Pieter Hanson, a 32-year-old Navy veteran and a student at the University of Central Florida, found himself became a viral meme on Twitter because of this one tweet from his own mother Marla on Saturday, October 6.
“This is MY son,” began the mother’s viral post, which also featured a picture of Hanson posing in his Navy uniform. “He graduated #1 in boot camp. He was awarded the USO award. He was #1 in A school. e 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.”
Marla posted the now-deleted tweet on the day Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, after a confirmation process that featured accusations of sexual misconduct. Before the tweet was deleted, it has already received thousands of likes, retweets and comments. The response was rife with mockery, spawning a variety of “This is MY son” memes.
And Hanson himself has a lot to say, too.
“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,” wrote Hanson’s tweet.
He considered himself a supporter of the #MeToo movement as he told The Washington Post. Nor is he fearful of “solo dates.”
“It doesn’t represent me at all,” said Hanson, who is studying entrepreneurship with plans to open his own brewery according to The Washington Post. “I love my mom to death, but boy… I’m still trying to wrap my head around all this.”
Hanson asked his grandmother and younger brother Jon to communicate his wishes with his mother that she remove the tweet. The mother removed her full account.
But despite the mother’s good intentions, that didn’t stop Twitter from piling on and taking up the cause. By the evening on Monday, October 8, #HimToo started trending on Twitter:
Who Is Pieter Hanson?
Hanson is a 32-year-old Navy veteran who is currently studying entrepreneurship at the University of Central Florida. He became the viral meme #HimToo because of his mother Marla’s now-deleted post on Twitter.
“No one teaches you how to talk someone through this situation,” Hanson’s best friend Sarah Nich told The Washington Post, who is a beer brewer in the Orlando area. “It’s bizarre, and the Internet’s weird. And it was so unfortunate because it’s the opposite of who Pieter is as a person.”
According to Wired magazine in a story tracing the evolution of the hashtag #HimToo, the hashtag wasn’t always used this way. #HimToo originally began as a way for men to voice their experiences as victims of sexual assault or harassment alongside the #MeToo movement. It next morphed into a way to shame men who had been accused of sexual assault, as in #HimToo.