Forbes is under fire from women’s rights advocates and online commentators after having a male who recently began identifying as a “girl” speak at their Power Women’s Summit, an annual event highlighting female leaders in business and activism.
Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender TikToker who has risen to notoriety for his “days of girlhood” series, spoke on “ushering in a new era of influence” at the Summit, which was held in New York City on September 15.
The announcement of Mulvaney’s appearance was posted to the official Forbes twitter the following day and attracted overwhelmingly negative attention from feminists and gender critical activists who pointed out that Mulvaney has identified as a “woman” for less than a year.
“So this is actually a feminine man, not a woman. Being a woman isn’t about performing sexist stereotypes, it is an innate biological reality,” Twitter user Frederich wrote in response to the Forbes announcement. As of this article’s writing, the tweet has under 900 ‘likes’ compared to over 2,800 overwhelmingly negative replies.
Even transgender people critical of Mulvaney’s participation added their voice to the chorus of discontent.
“What does Dylan know about being a woman? To Dylan, being a woman is being told how stunning and brave you are every day for chronicling your adult male “girlhood.” He’s been LARPing as a woman for a day and a half. This is an insult to women and embarrassing for dysphoric men,” Transgender Twitter user SophieXY wrote.
You’re a disgrace. Find a woman to do this, why don’t you?— Helen Joyce (@HJoyceGender) September 18, 2022
Mulvaney’s appearance at the Summit comes just months after the TikToker reported being offered a partnership with Tampax to advertise menstruation products. The partnership allegedly came after Mulvaney’s video on his “12th day of girlhood” in which he discussed carrying tampons around to hand out in women’s bathrooms, and refers to the vagina as a “barbie pouch.”
Mulvaney’s TikToks documenting his “days of girlhood” have accumulated millions of views. In the videos, Mulvaney is often seen doing and acting in excessively “feminine” ways which are often perceived as representing harmful, sexist stereotypes. While “being a girl,” Mulvaney often attributes his womanhood to what he is wearing, his makeup, eating habits, and dramatic emotions which lead to crying and binge shopping.
During his “day 74” video, Mulvaney advocates for the normalization of his “bulge” after complaining that people at a supermarket were disturbed by the outfit he had been wearing, which had included leather shorts that clearly showed the outline of his genitals.
“I forgot that my crotch doesn’t look like other women’s crotches because mine doesn’t look like a little barbie pocket,” Mulvaney says, “… I just normalize it, and we all just normalize women having bulges sometimes, because we’re coming up on bikini season, baby, and you might see a bulge or two.”
Mulvaney has attracted a large fanbase which often rushes to his defense when he experiences criticism. One such victim of Mulvaney’s rabid fans is known on social media as Jess, a female TikToker who parodied Mulvaney’s “girlhood” series.
Jess released a few TikToks in which she acted an exaggerated parody of Mulvaney, taking on his dramatic feminine personality while wearing pigtails and using a filter which masculinized her appearance.
As a result of her parodies, Jess was banned from TikTok multiple times, and has experienced extreme backlash from Mulvaney’s fans.
Earlier this year, Mulvaney’s fans attempted to have Jess fired from her job, spreading rumors she worked at Domino’s Pizza. Ajay Rochester, who hosted The Biggest Loser Australia joined in on the campaign, trying to get Domino’s attention on Twitter in an effort to have Jess terminated.
@dominos are you aware of the trans hate being spewed out by an employee of yours? Please tell us she no longer works for and does not speak for the company? The internet awaits your answer— Ajay Rochester (@ajayrochester) September 14, 2022
Last week, Jess reported that she and her family’s personal information had been leaked by Mulvaney’s fans in an attempt to intimidate her.
On September 13, just days before the Forbes Summit, Mulvaney made a condescending TikTok responding to Jess’ parodies, which caused his fans to flood her social media with reports and abuse.
“How sad would it be if you left this earth – God forbid – as the woman who hated trans people?” Mulvaney said in the TikTok, “That’s kind of a sucky title!”
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