More useful than an entire identity studies department

hashtag activism

The kind of activism undertaken when you “do something” about a problem by tweeting or posting links to Facebook, without any intent of ever actually doing something. Nothing more than a nonsense feelgood gesture so that one can say they “did something about” whatever trendycause they’re pretending to care about. Usually only lasts a week or two before the cause is completely forgotten (i.e. it stops being cool to forward / retweet on the subject).

EXAMPLE: “I forwarded a video about some unspeakable atrocities in a country I didn’t know existed until I watched the video. My hashtag activism is going to accomplish something!” – [UrbanDictionary]

When my partner Richard and I joined the Kings of Code Hack Battle at the Next Web Europe Conference in Amsterdam last week, we knew that we wanted to make an app that would stand in stark contrast to the infamously misogynist “Tit staring app” from TechCrunch Disrupt last year. It’s about time that we change the “dude” culture of programming into a progressive group that builds apps for social change […]


Hipster poster children – “We’re h4x0rs and hashtagavists!”

Hashtagivist [dead link] stands for “Hashtag Activist” was inspired by the amazing work of Suey Park, Mikki Kendall, and other proponents for social change and equality on Twitter.

There are so many of us that believe in equality, and want to lobby for social change, but either aren’t that well-versed with Twitter, or have trouble finding hashtag campaigns. For me, I’d always catch campaigns after-the-fact via a blog post, and think to myself, “Gee, I wish I had seen that on Twitter when it was happening. I would have definitely retweeted, or taken action in some way.”

With Hashtagivist, campaign leaders can submit their hashtags to the site before they launch their campaign via Twitter. Then, they can track their hashtag stats on Hashtagivist, and gain wider exposure for their campaign.

Users can search the site by topic (more topics to come!), and receive email alerts as soon as a new hashtag campaign goes live in their areas of interest.

Hashtagivist: The Hashtag Activism Platform

A Social Justice Warrior’s work is never done. I wonder if phase two of the project is BlockBot integration? Jokes aside, the mere fact that these kinds of “apps” exist and have a user base is a testament to a species that is voluntarily retarding itself, both socially and intellectually, and of Western civilization now being well and truly in its bread and circuses phase of decline.

Hashtag activism, as with all slacktivism, isn’t exactly a pursuit designed for deep thinkers or long attention spans. It is characterised by ephemerality, trite emotional appeal and general infantile vapidity not interested in grasping underlying problems nor working toward realistic improvement of the issues being addressed. No, that would involve getting up off that pudgy pink, entitled middle-class ass. So naturally, the demographic that is most attracted to this kind of smug, self-congratulatory, narcissistic non-achievement are the proud bearers of all of our society’s collective guilt – the Social Justice Warriors.

I wrote of a prime example of this kind of activism from vegans not too long ago about alleged “live frog sushi(which was actually “sashimi” as one pedant pointed out), and it exemplifies the pop-cult nature of the practice in every way, ticking all the boxes. It was –

  • highly emotionally charged
  • completely and utterly unresearched
  • corroborated with zero evidence
  • validating itself with a self-referencing feedback loop (i.e. site A quoted site B which quoted site C which quoted site A)
  • free of any links other than back to indoctrinational vegan propaganda
  • had a lifespan of just over a week, after which nothing more was heard

In fact, rummaging in the bowels of the internet, this was not the first instance of this particular hysteria. It had played out in exactly the same manner two years prior – again appearing abruptly as a wall of incoherent, uncorroborated noise, and then vanishing just as abruptly. Vegans, particularly PETA, have turned this kind of propaganda activism into virtually an off-the-shelf boxed product and anyone free of dignity and self-respect has a ready made template to work from for whatever emotional knee-jerk they want to exploit.

While vegans may have turned hashtag activism into a propaganda staple, their efforts look positively trivial compared to the wholesale hashtag militarisation of the victim feminist outrage industry. The full tawdriness of this outrage industry can be seen here in a blog attempting to monetise blogging about the hashtags themselves. In an item cataloguing the “Best of 2013” (complete with broken infographic), the author even helpfully calculates the value of her time for you –


You think Fluevogs grow on trees?

Isn’t she precious? And modest. When stupid Patriarchal™ stuff like engineering earns a new graduate $25-$30 an hour, I guess a $50 rate for identity studies gurus is a comparative worth bare minimum.


Diogenes would be proud. Click to embiggen.

The hysterical historical catalogue of victim fembot hashtag use, abuse and misuse can be viewed at the site above – the one that has caught my eye at this moment in time is a piece of Pollyanna nonsense branding itself as #IfIWereABoy – a fantasy play imagining if smart, socially conscious girls’ brains replaced the dumb boy brains in boys’ bodies. It follows the now ad nauseam-ed format of #INeedFeminism that everyone has seen – users submitting photos of themselves with a sign reading [#hashtag][rationalisation / bon mot / snide put-down blah blah]. According to Topsy analytics, as I type, #IfIWereABoy has clocked up 1,963 tweets in the last 48 hours – all of them jewels of constructionist / relativist wisdom (well most anyway).

And the point is? Not just of #IfIWereABoy, but of any of them? Who is the target audience? Who is meant to be convinced of whatever message is being peddled? I have no idea, but really, there are only two audiences here –

  1. The Choir. The already converted. Those that already know the mantras and holy scriptures. In which case it’s little more than a group hug. Comforting group therapy. A collective “rah! rah! you go girl!” and nothing more. An “I am woman, hear me roar” for the new millenium. Or,
  2. The Unwashed and Uneducated. Those, like myself, who have led mostly quiet, unassuming, egalitarian lives, and who have been branded collectively without evidence and accused of gender crimes and abuses of which we are innocent, labelled as ‘rape enablers’, ‘misogynists’, ‘harassers’ and worse – all on the basis of half a pound of meat between our legs.

Really ladies. Do you honestly expect the latter to take you seriously? Really?

No. When I look at these mindless bimbos – and I use that term deliberately, contra independent thinking and confident women worthy of respect – holding up their signs and oozing earnest sincerity without actually comprehending what it is they’re trying to say, I am reminded of doe eyed and fervent young socialists, quotations of Mao or Marx at hand, ready to preach, and a primed and ready arsenal of Thought Terminating Cliches to kill any dissent dead before it can be articulated. I look at them and I think – the lights are on, but nobody’s home. The hamster wheel is spinning, but the hamster is dead. This is the pure inertia of monkey-see-monkey-do. These are automatons who have sacrificed intellect for faith on the basis of some mythical greater good. Ideological neo-Stepford Wives…

ru_seriousI do not see them as autonomous, free willed individuals. I do not understand how they expect to be accepted as “equal“.

And herein lies the paradox. They object to “objectification“. And their chosen method of “objection” reduces them to little more than mindless objects. No one “not of the faith” seriously entertains the idea that any kind of equal, bidirectional discussion could be had – a dialogue where both parties have equal chance of apprehending new insights from the other. No more chance of that than a scientist having a rewarding dialogue with a young earth creationist.

Strip away the gibberish and all you have left is an object. This is the product of auto-objectification. It requires no Patriarchy™, no endemic sexism or misogyny, no entrenched “culture” of gender discrimination or prejudice, let alone rape. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is a problem that creates itself. It is a pie that bakes itself and eats itself…*

So when I look at articles like that on #IfIWereABoy at the Elite Daily

#IfIWereABoy: 12 Women Share What They’d Do Differently If They Were Treated The Same As Men

– I do so with the same detachment as any other pornography. Only difference is that the chicks have clothes on so I have to imagine more. The signs they hold are just mindless slogans, possibly amusing and with genuine potential for ridicule, but ultimately of no more relevance than advertisements for shampoo or cheeseburgers. The chicks have reduced themselves to objects, so there is really no guilt in browsing and evaluating as eye candy.

The surprising thing is that many are quite cute – but then again, Elite Daily is like any other tabloid-that’s-not-really-a-tabloid, such as Jezebel. They’re pragmatic – while they may espouse the victim feminist gospel superficially, they know damn well that filling their articles with images of she-gorilla Dworkin clones isn’t going to do much for the page hit count. So they opt for candy ass.

And I have to admit, there is a perverse satisfaction in undressing these chicks with my eyes. Under different circumstances, none of them would be granted a second thought. It is only through the fruits of their labours that I peruse and consider carnal potential. If they were really boys, they would do the same themselves. Boys tend not to deny that inside they are merely animals that have animal urges. They also tend to understand that the aim of civilisation is not to annihilate these urges (and thus dehumanise ourselves), but to manage them and conduct oneself in a civilised manner in a civil society.

It strikes me that what the Social Justice Warriors actually want is not social justice – but for all of us to kill our inner beasts, slay our lusts and impulses. To homogenise all of humanity into indistinguishable sexless, passionless blobs. It is only under those circumstances that there would ever be a possibility of them actually feeling equal.

No wonder they are all so vicious batshit insane.

* – An implag lifted from Alasdair Gray’s wonderful Lanark.


“Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions”

— Thomas Jefferson