Hey, girl: Ryan Gosling memes might be able to help eradicate misogyny.
University of Saskatchewan Ph.D. students Sarah Sangster and Linzi Williamson conducted a study of how the Internet’s famous feminist Ryan Gosling memes affect people’s feminist beliefs. Their research found that men who saw a picture of Ryan Gosling with feminist text written over it were more inclined to endorse radical feminist beliefs than the control group of people who only looked at photos of Gosling with no text.
For example, male participants shown Feminist Ryan Gosling were more likely to believe statements like “men use abortion laws and reproductive technology to control women’s lives.” Their beliefs were changed by as much as 10 percent.
The “Hey Girl” viewers were not more likely to identify as feminists, however, and women’s feminist beliefs remained largely unaffected by the Gosling memes.
Sangster and Williamson tested 99 undergraduate students, a third of whom were men. They did not show any of the participants feminist statements sans Gosling’s lovely face because they said the point was to test the affect of images circulated widely on the Internet.
“What our research says is that we shouldn’t quickly dismiss pop culture phenomena and realize that there is potential to use it as a persuasive device,” said Sangster.
Images in article courtesy of Feminist Ryan Gosling