After a Florida woman attempted to offer up a photo of her son as an emblem of the #HimToo movement, something unusual happened: the meme had a happy ending
When you are the subject of a typical Twitter meme, the best policy is to just ignore it and wait for it to end. That seemed to be the case on Monday night, as thousands of Twitter users piled joke after joke on top of a post by a Florida woman who had attempted to offer up a photo of her unwitting son as an emblem of the burgeoning #HimToo movement. These things usually end in bitter fighting and brutal name-calling.
But then something weird happened: the meme had a delightful ending.
It all began when a woman posting under the username BlueStarNavyMom3 posted a picture of her son.
This is MY son, she wrote above the picture of the smiling uniformed man. 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 wont go on solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind. I VOTE. #HimToo.
Although it originally began as a way for men to share their own experiences with sexual assault, #HimToo has become something of a reactionary response to the #MeToo movement, propagated by those who maintain that false accusations of rape against men are exceptionally common and a threat to men everywhere.
Back to the fun part, though. The post began to circulate far and wide shortly thereafter, with wise guys on Twitter offering up innumerable variations on the text and inserting images of increasingly absurd and incongruous characters: Guy Fieri, Rick Astley, the Incredible Hulk, Nathan Fielder, a penguin and so on.
More than a few people who reacted to the post pointed out with not-so-subtle innuendo that the womans handsome young bachelor navy son might not exactly be avoiding dates with women for the reasons she assumed.
A few hours later, the mans brother realized what was going on, and entered the fray.
Pieter Hanson, the man in the photo, was taking a test at the University of Central Florida when he noticed his phone was going off repeatedly, he told the Washington Post.
Hanson was confused by his unasked for viral fame, but also because the man his mother wrote about doesnt resemble him in the slightest.
It doesnt represent me at all, he said. I love my mom to death, but boy Im still trying to wrap my head around all this.
On Tuesday morning, Hanson, who hadnt had a Twitter account up to this point, finally emerged to explain himself, registering the appropriately named account @thatwasmymom.
That was my Mom, he wrote. Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it. Lets turn this around. I respect and #BelieveWomen. I never have and never will support #HimToo . Im a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad and Ally. Also, Twitter, your meme game is on point.
Hoping to take advantage of his viral fame for good, Hanson has begun posting about his younger brother Cooper, a childhood survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Theres a well-known social media meme called Milkshake Duck. In short, it refers to the phenomenon where our collective response to a suddenly viral and appealing figure soon sours once old distasteful things theyve said or done emerge. And they almost always do. Hansons story may be one of the first instances of the reversal, as the reality of his personality a seemingly decent and inspiring young man is a far cry from the sexist way we were introduced to him.
I was dumbfounded when I saw it, he said of the original tweet. But at the end of the day we all have crazy parents.