Why Twitter Is Horrified by This Movement Designed to Empower Women

October 20th 2016

Almie Rose

After Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's comments about grabbing [women] "by the pussy" went viral, discussions about women and consent soon followed (which is a good thing).

But Grab Her By The Brain, a new movement "dedicated to empowering females of all ages" is generating some backlash, judging by the reactions from women — and men — on Twitter.

The founder of Grab Her By The Brain is a woman, Elizabeth Ariosto. Their homepage proclaims they are a movement that "[...] refuses to accept the objectification of women — at work, on the sidewalk, at school, in the media. Empower every woman by acknowledging her unique and immeasurable contribution to society." And while it seems that the initiative's intentions are good, the overall campaign is not striking a positive chord online.

Grab Her By The Brain.

Grab Her By The Brain ambassador, Gregg Sulkin, an actor, tweeted the following: 

Though Sulkin is "honored" to be a part of a movement "dedicated to empowering females," the Internet did not share his sentiments.

Here's why it misses the mark:

As you can probably tell, two main issues are emerging here.

Issue one is, the use of "females," as if women are an other. Issue two: the "grab her" phrase could perpetuate the idea that it's okay to grab women. (It's not.)

Grab Her By The Brain hat

There are ways to empower and support women without making them a punch line for a $21 baseball cap. One could look to UN Women for their tireless work in championing women's rights, including ending violence against women by establishing safe houses and services to women who need them the most.


A photo posted by UN Women (@unwomen) on

They also suggest ways in which you can involved, like campaigning on behalf of their causes, donating to their charities.

In an emailed statement to ATTN:, founder Elizabeth Ariosto had this to say about her movement:

"As a domestic violence survivor and someone who dedicates her life to advocating for women’s rights, I am deeply saddened by the way certain members of our society value women in both the workplace and at home. Intentionally provocative in nature, Grab Her by the Brain, is designed to serve as a timely metaphor to promote gender equality by using satire to help influence healthy public debate following Mr. Trump’s derogatory remarks about women. Undoubtedly, our slogan is being used to protest his lewd comments and propel the nation to join in demanding cultural change. My hope is that this campaign will bring every woman closer to achieving their greatest potential without the fear of being objectified or disempowered.

Update: 10/26 10:30 a.m. PST: This story was updated to include a response from Grab Her by the Brain founder, Elizabeth Ariosto.