How a Tweet About Taylor Swift Turned into an Awesome Women’s History Lesson

Despite the patriarchy’s best efforts to keep them a secret from us, women have been changing the world in immeasurable ways since the dawn of time. The internet got a poignant and inspiring, if not unexpected, reminded of that thanks in part to a tweet by a Twitter user who goes by the name “Nutella.” On November 9th, “Nutella” tweeted a photo of Taylor Swift from her Look What You Made Me Do video and asked the internet–rhetorically, most likely–to name a “badder bitch” than Taylor.


Nutella got way more than they’d bargained for, and so did the rest of us, when the internet responded in full force. The tweet received over 1,200 retweets and 12,000 replies, taking on a life of its own as people started responding to request for bad bitches literally. Quickly, the tweet became less about Taylor Swift and centered on incredible women who often don’t get the credit they deserve.

Many Twitter users shared the names and stories of brave and inspiring historical and living figures. Some were household names, like Virginia Woolf or Malala Yousafzai. Others, though, were women most of us have probably never heard of. The historically significant women included war heroes, inventors, survivors and rulers. They killed Nazis, ruled the seven seas, and lead rebellions.

Others nominated female politicians, industry leaders, activists, or even their own friends and family. Turns out, many Twitter users have some very badass grandmas.

The meme is probably most moving when you remove Taylor Swift from the picture altogether. Her successes as an artist and businesswoman are impressive, but there are countless women throughout history and all around us whose incredible stories are lost or overlooked or whose accomplishments are falsely credited to men.

It would be easy to believe that women have not had the kind of accomplishments historically that men have, but the truth is that our history is selective. The stories that are passed on in our classrooms, history books, and films are as biased as the individuals and institutions that create them. Rather than ranking women according to their badassery, this meme should serve as a reminder that there are so many incredible women out there and we can’t let history erase or minimize their stories and contributions.

Photo Credit: Eva Rinaldi

61 comments

Marie W
Marie Wabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing

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Mike R
Mike R7 months ago

Thanks

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Mike R
Mike R7 months ago

Thanks

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Celine R
Celine Russo7 months ago

I'm noticing that a lot now that I'm halfway through reading the book "Historica's Women" by Katherine Aaslestad. So many women had such hard times ;_;

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Patrice Z
Patrice Z7 months ago

So great to learn about so many strong, courageous women in history. Thanks for sharing.

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Paola S
Past Member 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Chad A
Chad A7 months ago

Thank you!

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Janis K
Janis K7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Marija M
Marija M7 months ago

tks

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Marija K
Marija K7 months ago

Radical feminist deconstruction of gender is the most significant intellectual achievement in human history that I can think of, besides the discovery of the DNA molecule which led to the ultimate conclusions about ''the meaning of life''.

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