This September, let’s examine ‘simping’

‘No Simp September’ is the trendy collision between toxic masculinity and sexism

Don't get caught up in sexist online trends.

You’ve probably heard of ‘cuffing season’: in the colder months, the desire to snuggle through the winter with a partner becomes hard to resist, and more and more of your friends start changing their relationship status from ‘single’ to ‘taken.’ Suddenly, your group of friends has diminished to you and that other girl who also has commitment issues and likes to watch The Bachelor.  

This fall—because 2020 needed more chaos, apparently—we’re seeing a trend that’s arguably the opposite of cuffing season: ‘No Simp September.’ 

What is a simp, you ask? It’s a guy who bails on his friends because the girl he’s been talking to asked him to go out for a date night. It’s your buddy who always picks up when a certain girl calls and leaves you hanging in the middle of a Call of Duty match. 

The term spotlights on men—although it’s not strictly gender-specific—who are willing to show an ounce of respect to a woman, usually a significant other, in their life. 

Although it’s been adopted by teens on TikTok as a synonym for ‘stanning ’—obsessing over someone, often a celebrity— in its purest form, the term ‘simping’ is extremely regressive. It fosters toxic masculinity and promotes sexist ideologies that encourage the emotional absence of men while simultaneously dismissing the emotions of women.   

No Simp September encourages men to embrace their ‘no strings attached’ habits, which on its own, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Hook-up culture is fairly prevalent and can be a healthy and fun way of expressing yourself and your sexuality. However, No Simp September’s goal isn’t to empower men to have casual sex; it’s aimed at removing the element of fluid communication and respect in relationships. 

This isn’t the first time there’s been a trend that fosters hostility between genders. There are plenty of online movements that pit men and women against each other: For example, the ‘Waste His Time’ trend, which encouraged women to lead men on for personal gain, also cropped up in recent  years. 

No Simp September is overtly anti-women. At its core, it’s striving to discourage men from extending respect to women they’re attracted to. The trend reduces women to nothing more than inconveniences and requires men to be disconnected in their relationships. 

At this point, one might encourage a so-called simp to just disconnect altogether—after all, there’s still a deadly virus circulating, and if you think you need to take a month-long vacation from respecting women, some social distancing is probably warranted even without a pandemic.  

It’s clear that mutual respect between genders has been far from harmonious or consistent, and university culture doesn’t help. Students are often under pressure academically and socially, and most find themselves interacting with people who may be at extremely different phases in their lives. Throw in a pandemic to top it off, and you’re sure to see some trends arise that reflect the ongoing angst everyone is feeling. 

No Simp September may have women feeling like it’s 1920 instead of 2020. Given the regressive and offensive nature of the trend, it’s no surprise that it’s caused controversy online. Women have worked for decades to gain equality, and with one TikTok hashtag we’re reduced to a forbidden fruit yet again. 

Luckily, we’re in 2020 and women can fight back. I suggest that No Simp September gets a facelift next month with Only Ovaries October. If men want to swear off women for a month, why can’t a girl return the favour?  

In all seriousness, don’t treat people poorly, because we’re all just trying to get through this year. Respect should be given to everyone, no matter their gender identity or the time of year.


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