Throughout January 2021, the phrase slowly spread on Twitter, reaching a peak in mid-February. For example, on January 19th, Twitter user @shyfew posted a video from television show Charmed of three women chanting “the power of three will set us free” over a book along with the phrase, garnering over 200 likes and 39,000 views in a month (shown below). On January 22nd, Twitter user @OCEANGIRL tweeted, “are u a live love laugh or a gaslight gatekeep girlboss” garnering over 1,000 likes and 140 retweets in under a month.
gaslight gatekeep n girlboss pic.twitter.com/h5w39G6x8c
— ন (@shyfew) January 19, 2021
On January 24th, Twitter user @burntlovenotes made a shitpost image macro featuring the phrase over images of guitarist Frank Lero of My Chemical Romance, garnering over 300 likes in three weeks (shown below, left). On February 11th, Reddit user /u/ItsHipToTipTheScales posted a Homestuck themed “Gaslight Gatekeep Girlboss” Venn diagram to /r/homestuck, garnering over 120 upvotes in a week (shown below, right).
On February 12th, Twitter user @pianta_ tweeted, “gaslight gatekeep girlboss is the new live laugh love” garnering over 1,900 likes and 400 retweets in a week. As the trend evolved, Twitter users began posting images of characters under each phrase in Twitter posts, meant to personify each phrase (examples shown below).
Manipulate, Mansplain, Malewife
On February 15th, Tumblr user @relelvance posted, “Manipulate, mansplain, malewife” as a male-themed opposite to “gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss,” garnering over 27,000 notes in four days. The post was screenshotted and reuploaded by Twitter user @nortoncampbell on the same day, garnering over 14,200 likes and 2,800 retweets in the same span of time (shown below).
On February 16th, Twitter user @bridgersfilm uploaded a post containing both phrases overtop of a screenshot of the main characters from the film Gone Girl, meant to depict the two phrases, garnering over 27,900 likes and 4,400 retweets in three days (shown below).