By Madison Martin | Broadcast Reporter
The original meaning of “simp” meant a silly or foolish person, derived from the word “simpleton.” However, as generations passed, “simp” is now new slang used to shame men who treat women properly. It discourages males from showing any ounce of respect or affection within relationships, perpetuating toxic masculinity.
A man that puts too much value on a female for no reason. (Urban Dictionary, 2012)
Though the word is usually meant to mean no severe harm, it negatively associates vulnerability and sensitivity to weakness. A “simp” refers to a person who goes above and beyond for someone they feel emotionally connected to. The term is typically now used to describe men and their treatment towards women. There are several definitions with very little difference. Still, all share the same basis — that being in the mindset of treating women with respect and willingly giving up control of a masculine superiority complex is absurd.
The social media platform TikTok has sparked many new trends, including promoting music, hairstyle changes and colloquialisms such as “simping.” Though the social network is meant to promote connectivity through creativity, instead it has further widened a gap between the sexes by embarrassing men for doing the bare minimum to show their appreciation for women.
Simp culture has been popularized after many fans started imitating celebrities using the word on social media. England-based Swedish YouTuber, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, created a video called “Never call me a simp!” The video begins with remarks criticizing men who show respect towards women as “pathetic.” PewDiePie said, “If you ever so much as to say a nice thing to a woman: simp.” and “… simp: you’re the lowest of the low.”
PewDiePies’ remarks, although mostly used ironically for joke material, reinforced the negative stigma against males showing civility and supporting women. Celebrities that use “simp” to describe other people in a derogatory manner have a ripple effect on the masses because of the large platform.
“Simp” is often used as a joke that’s interlinked with misogynistic views by diminishing behaviors showing compassion and admiration for the opposite sex. It is not fair for politeness to be received one-sidedly and to pressure men to feel inadequate if they do not adhere to the cultural norms by continually being in control of any given situation.
This may seem like an immature, childish trend with no meaning, but its effects on young adults dive deeper than the surface. It can further complicate boys’ efforts towards maintaining relationships and how they interact with people — especially women in their daily lives. Throwing “simp” around lightly can unknowingly cause men to internalize their true feelings and follow the traditional male gender roles that stigmatize men expressing any emotions other than anger, thus perpetuating toxic masculinity.
Men who value and admire women should be appreciated and acknowledged in a positive way to enforce a continuation of civilized behavior between genders. They are simply people who have unlearned problematic sexist norms and grown to interact with people more healthily.