#HimToo is Twitter’s newest fad; to many’s dismay. Many people believe the viral hashtag is a cruel play on words mocking the #MeToo movement. However, #HimToo goes much deeper than that. #HimToo actually originated as a hashtag used for male victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, according to Wired.
The misinterpretation of this hashtag follows the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The allegations made against Kavanaugh have been hugely controversial. This has apparently upset some men, along with their moms.
A mom has changed the powerful message behind #HimToo by making a post defending her son and how he does not feel safe dating amidst this #MeToo era. Pieter Hanson, a Navy veteran, was unaware of his mom’s post until he caught wind of the fact that he has become a viral Twitter meme.
“This is my son. He graduated #1 in boot camp. He was awarded the U.S.O award. He was #1 in A school. He is a gentleman who respects women. He won’t go on solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind. I VOTE. #HimToo.”
This post set off a chain reaction of other mothers who wanted to defend their sons as well. Although their messages may have been just showing how proud they are of their sons and how they are nothing similar to Kavanaugh, once they included the hashtag #HimToo, their message was lost.
This hashtag was met with backlash from people taking it as a joke. Twitter users have been posting well-known figures as memes using #HimToo. A popular one includes Donald Trump Jr. with his new girlfriend with a caption that reads, “This is my son. He’s a large adult holding an enormous gun. Sometimes he kills elephants for fun. Is he even divorced yet? He thinks he’s the future of the Republican Party. He once dmed with Julian Assange. #HimToo.”
#HimToo is attempting to take away the power that #MeToo has started. This is not the time for men to be afraid of false accusations, a ridiculous idea to entertain. Kavanaugh was just put in a high position of power although he had sexual allegations made against him. Despite what Hanson’s mom believes, the allegations were not false or made up by radical feminists and should not be treated lightly.
If anything, this trending #HimToo movement should bring awareness to how people should register to vote. If people like Hanson’s mom are misinformed and voting, then this is horrifying. More informed people need to get registered so we don’t just appoint more people like Kavanaugh to power.
Hanson’s brother Jon Hanson tweeted out about this controversial hashtag. Both brothers have spoken out about how they don’t agree with their mom and the hashtag that has been started or the political statement she is attempting to make. The way the hashtag #HimToo is being used today is basically a punch in the gut to women.“My brother is trending on Twitter because of my mom’s ridiculous tweet. I’m a mixture of laughing hard and feeling bad for him. #HimToo.”
As Doyin Richards stated in the Huffington Post, “For me, the most disturbing part of this whole #HimToo thing is watching women — and yes, that means mothers — kick dirt on other women who are brave enough to come forward with sexual assault allegations.”
Women are finally feeling confident enough to come forward and report their assaults due to the safe space #MeToo has created. Unfortunately, they’re being met with people who undermine their voice and call them liars. What is even worse than some men now feeling they have to be scared for getting called out on their sexual assaults is the political shift this hashtag has taken.
“#HimToo was cheered by many in Trump’s base; and won support from like-minded lawmakers like Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who called #MeToo a movement toward victimization,” according to Nanette Asimov in an SF Chronicle article.
The fact that men in such high positions of power believe that speaking out on sexual assaults is leading toward victim blaming is sick. Women are just now finding their voices and shedding light on how scared they are in various situations. Situations where women are walking alone at night, getting harassed at work, having to keep a watchful eye on drinks at parties and countless other scenarios illustrates the constant fear women have of being sexually assaulted. Women have been scared for decades, and if the thought of women finally speaking out on these issues scares men, then good.
Men should be scared because powerful white men have been getting away with far too much. Now is the time to band together and vote these like-minded men out who think women coming forward with their sexual abuse stories and putting themselves out in the open are just doing so to play the blame game.