupid meme like this to exist is frustrating

    • ‘Propaganda material’? Seriously? Against who, against you specifically? No. Literally thousands of people all over the world have their names associated with stupid things. Instead of getting ashamed and butthurt why don’t you try and make a light hearted joke about it if someone decides to give you a disgusted look. Or better yet, don’t associate yourself with people who can’t differentiate between a meme on the internet and a real life person with their own thoughts and feelings.
      You may think its ‘nonsense’ but people aren’t going to stop recognising and discussing the awful abuse they receive through ‘byefelipe’ because it just so happens to be the same name as yours. If you’re nothing like the men on that page then you should have nothing to worry about.

  17. Nicolas Puentes says:

    While I agree that attacking a woman for not being interested is beyond reason, I also believe that it is highly impolite that the women simply ignore the message w/o a return of some sort. Granted, you don’t actually have to do this, but it shows a maturity level of your part, instead of playing the role of who gets the response they’re waiting for. I saw in this page that women are not obligated to be nice, and I was like, what the hell? so men should be nice at all times but not women? what the hell is that supposed to mean? It seems more of a case of rising militant fenimism here than of denouncing misogynistic attitudes, which is ok to denounce, but also keep in mind that everyone, not just men, should be polite, and that by all means includes women.

  18. Why calling the guy felipe, thouhht? Isn’t it perpetuating some antilatino stereotyping of latinamerican men as more macho or less caring, or less aware of the gender equality issues? Why not bye John, bye martin or bye tyler?

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