In the wake of the sexual assault allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a surge of social media posts using the hashtag #HimToo began circulating to claim that innocent men are regularly falsely accused of sexual misconduct.
The trend, a backlash to the #MeToo movement and Christine Blasey Ford’s gripping testimony against Kavanaugh, reached something of a boiling point this past weekend as the final vote to confirm Kavanaugh was being cast. One of the most viral posts came from the mother of a Navy veteran. She claimed that her “gentleman” son no longer goes on “solo dates” out of fear he’ll be wrongly accused of misconduct.
It appears, however, that would be news to her son. On Monday, Pieter Hanson joined Twitter and posted the following message:
That was my Mom. Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing 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. pic.twitter.com/yZFkEjyB6L
— Pieter Hanson (@Thatwasmymom) October 9, 2018
Hanson’s brother, Jon, also came forward to correct the record:
My brother is trending on twitter because of my moms ridiculous tweet. I’m a mixture of laughing hard and feeling bad for him. #HimToo pic.twitter.com/YG93x9ikii
— Jon Hanson (@DancinJonHanson) October 9, 2018
“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.” He explained his mother had a tendency to go overboard on social media, though the post still struck him as surprising considering he had been raised in a progressive household.
The initial post, which sparked a slew of parody memes, has since been deleted.
This is my son. He was #1 on the charts. He won’t go on solo dates even though he never gave up, let you down, run around, or deserted you, make you cry, say goodbye, tell a lie nor hurt you #HimToo pic.twitter.com/Q5sMpGIVR3
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) October 8, 2018
This is my son. He is a gentleman who treats ladies with respect. He’s afraid to date right now because of the current climate. Seriously, because of the actual climate his future kids won’t be able to survive. I vote. #HimToo pic.twitter.com/pxefN68aNZ
— Luna Malbroux (@LunaisAmerica) October 9, 2018
The internet plot twist comes amid a push to energize Republican voters ahead of the midterms by painting Kavanaugh as the victim of a #HimToo-style false accusation. No one appears more eager to lead the charge than President Donald Trump:
I see it each time I go out to Rallies in order to help some of our great Republican candidates. VOTERS ARE REALLY ANGRY AT THE VICIOUS AND DESPICABLE WAY DEMOCRATS ARE TREATING BRETT KAVANAUGH! He and his wonderful family deserve much better.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2018