Oh Yes I Am Going To Blog About #nomakeupselfie & #cockinasock

The double standards of our patriarchal society really p*ss me off! There I said it, judge away! I don’t consider myself a well versed thoughtful intellectual, I’m just a regular girl, with a regular IQ, nothing outstanding or brilliant about me. And I hate tackling these types of posts on my blog because sometimes I question whether or not I have the intelligence or verbal and written skills to adequately do this topic justice, but here goes…

Growing up as a girl and now as a mother raising two girls, I’ve become increasingly aware of the symptoms of our patriarchal society. The double standards that exist between boys and girls and men and women… The sniggers and giggles surround comments like: you scream like a girl, you throw like a girl or…. my pet peeve, you can’t do that because you’re a girl! Heck, I’m guilty of these comments myself, that’s how deeply ingrained this train of thought is in all of us, we are all guilty of gender based double standards to some degree of other. I’ve faced it in my own career, most especially since becoming a mother and it is infuriating.

Most recently, I’ve been aware of this gender based double standard with the recent/current SM campaigns to raise funds and awareness for cancer… the #nomakeupselfie and the #cockinasock campaigns. I usually don’t participate in these types of campaigns but when I heard that they were actually raising funds for cancer associations around the world, I did it, I took part in the female version… #nomakeupselfie


The #nomakeupselfie & #cockinasock campaigns have garnered a lot of attention on line but what became glaringly obvious to me was the total gender based double standard cropping up once again. The women’s campaign, the #nomakeupselfie has been toted as vapid and narcissistic.  There have been hundreds of articles written about it, about how the #nomakeupselfie is just another example of vanity. So many people I know IRL and online, peeps I hold in high regard and who I greatly respect have also slammed the #nomakeupselfie campaign, once again as vain, vapid, narcissistic etc, and not just peeps, fellow women.

But what I can’t help noticing is how no one… not one single person has made the same negative comments about the #cockinasock campaign. Everyone thinks this campaign, which really is just the male version of the #nomakeupselfie for women, is daring, fabulous, fun, risqué, provocative. I’ve not seen it written anywhere that this campaign is vapid or vain or narcissistic.

Why is that? Is this another double standard? If I posted a picture of my boods in coconuts and hash tagged it #boobfruit in aid of cancer awareness, would that be considered fabulous, fun, risqué, provocative and for a good cause raising cancer awareness or would I be called a slut?

Or is it just socially accepted that women celebrating their natural beauty are vain, while men celebrating their masculinity are just fabulous?

Edited to add: Just to clarify, this blog post is NOT about the merits & values of such campaigns but rather the double standards that seem to exist between the male & female versions of the same campaign. 


  • Heather

    March 26, 2014 at 11:32 am

    ja I think they just want to create controversy more than awareness… it’s like that bra colour thing they had on facebook last time… people remember that rather than cancer… I think it rather defeats the purpose.

  • Fabulous Mommy

    March 26, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I didn’t even know about the #COCKINASOCK campaign and frankly if all it is doing is giving men licence to show off their genitalia (as the name implies) for some kind of similar “awareness” program then I will be the first to add my voice to the noise decrying it.

    I have seen the #nomakeupselfie EVERYWHERE and it infuriates me as much as all the other cancer awareness memes have. Whether it be the bra game or the handbag game or any of the plethora of useless memes, I refuse to participate. Whenever they do come up I flood my feed with pictures on how to do a self breast exam.

    now with #cockinasock I will add how to do a testicular self exam to the list.

    • Sharon

      March 26, 2014 at 11:35 am

      I don’t participate in the game campaigns, for eg the handbag one etc… I just don’t see the point, everyone on SM is more than aware of cancer etc. However, the #nomakeup selfie had a call to action, to make a difference by making a donation and that was the only reason I participated in it.

  • Fabulous Mommy

    March 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Furthermore everyone is ‘aware’ of cancer. have you ever met someone who doesn’t know cancer exists? We don’t need awareness of the disease, we need awareness of early detection, early treatment and how to be supportive of our friends and family who have had/have cancer.

  • Jackie Hayter

    March 26, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Good point.

    I was also thinking of how when there were loads of #necknominations (the drinking version), people argued that it was ‘just fun’. But with the #nomakeupselfie i have read dozens of articles and posts about how posting the pic is ‘meaningless’ and ‘pointless’. At least a percentage of the ladies who posted a selfie, also donated at least R10 to someone, which is way more than any #necknomination brought in.

  • MrSmithMachine

    March 26, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I made quite a few negative comments about the #cockinasock campaign on twitter this morning.
    And I have a cock. And I’m damn well not about to stick it in a sock and post the photo on Social Media.
    It is a double standard unfortunately. But I have a problem with “awareness campaigns” on social media in general.
    I actually climbed on my soapbox and moaned about the #nomakeupselfie campaign as well.
    I make regular donations to various charities and don’t feel the need to “brag’ about it on every social media platform. But, hey that’s just me.

    Just make the donation, and then post the pic. Or better yet, post the pic of you MAKING the donation. No selfie without makeup, no cocks in things. Just a screen-grab of your donation.

    As an aside: Have you seen how many men have used really LONG socks. Hahaha!
    Us men and out fragile “little” egos.

    • Sharon

      March 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

      LOL! Love you take on it! And I’m in total agreement! I don’t see the donating and sharing as bragging but rather an attempt at inspiring others to participate by making a donation? Does that make sense?

  • Jenny

    March 26, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I have seen many people participate and then many people ask how to make a donation so the no make up game is raising awareness of how to donate at least. And they have raised millions of pounds in the UK and almost R100 000 in SA and growing so obviously not everybody is just doing it without donating – it’s actually working on that level. I am not sure why it bugs people so – like everyone some selfies look lovely without make up just like some look lovely with make up – I don’t get the connection with bravery and cancer but for me it’s just an easy way to show support and call to donate and on that level it has worked and is working. What annoys me is why it annoys people so – this feels nasty and misogynistic to me. Why do people hate it so much? I see a lot of my FB doing it and never judge them as they are my real actual friends and are more to me than just a FB photo. As for the cock in a sock thing, I couldn’t agree more with you. I don’t mind seeing them if they actually serve a purpose and money is raised somewhere for a good cause – but to see absolutely no criticism and in fact only – oh how funny ha ha – like a Nando’s ad – just annoys me too and reaffirms for me the double standards just like you said Sharon. So I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  • reluctantmom

    March 26, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Other than all the criticism that has come out about the #nomakeupselfie, I think the stronger point of your post is the fact that we label our girls.

    Sometimes I want to say something to my kids with it ending “…like a girl” … and then I catch myself and I realise how ingrained this way of thinking is.

    I have heard Connor’s dad tell him countless times not to do something “like a girl” and then I sit there and think “what about our two girls standing right there — why are we looking at things girls do, and going well, if you do that “like a girl” it is somewhat inferior.

    Both campaigns did not resonate with me, this blog post does.

  • Sarah

    March 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Don’t know anything about cock in a sock. The male equivalent here in the UK was posting a selfie with make-up on. But whether some didn’t donate, or whether some secretly wore make up, surely the point is that here, in just six days, £8 million pounds has been raised for Cancer Research UK and they can now fund 10 new clinical trials they didn’t have the money for before. We’re all aware of cancer, but I don’t think we’ve ever been quite this aware and ready to dig deep into our pockets before.

    • Sharon

      March 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      I totally agree with you Sarah & I’m not disputing the value of the campaigns. If you haven’t heard of the #cockinsock campaign, perhaps google it, but brace yourself for the images. My commentary is more about the different perceptions and reactions to the two campaigns.

  • Nikki Lincoln (@nikkilincoln)

    March 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    So well said Sharon! Every November I gripe about this exact thing to anyone that will listen, how many grow beards because they are too lazy to shave versus those that actually grow the beard AND make the donation? You hardly see anything about it on SM, no one tuts or rants and calls them out. While I did not participate in the #nomakeupselfie campaign, I really don’t understand what the big deal, if you don’t see the merit of it, don’t take part… why bother to complain, it’s not harming anyone. But, as they say, opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one. The righteous indignation around “slacktivism” really annoys me. The double standard though is truly pathetic. Great post! And well written!


I LOVE comments, leave yours here:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: