#MeToo; #HimToo: Popular Feminism and Hashtag Activism in the Kavanaugh Hearings

TISHA DEJMANEE, ZULFIA ZAHER, SAMANTHA ROUECH, MICHAEL J. PAPA

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we analyze the use of #MeToo and #HimToo in response to the hearings on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. We explore the use of these hashtags within the context of popular feminism and employ a qualitative thematic analysis of a purposeful sample of Tweets that include the hashtags #MeToo (n = 730) and #HimToo (n = 124) collected between September 23 and 27, 2018. We find that four themes are mirrored in both #MeToo and #HimToo tweets: personal experience; identification and disidentification; calls to action; and discursive appropriation. Although the sample size was limited and the relative popularity of these oppositional hashtags must be considered, these findings offer support for Banet-Weiser's suggestion that popular feminism is structurally mirrored by popular misogyny. Thus, although there is evidence that individuals link their deployment of these two hashtags to explicit political calls to action, we suggest that the ease with which popular feminist discourse can be rhetorically inverted is a limitation of popular feminist hashtag activism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3946-3963
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Volume14
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • HimToo
  • MeToo
  • hashtag activism
  • popular feminism

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