The Twitter hashtag #killallmen, which started trending last May, has finally reached conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. His site, InfoWars, ran a story Monday about how "feminists have misappropriated the women’s rights movement into an excuse for hating men." This taps into men's rights activists' beliefs that misandry exists and feminists actually wish to be violent towards men.
Here's an example of the typical #killallmen tweet — it's not particularly clever, but it points out an injustice.
So do Twitter feminists actually want to kill all men? Unlikely. @OaklandElle, an early adopter of the hashtag, tweeted earlier this month,
I can't fathom how difficult life must be for anyone stupid enough to take #killallmen seriously. How do you even manage to put on socks?— Armageddon (@OaklandElle) March 9, 2014
Not all feminists employ the hashtag, and some say it only serves to feed the MRA trolls. They're right. MRAs will never get the joke, because they think women commit widespread, systemic injustices against men in the same way that men do against women. A bloodthirsty feminist murdering a guy for asking her for her phone number sounds about right to these guys.
#Killallmen can't be a joke, because if men joked that way, it wouldn't be funny, MRAs reason. Not fair. As Paul Joseph Watson at InfoWars writes, "Imagine the outrage if a group of male bigots had descended on the social network to promote the trend #killallwomen – accounts would be deleted and feminists would be up in arms at such a brazen display of misogyny. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, violent man-hating rhetoric is apparently perfectly acceptable."
Twitter feminists using #killallmen are not going to get MRAs — or Alex Jones — laughing. But maybe scaring them just a little is okay. As Grist writer Jess Zimmerman tweeted last time the hashtag was trending,
About #killallmen…I'm not into that rhetoric, but what, does it make you feel threatened? Like your gender is a danger? JOIN THE CLUB— Jess Zimmerman (@j_zimms) May 7, 2013
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.