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Left And Right Embrace Opposing Takes On Same Hashtag : NPR

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Within the aftermath of the Kavanaugh hearings, Pieter Hanson’s mom took to Twitter. In a viral tweet, she claimed that he would not go on solo dates with ladies due to “the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind.”

She then ended the tweet with #HimToo, a hashtag that gained reputation over the weekend amongst those that consider that males comparable to Brett Kavanaugh are victims of false accusations.

There was only one problem: Her son did not agree with the #HimToo motion.

The Web exploded with help for Hanson after he rebuked his mom’s tweet in a submit of his personal. Within the countertweet, he wrote, “I respect and #BelieveWomen” and added that his mom had been misguided.

The hashtag #HimToo additionally exploded, on each the left and the appropriate sides of the political Twittersphere. Now, each side are battling to regulate the narrative surrounding sexual abuse allegations utilizing the identical hashtag.

#HimToo is simply the newest development within the social media political battle, however it illustrates how the which means of a single hashtag may be twisted to regulate the narrative.

The historical past of #HimToo

Lengthy earlier than Pieter Hanson charmed the Web, #HimToo had a wealthy historical past of use alongside each celebration strains. It was first used earlier than the 2016 presidential election at the side of the #I’mWithHer rallying cry of Clinton supporters to additionally categorical help for Clinton’s operating mate, Tim Kaine.

Then, #HimToo was picked up by Trump supporters. Together with cries of #LockHerUp got here #HimToo in reference to these surrounding Hillary Clinton, similar to Barack Obama.

#MeToo and #HimToo

Nevertheless, when the #MeToo motion began final yr, #HimToo took on a brand new which means, relating not simply to politics however to sexual assault experiences as nicely. Some used the hashtag as a approach to intentionally level out male victims of sexual assault and abuse or share their tales.

Different #MeToo activists used the hashtag as a option to level out dangerous behaviors of males and maintain them accountable.

Writer Christopher Golden cites #MeToo because the direct cause for his personal 2017 #HimToo Fb publish through which he admits fault in a few of his previous conduct towards ladies.

“It seemed to me that there’s no solution to the problem without the participation of men, the acceptance that most men have behaved badly toward women at some point in their lives,” he stated. “I wanted men to actually talk about their personal behavior toward women.”

It appeared to me that there isn’t any answer to the issue with out the participation of males, the acceptance that the majority males have behaved badly towards ladies sooner or later of their lives.

How the Kavanaugh hearings popularized #HimToo

#HimToo loved modest utilization on the Web, going comparatively unnoticed subsequent to extra well-liked, recognizable hashtags, till the Kavanaugh hearings kicked off final week. Within the newest revival and reuse of the hashtag, it is the lads who’re victims.

Supporters of Kavanaugh began posting #HimToo to color him as a sufferer of false allegations and used the hashtag to level out the bigger drawback of harmless males being accused of sexual crimes they did not commit within the age of #MeToo.

One #HimToo supporter, Joe Chadwick, from Clearwater, Minn., informed NPR he promotes #HimToo not as an try and discredit Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, however as a option to level out the necessity for equity in sexual assault hearings. Kavanaugh is a sufferer, Chadwick stated, due to the best way during which he was handled as responsible from the get-go.

“I’m not really sure there’s a middle ground,” he stated. “That’s the way our legal system works — innocent until proven guilty. I’d rather have one guilty guy go free than one innocent man be locked up. There has to be a presumption of innocence. It doesn’t mean you don’t believe the accuser or that she’s lying about it; it just means that without corroborative evidence, the benefit of the doubt goes to the accused.”

He referred to as as we speak’s local weather for males an age of “sexual McCarthyism” through which ladies appear to be given the monopoly on morality and trustworthiness.

Kaya Jones, a singer from Los Angeles who has additionally been a sufferer of abuse, agrees that ladies shouldn’t mechanically be believed. When it comes to the Kavanaugh hearings, she was undecided about whether or not Ford was telling the reality.

“We don’t know because she didn’t use the appropriate avenues for redress,” Jones stated. “I’m a firm believer in speaking out. But you cannot ruin someone’s life on an ‘if’; be certain or don’t [make] any accusations.”

In the long run, Jones posted in help of Kavanaugh as a result of she felt that Ford had became a political pawn for many who opposed his nomination to the Supreme Courtroom.

#MeToo permits false claims

The #HimToo motion in help of Kavanaugh has been, in some methods, the antithesis to #MeToo and #BelieveHer. Kaitlin Bennett, a conservative activist from Ohio who posted about #HimToo, believes #MeToo has had unlucky unwanted effects.

“#MeToo gave way to allow women to come out and make false claims,” she stated. “This stuff does ruin people’s lives. I think the #HimToo is reminding people that while women have been so propped up in media and that’s important, we also can forget about the men who are falsely accused.”

Typically the ladies are aggressors. They go into conditions with highly effective males they usually’re those instigating the issue; they will deliberately gown sexual. It is males’s flip to talk up.

One other #HimToo supporter, Kimberly Meyer of Barrington, Ailing., stated that she believes #MeToo is overrated and obscures situations through which ladies behave badly.

“Sometimes the women are aggressors. They go into situations with powerful men and they’re the ones instigating the problem; they’ll intentionally dress sexual,” she stated. “It’s men’s turn to speak up.”

#HimToo rally

Males who help the #HimToo motion may have an opportunity to talk up in individual at an upcoming rally in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 17. The rally is being organized by Portland resident Haley Adams and can function totally different conservative audio system. Adams firmly believes that #HimToo is just not in opposition to #MeToo however slightly seeks to help males in addition to ladies.

“Men too can be abused; men too can be lied about. #HimToo has nothing to do with politics, it’s about supporting men too,” she stated. “There’s a war on men. Men are at risk today. I would not want to be a male today because of what’s going on. They’re being falsely accused, slandered, attacked and harassed at their homes.”

She cited Kavanaugh for instance, saying that his listening to was a part of her inspiration for organizing the rally.

Mocking #HimToo

It wasn’t lengthy, nevertheless, earlier than the trolls got here out to play. #MeToo activists on the left noticed the viral tweet of Pieter Hanson’s mom and shortly started to mock #HimToo with humorous variations of her unique submit.

Liberal activist Molly Jong-Quick of New York Metropolis was among the many first — and loudest — trollers, posting quite a few iterations of #HimToo mock tweets, comparable to ones that used pictures of Donald Trump Jr.

For Jong-Quick, a lot of these tweets are her method of preventing towards what she calls “misinformation” and reclaiming the narrative.

“The #HimToo hashtag is a larger way for Republicans to change the narrative, take the attention, and make it about white male oppression. It’s Tucker Carlsonism as a hashtag,” she stated. “We’re often sort of fighting against these larger talking points.”

She stated she felt that the #HimToo hashtag got here throughout as entitled. Her determination to make use of Donald Trump Jr. because the photograph for her mock tweets comes from Trump Jr.’s previous appropriation of #MeToo into joke posts.

Qasim Rashid, of Washington D.C., additionally felt that #HimToo tried to take consideration away from ladies and survivors. He stated he had by no means felt vulnerable to being falsely accused and that the larger challenge is sexual abuse towards each women and men.

“It’s not hard not to be at risk,” he stated. “I was raised in an environment to treat all people with respect and not do anything without consent.”

For a number of the joke posters, the humor was not solely used to disarm opposing arguments but in addition to assist course of their very own anger and unhappiness following the Kavanaugh hearings. Charlotte Clymer, of Washington D.C., stated she was full of rage after seeing the best way the Kavanaugh hearings have been dealt with. As a survivor herself, her takeaway from the hearings was that boys and males are held to a decrease commonplace, whereas survivors are sometimes silenced, focused and shamed, she stated.

“It was a s***** experience,” she stated. “Laughter is the best medicine and I think all of us felt a bit better laughing about all of it.”

She additionally stated that she loved Hanson’s response to his mom’s tweet, calling it the most effective a part of her week.

“Last night was a momentary reprieve from the pain, but it doesn’t fix anything,” she stated.

“The oppressor cannot be the victim”

Not all of the responses have been as humorous. Nicole Torres, of Chicago, posted about how #HimToo missed the purpose of the #MeToo motion. “The oppressor cannot be the victim,” she wrote, and she or he in contrast #HimToo to #AllLivesMatter, saying that they have been each ineffective hashtags.

“I abhor women who would use false allegations against a man, and it is valid, and it does happen,” she stated. “But #HimToo is trying to dismiss #MeToo. They will do anything to dismiss the female voice.”

The varied makes use of of #HimToo usually are not one thing that Golden predicted when he initially posted the hashtag final yr. “Hashtags can be as harmful as they are helpful,” he stated. “Sometimes they start a real, productive dialogue, but it has to go further than that.”

On this case, #HimToo has seemingly blossomed right into a motion, taking over a lifetime of its personal.