June 7, 2013 by gabnormal
One of the newest trending hashtags on Twitter is #MyGirlfriendNotAllowedTo.
As of Wednesday there were no counter hashtags to this, but yesterday #MyBoyfriendNotAllowedTo began popping up all over the site.
My problems with these hashtags are three-fold.
First, simply the principle of thinking that you have the right to say what your girlfriend/boyfriend can/cannot do is rude, manipulative and shows extreme controlling behavior. The tweets that were used with #MyGirlfriendNotAllowedTo have more recently been re-used, only with #MyBoyfriendNotAllowedTo as a means of retaliation. This is not okay towards females or males in any type of relationship, but I would like to point out the fact that it began as an attack on women, and was started by men. Or boys as the case may be, considering I would also like to point out that the primary demographic of who was using this hashtag were young, teen aged males.
Second, content such as this, though in a more severe form, was just an issue on Facebook in the #FBRape campaign that was also heavily broadcasted across Twitter. There has been an upsurge in content related to violence and/or power and control over women in just the past few weeks, and it seems that in many cases the content is being created by the teen demographic. As a result, they are normalizing a culture that says it’s okay to beat your wife/girlfriend, or tell her she can’t leave the house without her man’s permission, or breathe, for that matter.
Third, I understand that many people use jokes in order to deal with something that is painful, such as domestic violence, but it really seems that these kids don’t even realize what they are saying or doing. There are people who are actively promoting deplorable behavior through making a joke and trivializing it. And I’m not sure if this is worse or better than people who do the same thing knowingly.
The fact that both hashtags may end up being used equally is irrelevant. More often than not, domestic abuse is aimed at women. Thousands upon thousands of women are forced from their homes, their jobs and the towns and cities they live in because they need an escape from an abusive husband who just will not leave her alone. This type of violence does occur against men, but not nearly as often. Those cases are just as important, because as I said, violence in romantic relationships are never okay, it’s just more common to see a woman threatened by a man than vice versa.
Making a joke of any of the above is not okay. It normalizes a violent culture that has resulted in numerous beatings, restraining orders and deaths.
People don’t think before they do things. Any thing. All things. And maybe that’s part of the problem.