When hashtags first came out in 2007 courtesy Chris Messina, who would have guessed that they’d become a lasting and powerful means of activism in the world? Unfortunately, not all hashtags are created equal: where there exists a #MeToo, there also exists a #WhiteLivesMatter. But we are not a lost cause yet, are we? It’s beyond high time we show the door to regressive hashtags. Because they are not only tone-deaf, they also question our ability to evolve as a species. Without further ado, here are some of the most offensive hashtags that need to fade away into the ether right now.
The #BlackLivesMatter campaign has gained serious momentum after George Floyd was choked to death by a racist white cop in May. Sadly, his senseless murder was neither the first nor will be the last. But at least our collective conscience finally woke up, and #BlackLivesMatter soon turned into a rights movement instead of merely trending and dying out. But what did racists aka Kens and Karens do instead of showing support and solidarity? They began to shout #AllLivesMatter and #WhiteLivesMatter, in addition to complaining about the protests “not being peaceful enough”, etc.
It’s high time white people check their privilege. This movement isn’t against you; you are not being discriminated against because there is no such thing as reverse racism. Hold space for black people. Recognize your subconscious bias regarding race and stereotypes. And then get behind the movement because your silence only makes you complicit. It’s not enough to simply be “not racist”, we ALL have to be anti-racist.
I’ve seen right-wingers use #GoWokeGoBroke or #GetWokeGoBroke to bully brands so that they stop being ‘woke’. Whenever a brand tries to make up for its past mistakes or speak up about contemporary sociocultural issues, they get attacked by conservatives. Worse, these guys (and when I say guys, I mean people of all genders) try to get others who think alike to boycott the brand in question. The idea behind this is to bulldoze the newly woke into reverting to regression cum oppression. Remember the Gilette fiasco last year?
Sure, some companies and public figures may merely be virtue signaling or woke-washing to appeal to liberals, but they are still helping change the world, right? Also, brand activism wins over brand neutrality. So even if they are taking on corporate social responsibility only to cash in, it’s still a win. It is therefore our moral responsibility as consumers to back anyone who speaks up against what’s wrong, irrespective of whether they have ulterior motives or not.
Unpopular opinion: blind cancel culture is stupid because all it does is slam/hate on people who are ignorant or didn’t know better. How about we replace #canceled and #isoverparty with the far more productive act of raising awareness? And if possible, even give them an opportunity to redeem themselves? They have massive audiences that they influence, after all. Plus, we all make mistakes and famous folks deserve a second chance just as much as anyone else.
For example, Twitterati was going full out for Doja Cat to be cancelled. Isn’t her internalized racism sad instead of enraging? (She is mixed race.) Honestly, most of the people doing the canceling right now are only baying for blood. They are not interested in any kind of apologies or explanations, valid or invalid. But yes, some things like Facebook are better off canceled. They have long profited off hate, not to mention spread disinformation and revenge porn.
Even though they have existed since forever, transgender people are still treated as if they are less than human. JK Rowling sparked off the latest wave of transphobia when she Tweeted the above in June. While some of the points she raised were valid, I think it’s beyond obvious that transgender people have a right to choose the gender they identify with. It is not their fault they were not born as a “real” man or woman. If we can accept plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes (as we should), we should embrace this too.
It goes without saying that misgendering is massively invalidating and plain unethical. In conclusion, trans women are women. Just as trans men are men. Get it, TERFs? PS Liberal feminists are not doing a great job either, but that’s a topic for another day.
When #MeToo blew up in 2018, one would think that it would be basic human decency for men to support the movement’s primarily female victims. Well, a lot of men did just that. But sadly, many men also took it upon themselves to trend #NotAllMen. Nowhere did the movement imply that all men are guilty of being predatory. Yes, women are abusers too, but it’s in poor taste to piss on #MeToo owing to exceptions. And yes, we are angry because we’ve had enough.
Call it a product of misogyny, misandry, or outrage culture, but anyone who goes around saying #NotAllMen needs to take a good, long look in the mirror and ask themselves why. Why are they trying to invalidate someone’s abuse? Why are they being tone-deaf? If they really want to prove how good they are, they can be better instead of trolling us and drowning out our voices. Educate yourselves, for example, you assume that when we say toxic masculinity, it means masculinity as a whole is wrong. That couldn’t be further from the truth. FYI, sexual abuse at all kinds of workplaces is still a massive problem in a post #MeToo world. Just ask Twitch.
If you are on social media, you might have noticed people using ‘#blessed’ in their posts. I’m sure the person who first used this only wanted to express genuine gratitude for something in their life. But the way this hashtag is used today is typically a blatant display of narcissism and humblebragging. For the uninitiated, humblebragging is the act of someone showing off while poorly pretending to be modest and down to earth.
It’s gross, despicable, and only makes the person doing it look smug and sickeningly privileged. Because you are basically saying that the rest of us are cursed for not being as fortunate as you. Not cool. Please, for the love of whatever you believe in, stop yourself and others from using this offensive hashtag.
It’s the year 2020 and one would think heteronormativity is way behind us. Far from it. We recently celebrated Pride virtually and trolls ruined it with racist and homophobic slurs. Sounds too bad to be true, but it did happen owing to a thing called ‘Zoombombing’. Being in quarantine, people who aren’t straight and are living with toxic families are definitely struggling more now than ever. I have it on good authority that out queer folk who are stuck in quarantine with so-called family are being ill-treated for their “abnormal” sexuality.
Also, men should not have to specify they are straight when they express their feelings. Homophobia is not cool, never was. Being gay doesn’t make you any less masculine. Yet men often use homophobic tweets to protect masculinity.
We’re facing the biggest mental health crisis ever today. Plus, the global economy is in shambles. Let’s not make life harder by normalizing overwork. Hustle culture needs to go away for good. No more “rise and grind” or “don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done” nonsense. It only leads to work-life unbalance and burnout.
Work is just a part of life, it’s not some 24×7 glamorous shit like some people are pretending it is. Enough with your performative workaholism. And if you are an actual workaholic, please get some help because being a workaholic is unhealthy. Sooner or later, you will fall mentally or physically sick as a consequence.
Offensive Hashtags That Don’t Need A Full-On Explanation
You certainly didn’t. You’re just lying. Why is it so hard to admit that you’ve got work done, have makeup on, or are using the right filter?
No. It. Isn’t. In case you need an explanation, here it is: What Is Abortion? – Why Abortion Is Not Murder
The female version of #NoHomo is just as homophobic even though it doesn’t seem so at face value.
Just kidding. Let’s keep fighting conformity. Without turning into a gendered war aka no basic bitch or basic bro. Basicness has no gender.
The fact that these problematic hashtags exist and are widely used is deeply concerning because the more we see them, the more desensitized we become. Because like it or not, we can get accustomed to just about anything over time. Plus, groupthink is real – and influences how we behave on and off social media. The best way to prevent herd mentality is to be fully aware of and accountable for what we say. If we say and behave like woke beings, groupthink can be used to our advantage, especially in online spaces. Let’s keep raging and fighting the good fight.
Which of these offensive hashtags bothers you the most? Do you have any you’d like me to add to the list? Please let me know in the comments below.