By David Futrelle
4Chan has a brand-new imaginary girlfriend, and she might look a little bit familiar to you. “Daisy Hogg” seems designed to win the hearts (and the pants-feelings) of the 4Chan demographic — she’s a young, slender hottie who loves guns, Trump, and owning the libs.
It doesn’t hurt, as far as 4Chan is concerned, that their new girl looks like she’s barely out of high school, if that, and that she enjoys posing in next-to-nothing, sometimes with assorted scary-looking guns as accessories.
The reason Daisy looks so familiar? Because this imaginary girlfriend is nothing more than a gender-swapped version of Parkland survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg, a figure almost universally loathed on the right.
Daisy was born last week after one inventive 4Chan anon thought to run some pictures of David Hogg through FaceApp’s female filter, transforming him instantly into a more-than-passable young woman — and a rather attractive one at that.
Other 4Chan anons went to work at once, photoshopping Daisy’s new face onto the bodies of bikini models, porn stars, and, in one case, Nancy Pelosi. Many anons can’t quite decide whether to mock David as Daisy, or whack off to her. For others. the decision hasn’t been hard, because something else has been.
Some of the anons who aren’t cranking it to Daisy are devoting their energy instead into photoshopping her into 4Chan’s horny, semi-ironic version of a patron saint — and chastising those who are “tainting” her purity with their lusts.
Not every anon is quite so agog. This being 4Chan, some have been quick to deride the fascination with David-as-Daisy as “gay” and, ahem, “n***er tier.” Meanwhile, more-paranoid anons are suggesting that the new meme is somehow an elaborate false-flag “psyop” designed to … well, I’m not quite sure what these guys think the memes are supposed to be doing to their poor brains.
So what does it all mean? A few anons have taken a shot at explaining the significance of this new meme. “David Hogg just announced that he intended to run for Congress,” writes one enthusiastic anon.
and now you’ve created a character more attractive, more meaningful, and more inspiring than he will ever be..
Do you even realize how brilliant you are sometimes? His face is going to end up listed by the ADL as a hate symbol and he will spend the rest of his life seeing his likeness used to promote second amendment rights and right-wing ideologies.
You sentenced him to a fate worse than obscurity.. You’ve eclipsed him with a shining star..
And that star is called Daisy-chan
I’m not quite so sure this meme is going to prove quite so potent outside the confines of 4Chan as it has within them. Even 4Channers struggle a bit trying to explain just what exactly this new meme actually means. I mean:
That’s about as close as any 4Chan Daisy-explainer I’ve seen has gotten to a coherent explanation, and it doesn’t make a lick of sense.
I think the meme is a lot more interesting psychologically than it is politically. It seems clear enough that one of the impulses behind this forced feminization of David Hogg is a desire to degrade a young man who many channers clearly see as intimidating. By “reducing” him to a woman, they don’t have to take his ideas as seriously; they can sexualize him, transforming him into a pliable “waifu” who adores them and parrots their opinions, serving much the same function that the fictional Vivian James did for GamerGate. Even their non-sexual fantasies about her are all about ownership, if not of her body than of her mind.
But the “forced feminization” element makes Daisy more complicated than Vivian ever was. For some, the fact that “Daisy” began as David is part of her appeal. 4Channers have long fetishized trans women — or at least sexy young “traps” — as pseudo-women without all the man-hating baggage of “real” women, happy to offer up their sexuality to nerdy dudes who don’t actually like “real” women all that much. Never mind that this is as much a fantasy as Daisy herself is.
What makes it all stranger is that the conventionally very attractive “Daisy” is clearly out of their league, and the channers know it. They’ve transformed a hated ideological foe into a woman who, if she existed in real life, wouldn’t give them the time of day. Doesn’t this suggest that perhaps David Hogg is a bit out of their league as well? Some anons have tried to suggest that Daisy’s attractiveness isn’t a function of David’s chiseled features and high cheekbones but rather a reflection of his inherent sissy-tude.
I think this is what’s known as “protesting too much.”
Outside of 4Chan, some are suggesting that the fetishization of Daisy is little more than a massive political self-own on the part of thirsty anons, as one widely shared tweet explained it:
4chan nerds are photoshopping David Hogg to look female, calling him Daisy, and then having sexual fantasies about their Daisy Hogg memes. I feel like this is some… new, uncharted form of self-own pic.twitter.com/UkbYERuhan
— Michael Edison Hayden (@MichaelEHayden) August 28, 2018
True, up to a point. But there is so much other stuff going on that we can’t really reduce it to a self-own. I’m not sure what to call it, exactly. But one thing is clear: it is 2018 as fuck.
NOTE: There have been a number of threads on Daisy over on 4Chan. The quotes and pics in this post all came from the thread archived here. I learned of the existence of Daisy from Hayden’s tweet above.