@goldnosering is a 23 year old meme artist/student from the United States. She has 15.3k followers on Instagram. @goldnosering’s work is often labeled as “intersectional feminist memes.” She regularly posts about race and racism.
Being a queer, Muslim, woman of colour, my identity has always been “intersectional”, and I’ve always known this, so describing myself as “intersectional” seems a little foreign to me. I’m okay with the title, I just think it’s a little weird that people stress the “intersectional” part as if it is separate from “feminist” as a whole. I firmly believe if it is not intersectional, it is not feminism.
Why did you decide to get messages across in the form of memes?
I was inspired by people like @scariest_bug_ever, @bunnymemes, and @deadbeatpunkboyfriend and their memes from their perspectives to start creating memes from my perspective. I think humour can be a very powerful tool of coping sometimes. Coping becomes easier when dealt with humorously. I’d like to think that when I make a meme, I am capturing my feelings in that moment and alchemizing my pain into feelings that are more spelled out. I would also like to think that posting a meme is like closure for those feelings sometimes.
What memes have you had removed from Instagram and how does it make you feel having posts removed?
Instagram removed an image that I made of Tomi Lahren holding up a sign that said “White women have always sided with white supremacy”. I had another meme removed where my caption was “We all know a white girl like this who never minds her business” and images of a “hippie” aesthetic — slouch bag with an Om on it, strappy sandals, a bunch of rings…But I think what offended people the most was the inclusion of a Google image search bar that said “Why do people keep calling me racist?” It’s so annoying to me. There are so many bigoted posts on Instagram and I know if my post said something like “I know a black girl like this…”, it would never get removed because of how racist our society is. I think the Tomi Lahren one really offended me because that statement is just pure fact. White women have and continue to look out for other white women. Susan B. Anthony [President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association 1892-1900] never wanted black women to become enfranchised with her because she did not consider black women to be a part of her sisterhood. It really troubles me when these info graphics get reported because they’re not supposed to be funny, they’re supposed to be factual, so to see someone be offended by a fact is just deeply troubling.
Tell us about some of the “everyday bigotry” and racist comments you get on your page?
I made a flow chart aimed for non-black people on use of the n-word. Unsurprisingly, the comments were filled with non-black people just commenting the n word (both the -a and -er endings), complaining that I’m “censoring” them, and other garbage. I generally get the worst responses when I post about race. Sometimes people assume when I post about race that I’m a white teenager, which is always really confusing. Posting about Islam generally gets pretty terrible comments, too. I just block people and delete their comments. My block list is really long. A lot of people call me fat, too, which I think is funny considering I have no pictures of me on my account. The assumptions people make are ridiculous, but I’ve found it more productive to just block, delete, and move on.
What’s your favourite meme from your creations?
I don’t know if I have a favourite meme. The memes that have gone the furthest have been my “Can I say the N-word?” flow chart info graphic, and my dig at white women with micro bangs. The memes I like the most are ones about how much I value and cherish those around me. I’m a Pisces, so I have a lot of feelings all the time, especially towards my loved ones.
What’s the next step?
Coming up this month, my work and the work of some other beautiful “intersectional feminist” meme accounts are being featured in a show called Cooler Online, showcasing digital art outside of the digital realm. I guess that’s where we’re going in 2017, and I’m kind of excited, because who’s to say memes aren’t art? What is the difference between the kind of art Andy Warhol did and movements like Dadaism and a meme that says “Call the cops, I’ll f*** them too”? Are memes not a form of commentary on popular culture? Are memes not also absurd in format?
I’m in the process of trying to get a “real person” job – I graduate from University soon so I guess that’s the next logical step in life. I’m working on my mental, physical, and emotional health. I’m always trying to be my best me. Sometimes that means not posting for a few days to step away from the bigotry in my comments and in my DMs. I plan on being in the presence of my two best friends, now that we’re all in the same area again. We have a lot of Bollywood to watch, face masks to apply, and mangoes to eat.