Anti-feminist #HimToo movement hilariously backfires with viral meme
A mother’s embarrassing tweet has sparked a viral meme and made a joke out of the anti-feminist #HimToo movement.
The #HimToo hashtag was, until recently, full of timely reminders that men like Terry Crews and James Van der Beek have also suffered from sexual assault, until being hijacked during the confirmation process of alleged abuser Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women and branded a “danger” to LGBT+ people by campaigners, drew the support of activists who used the hashtag to promote the false idea that women often destroy men’s lives with made-up accusations.
This led to a tweet from a proud but ultimately misguided mother, who wrote above a picture of her offspring: “This is MY son. He graduated #1 in boot camp. He was awarded the USO 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.”
Instead of dying from embarrassment, the woman’s son, Pieter Hanson, chose to join Twitter on Tuesday (October 9) and turn a negative into a positive — and correct some inaccuracies in his mum’s post at the same time.
Above a shot of him posing in a recognisable way, he wrote: “That was my Mum. Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realising it.
“Let’s turn this around. I respect and #BelieveWomen. I never have and never will support #HimToo. I’m a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad and Ally. Also, Twitter, your meme game is on point.”
He didn’t know how right he was with that last statement.
Rather than fuelling outrage, his mum’s tweet ended up starting a meme, which was launched to a new level after Pieter’s response.
Taking aim at anti-LGBT Vice President Mike Pence, one tweeter wrote: “This is my son. He’s #1 in his class at gay bashing and restricting women’s rights.
“I don’t let him go on solo dates because he can’t be left alone with any woman not named ‘Mother.’ #HimToo.”
Another person used an image of US restaurant owner and TV personality Guy Fieri, writing: “This is MY son. He graduated #1 from the University of Flavortown. He was awarded three banging fajita poppers.
“He was #1 in flamin’ hot crunch. He won’t go on solo dates due to the current climate of false accusations of taking the last slice of pizza. I VOTE. #HimToo.”
Others poked fun at ancient time god the Titan Cronus, star of Psycho and Bates Motel Norman Bates and Graham, the ideal version of the human body to survive a car crash.
These comedic tweeters have taken over a previously poisonous hashtag, flooding the trend with intelligent humour in much the same way that campaigners reclaimed #peaktrans from anti-trans activists earlier this year with love and acceptance.
Speaking to the BBC about becoming internet famous, Pieter once again cleared up the confusion his mum wrought, saying: “I’m not afraid to go on dates!
“It’s my mum just being a little silly, I wouldn’t put too much thought into it,” he said.
“I was dumbfounded when I saw it, but at the end of the day we all have crazy parents.
“I still love her. She’s my mum. What she said was pretty inflammatory, but I want to make sure it doesn’t come back harsh on her.
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“So we figured we’d have some fun with it. My brother Jon was an incredible voice of reason.”
On Twitter, his brother posted a picture of him and Pieter, captioning it: “My brother is trending on twitter because of my mum’s ridiculous tweet. I’m a mixture of laughing hard and feeling bad for him. #HimToo.”
Pieter added that he was now using his newfound Twitter platform to promote a good cause, on behalf of his brother Cooper.
“I’ve been working for years to support the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society,” he said. “My little brother is a cancer survivor.
“I’ve had limited reach, but now with this it’s a good opportunity to support a cause I really believe in.
“I’m trying to use this as an avenue to raise awareness for my little brother. He’s an incredible person, and he’s my personal hero.”