Microfeminism: On TikTok, women share the little ways they fight sexism in the workplace

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In 2024, women are still underrepresented in certain industries and leadership positions, and of course, underpaid across the board. Sexism in the workplace is nothing new. Neither is women trying to combat it. But now, women are calling attention to a different kind of combat—called “microfeminism.”

On social media, a wave of women are speaking about the small, everyday acts they’re engaging in to clap back against sexism around the office. And it’s pretty inspiring to see just how widespread these acts of microfeminism have become.

The actions can be subtle, even seemingly simple or insignificant. Think: emailing a male colleague without using a single exclamation point in order to achieve a more assertive tone, or publicly backing a female colleague’s good idea instead of staying mute. Or resisting the urge to apologize for chasing down a late paycheck or . . . pretty much anything, really. (Women are known to apologize far more than men.) Any singular, assertive act that pushes back against women being downplayed, trivialized, or overlooked counts.

The conversation was kicked off by TikTok user Ashley Chaney, a TV producer and host, who opened up about her acts of microfeminism. “When I send an email to the CEO and you have to copy their assistant for scheduling purposes, if the assistant is female, in the email ‘to’ line, I will always enter their email address before the CEOs,” she explains in the March 25 video. Chaney captioned it “girls girl, corporate edition” and hashtagged it #microfeminism. At present, the post has 2.7 million views.

The following week, Katie Wood, an attorney, made a video sharing her own acts of microfeminism, which she says “piss men off,” therefore becoming “her favorite thing.” One of those subtle acts is defaulting to using she/her pronouns for people in leadership positions, unless she knows for certain the higher-up in question is a man (or, no doubt, someone she knows who prefers they/them pronouns).

The trend has certainly taken off when it comes to influencing office behavior. But some women have begun sharing their acts of microfeminism outside the office, too. TikTok user @Samspiegspt opened up about an incident when someone approached her with a seemingly straightforward question that she used to flip the script. “Last night this guy comes up to me, and he goes ‘Are you Drew’s wife?’ And I was like ‘No, Drew’s my husband.’”

Hundreds of others have shared videos showcasing their own subtle acts of protest against sexism in the workplace and elsewhere. In fact, the hashtag #microfeminism is now attached to millions of TikTok videos. Each video is a strikingly beautiful act of solidarity with other women. Why does it matter? Because when you add up all these seemingly insignificant acts, the effect is actually massive. Microfeminism intends to counter sexism in the very same way: subtly, constantly, and ultimately, massively.



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