Many women were shocked to hear that the men in their lives think about the Roman Empire either daily or multiple times per week, prompting one TikToker to ask “what is the female version of the Roman Empire?”
Los Angeles-based professional charcuterie artist Emmy Rener took to TikTok to ask her viewers that exact question as she said: “What is something random that we all think about on a very regular basis that is female specific?”
Since being posted on 14 September, the video has been viewed over 600,000 times, with women either leaving comments or stitching the TikTok and sharing their own videos to answer Rener’s question.
One answer that appeared in multiple comments and stitches was that women often think about the possibility of being victims of violence. Danyelle Leyden, a TikToker who regularly shares content about her life and family, said being kidnapped was top of her mind in a response video. “Definitely being kidnapped, or just in general somebody’s gonna get me,” Leyden said.
In an interview withInsider, the TikToker said she thinks responding to the question with a more dark response highlights the societal differences between men and women. “It speaks volumes for society that women are so cautious and have to feel on guard most of their lives,” Leyden told the outlet. “I think unfortunately most women have had past experiences that led them to be this cautious.
“For me it also puts into further perspective that as women we feel like prey subconsciously,” she added.
“Genuinely think about being kidnapped every day,” one person commented on Rener’s TikTok. Another viewer agreed, writing, “Being abducted while out for a walk and how we will escape.”
Other answers that came up often in the comments section of Rener’s TikTok were: the Salem witch trials, Princess Diana, and Greek mythology.
"I firmly believe that there are four," user @gertiethehippo said in a TikTok response to Rener’s question. “The six wives of Henry VIII, the Titanic, obviously, not the movie but the Titanic, the Romanovs, and, of course, Greek mythology.”
The question has also circulated on Twitter, formerly known as X, where one individual suggested the female version of the Roman Empire is “Tom Holland’s performance on Lip Sync Battle,” while others suggested it was Taylor Swift.
the female version of the roman empire is Tom Holland's performance on lip sync battle pic.twitter.com/4DH4xVYH1r
— • Yaz • (@lwtpez) September 16, 2023
this is the female version of the roman empire pic.twitter.com/Rvuocj9GF0
— clito (@lsbiant91) September 17, 2023
For some people, the answer to Rener’s question was pretty simple. Carly Maris, a postdoctoral fellow at San Diego State University whose research interests include Rome, Persia, and Egypt, responded to the trend on TikTok, saying that for her “personally, the female version of the Roman Empire is the Roman Empire”.
“Ladies, when they would do a good job at something they would get little leaf hats, they wore special dresses, their favourite colour was purple,” she added.
The Roman Empire trend originally started on Instagram when Gaius Flavius, a Roman reenactor based in Sweden, shared an Instagram video to his 100,000 followers with an on-screen caption that read, “Ladies, many of you do not realise how often men think about the Roman Empire.”
His caption continued: “Ask your husband/boyfriend/father/brother – you will be surprised by their answers.”
Flavius’s post has been viewed more than 1.7 million times since being posted on 19 August. More than 1,000 people commented on the post, with many proving Flavius’s theory right.