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Hey girl, those Ryan Gosling memes actually do some good

Do you remember those Ryan Gosling memes? You know the ones with his ruggedly handsome face and puppy dog eyes? The ones that started with the ever so smooth “Hey girl” accompanied by a female affirming message? No, still not ringing a bell. Ok try this:

Tumblr: Feminist Ryan Gosling

Well it turns out those memes are actually good for feminism! (As if Ryan Gosling’s gorgeous mug wasn’t enough reason to already love them.

Photo: Danielle Henderson

In love with the memes as well, two PhD students at the University of Saskatchewan decided to see if they had a measurable impact on people’s endorsement of feminist beliefs or feminist identification. Dividing 99 participants (a third of which were male) into two groups, they showed the participants Ryan Gosling’s image with and without the feminist text. Afterwards, they were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire.

Photo: Danielle Henderson

While they found there was no impact on people’s identification as feminist, the memes did have a significant impact on how the participants endorsed feminist issues. This was particularly true among men. Men who viewed the memes with the text scored higher on supporting feminists beliefs.

Photo: Danielle Henderson

This suggests two ideas: 1) the Ryan Gosling memes may actually make men more feminist and 2) it provides “support for the notion that popular internet memes can serve more than an entertainment function in that they can also serve as a persuasive device for relaying ideological information.” In other words “Memes Matter” and can promote social good.

So in the spirit of promoting social good (and definitely not because I want to see more Ryan Gosling images...), here are some of my favorites memes:

Pinterest Samantha Tumey

Tumblr: Feminist Ryan Gosling

Blog: Brooke Andrus

Tumblr: Feminist Ryan Gosling

Pinterest: Stacy of KSW


My fangirl crush aside, these memes really do help promote feminism. So let’s follow in Ryan Gosling’s footsteps and support equal rights among women and girls. Go to http://showyourselfie.org/ and upload your photo #ShowYourSelfie to join the visual petition to support women and girls.

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Chelsea White