This week, a mother made her son the face of a viral “HimToo” political meme that he wants no part of.
Pieter Hanson was shocked to find photos of himself in his Navy uniform all over the internet with a message that sparked a Twitter trend on Monday. It appeared to suggest that at the time of Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, men have fallen victim to false sexual assault accusations.
“This is MY son,” began his mother’s now-deleted post, which was originally tweeted under the handle marlareynoldsc3 and included a snapshot of Hanson.
“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.”
Despite the fact that the mother soon deleted the tweet about his supposed struggle to be comfortable on dates amid the #MeToo movement, that didn’t stop it from spreading on the wings of critics who escalated things rapidly. But that didn’t stop the internet from having lots to say about the original post.
And Hanson himself took to Twitter shortly after midnight on Tuesday to clarify things and try to change the conversation under the handle “@Thatwasmymom.”
He’s now encouraging people to donate to charities including The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Make a Wish.
People enjoyed the speedy development in the plot.
“It doesn’t represent me at all,” Hanson told the Washington Post.
“I love my mom to death, but boy…I’m still trying to wrap my head around all this,” Hanson, who chose to protect his mother’s privacy, said.
His mother’s comments may not have been out of step with the President’s feelings who recently said he believed it was a “very scary time for young men in America.”
The #HimToo hashtag is not brand new. It emerged as a counterpoint to mock #BelieveWomen and #IBelieveFord, but people also popularized an earlier iteration to help circulate men’s voices as they shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault alongside women.