The Water Bottle Flipper: A Feminist Critique

Often heralded as the greatest city in America, New York is truly the City of Dreams—that is, if you’re a man. For women, New York City is nothing short of an absurdly overcompensating concentration of phallic symbols designed to trivialize the working women who dare to walk its treacherous male-infested streets, with penislike streetlights at every corner to remind women of their subservience. This obvious misogyny became clear to me about my second week living here as I walked up and down Broadway, astounded by the masculine homogeneity of this city’s architecture. Recently, however, I’ve noticed a smaller yet equally offensive sexist practice ingrained within our sexist culture: the water bottle flip.

At first, like most, I was captivated and mystified by the Vine compilations of this distinguished sport. How does one calculate such a trajectory? The precision and discipline of the flick of the wrist™ alone was enough to send me spiraling into a mental abyss. But the more I thought about it, the clearer it all became. All the hype surrounding the flipping trend, the culture that has arisen around water bottle artistry—it’s all just a front. It always has been. The water bottle flip isn’t about athleticism at all; it’s about sexism.

The shape of the water bottle alone is evidence enough. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why water bottles are shaped to emulate male rather than female genitalia? Or why we don’t drink from breast-shaped bottles when, after all, a mother’s milk is the true nectar of life? Men must have felt so inferior to women that they had to mold a drinking gourd in their gender’s honor, when in fact, millions of years of evolution point to the female breast as the optimal shape for liquid consumption.

In fact, after an extensive Google investigation, I found that plastic water bottles were patented by engineer Nathaniel Wyeth. Not only was he—of course—a man, but he also received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, the same cradle of douchebaggery that gave our current male bigot of a president Donald Trump his bachelors. Coincidence? You tell me.

Not only are water bottles so clearly one of the many phallic symbols that plague our society—like the Empire State Building or Jared Kushner’s general body shape—but they are now at the epicenter of one of the most modern sexist practices. Consider this: have you ever seen a viral water bottle flip video in which a female was the star? No, because women have been conveniently excluded from this phenomenon. In fact, according to a shocking statistic from, women were the stars of less than 5% of all water bottle flip videos this year and made just 78% of men’s earnings per view.

It’s time that men opened their eyes and acknowledged the oppression they’ve inflicted upon women. The next time you’re sunbathing on Low Beach and somebody begins flipping a water bottle, stop and ask the women around you if they’d like to take a turn first. And when they call you a chauvinist pig for asking, take their criticisms to heart. Because flipping water bottles doesn’t need to oppress women like it does now.