Read an Excerpt from Scarlett Curtis' 'Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies'

Reese Witherspoon called it “hysterical” and “real.” Mindy Kaling described it as “brilliant.” Fearne Cotton found it “refreshing” and “honest.” And who are we to argue with these boss ladies?!

Bumble is honored to partner with journalist and women’s equality activist Scarlett Curtis on the launch of her essay collection ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies): Amazing women on what the F-word means to them.’

Scarlett’s collection includes pieces by inspiring feminists like Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, Jameela Jamil, Elyse Fox — and Bumble’s very own founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd.

Open the Bumble app in any mode for a chance to win a copy (with a special edition yellow cover), and check out an exclusive excerpt from Whitney’s essay below. ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink’ is available from a bookseller near you now.

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I didn’t mean to become the poster girl for online harassment. Believe me, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! I was twenty-four years old and I’d left my first job in a very public way. (That’s a story for another time.) As too many women have learned, the internet can be a terrifying place if you find yourself in the headlines, especially if it’s anything to do with gender.

I was ripped apart by strangers: rape threats, death threats, the works. The misogynistic abuse I experienced was so painful. I felt as if it had started to define me, like a scarlet letter. The way shame, guilt and blame attach themselves to women, even when we aren’t at fault, is so dangerous and pervasive.

I let myself wallow a little. For months I suffered anxiety attacks. I drank a lot of wine. But I couldn’t let hate bury me. I wanted to find a solution, and to help others in my position. Really, if I’m honest, I wanted to build a feminist internet. All the social platforms and online networks out there were created and/or run by men. What would they look like if they were taken apart and created from scratch with a woman at the helm?

As I was being bombarded by hate, I kept my head down. I was hard at work on a prototype for a women-only social network. I was going to call it Merci, and it would be a way to spread compliments. I thought I’d combat the harassment I had experienced with love and kindness. I thought there was room for an online platform where positive behaviour was contagious. But my now-business-partner Andrey had another idea. He knew that my forte was the online dating space.

© Whitney Wolfe Herd 2018. Extracted from Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and Other Lies), curated by Scarlett Curtis (Penguin £12.99), published 4 October 2018.