Posted by: daniellebenedictcnu | October 12, 2016

Hashtags are no longer our friends…

Nate Silver posted a representation of male voting predictions for this presidential campaign. Men are definitely leaning towards Donald trump, which is acceptable because of free choice.  Likewise, women are polling strongly for Hillary Clinton. The male voting map started a twitter landslide of the hashtag #RepealThe19th referring to the 19th Amendment of the Constitution. Twitter users were suggesting that if women could not vote in this election that Trump would automatically win and their problem would be solved. One user tweeted “if women are the only thing stopping the Greatest President this country has ever seen- why not #RepealThe19th?” Women are not the only demographic that are in support of Clinton but these twitter users decided to focus on attacking half of the population. Some of the Trump supporters are wanting to remove rights from women. American women have done nothing to deserve even a hint of this extreme, sexist behavior. This is the way a democratic government functions, adults within voting parameters are freely allowed to choose their candidate and cast one vote.

Just the idea, joking or otherwise, of reversing the rights that women had to fight for is horrendous. Women earned the right to vote. They faced opposition, humiliation, and criminal charges because they desired a role in the political process. Now people hiding behind a screen feel comfortable to suggest removing the right to vote because they want one candidate to win. How is that a fair trade off? Are women just tools to help or hinder the male political agenda? No, we are independent thinkers and equal citizens of this country.

Social media can be an outlet for destructive behavior without the normal restraints that people use during face-to-face interactions. People would be rioting if someone tweeted #RepealThe14th. However, because the tweet was about sexism, not racism, it will not receive equivalent attention by news networks. A female staff member of Buzzfeed was the author of this article, which made me wonder why a male staff writer did not decide to cover this topic. Men are allowed to have opinions on topics related to women. All I ask is that people respectfully and logically make arguments. I would have preferred a male writer because then the article would come across as a human issue not just as a “woman’s issue.”




  1. Very interesting post! Honestly, I am not surprised that majority of the male voters are leaning towards Trump and I believe it is simply because he is a man. Maybe they see his actions as more acceptable because of who is he. I decided to type in the hashtag #RepealThe19th on twitter and read various tweets relating to this campaign and I am lost for words. For some of these men to believe that taking away rights to vote is like taking a thousands steps back from where we are now. This is the first time that I have heard about this issue and it is very sad. Is this what the world has come to? Unbelievable!

  2. I recently saw this trending on Twitter and read up on it more. While I don’t necessarily agree that there would be more outcry if there was a racist hashtag (everyday racism is rather prevalent online), I do believe the internet has become a particularly hostile environment to women…especially women who voice their opinions. Twitter hasthtags and online harassment have often forced women from their social media profiles. Leslie Jones temporarily deleted her twitter after receiving so much harassment sparked by a particularly cruel movie review from the “news” network Breitbart (whose former executive Chairman was temporarily hired by Trump as his campaign CEO, so it really shouldn’t be surprising that Trump’s following is imbued with some violent sexism). In relating this to leadership, this online harassment can even hinder women’s career aspirations as it did to former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao who resigned after receiving such heinous harassment and threats online. To be honest hashtags such as #repealthe19th are pretty mild in terms of online responses to women sharing their opinions. Scroll through the comment section of Youtubers such as outspoken feminist Laci Green and you’ll find slut shaming, rape threats, death threats and a host of other vitriolic comments…masses of them. Your shock at the hashtag is certainly warranted but its just the tip of the iceberg.

    We discuss in class the resistance women face in leadership roles due to the conflict of “women” and “leader,” especially resistance from men. Online this resistance is amplified because women are assertively sharing their opinions in a public forum…something that defies traditional gender expectations. However, unlike “real life” where societal expectations and decorum limit how resistance can culminate, online resistance goes unchecked and can swell into genuinely violent and threatening language…sometimes actual action as well. Furthermore online communities of resistance can form and grow into actual political groups such as the Alt-Right (if you have time I recommend reading up on them cause it can be rather disconcerting).

    Sorry to kinda go on a rant here and somewhat hijack your post but you brought up such an incredibly valid concern. The #RepealThe19th is a common sentiment online and it reflects a growing online culture that is dangerous for women yet has gone virtually unchecked (can we implement policy? why is no one talking about this very much? etc.) Anyway I could write pages on this but I also included an article to check out if you want to read more about the Alt-Right, online harassment, and how thats playing in to the Presidential race. Thanks for bringing up such an important topic!

    View at

  3. This is extremely upsetting, because the internet and social media has given cowards a forum to do just that. It also allows individuals to “troll” and just cause problems. The fact does remain though, that some women are just voting for Clinton because she is a female. Does that represent the majority of women? No, but people do not tend to remember the good they tend to remember the bad, and that is exactly why people can make that argument. The President of the United States regardless of the political party should have an abundant list of qualifications, and majority of individuals do not see being a woman as a qualification. All I ask, is that whoever you vote for, have a firm understanding of why you want to vote for them and not simply because they are a man or a woman.

  4. I am so glad that you posted about this. I was completely unaware of these “twitter movement” (as weird as that phrase seems), but I was aware of the gender differences in the upcoming presidential election. Here’s the link for an electoral map, complete with twitter captions, from five-thirty-eight, that displays polling data on men and women. It shows that if only women were to vote, Clinton would win by a landslide, and that if only men were to vote, Trump would win by less, but still by a significant margin.

    What’s fascinating about this to me is that women make up 52% of the US population. Meaning, that if all women were to unanimously favor any political candidate, that candidate would win the popular vote. I think that #Repealthe19th is a reflection of men fearing minority status.

    It is a horribly offensive hashtag that shows a complete lack of understanding of the political rights women have had to fight for in our country, but understanding that it comes from a fear of loss of control and power in politics, a male dominated arena, is essential for understanding how these kinds of social media movements gain traction.

  5. Politics is a beast of its own. And with social media uniting people who have radical views with the few people that share them, it creates a subculture where people feel comfortable sharing these views. Luckily, a twitter movement has no vote in Congress. I think that social media platforms allow for ridiculous ideas and motions to be spread. That’s freedom of speech, though. As ridiculous as this movement is, it does shed light that men have an overarching power in many facets of life including what gets covered. It’s unfortunate, but in this case because there is such little validity to this movement, if it were covered it would be like covering the twitter movement where people were signing a petition to deport Justin Bieber back to Canada. Well, maybe not that irrelevant, but you know what I mean. The bigger issue here is that social media unites stupid people and lets them “start a movement.”

  6. Wow, I am always so amazed by what people post on the internet. I honestly just classify people who post things like #RepealThe19th as trolls. I feel like more than anything this hashtag is a very clear example of the unhealthy our society has towards women. In this situation, the US is obviously not going to repeal the 19th amendment but the fact that posts such as these are still considered acceptable by many is concerning and it honestly fills me with a desire to raise awareness about the consequences of sexist mentalities. I do not think that a lot of people realize that hashtags such as these and sexist jokes are really harmful (this is where the importance of educating others comes in).

  7. I feel so strongly in regards to the issue being called just a “woman’s issue” when it totally is a human issue that needs to be dealt with by both men and women. These destructive and degrading remarks by these men come from a place of insecurity and desire for superiority. There may be an intimidation factor in regards to women who are moving up in society in regards to academics, politics, sports and business. Even though there has been so much progress in the way women are able to even run for such high positions such as the presidency there are still a few who still feel an uncalled hatred and disdain towards women. The lack of respect shown towards will only lead to more issues and setbacks for women. How can we change those who think in this way? Possibly a strong component would be through the direct influence of media. Whether that be through social media, TV or the Internet I believe that there could be a huge positive change if we continue to show respect and value in the way we should view both men and women.

  8. Very interesting. I absolutely don’t think that women should be degraded regardless of who they want to vote for. Saying they should remove the 19th amendment is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Women have the choice to vote for whoever they want. However, that brings me to a whole other problem, women should not vote for Hillary just because she is a woman. That’s like saying I have green eyes and I will only vote for other people who have green eyes… like what in the world does that even mean? If you think Hillary has the best policy and can do the best job then vote for her. If you just like the facts that she has a period just like all the other women and we need “one of us” in office stop. Let’s think a little harder about who we’re actually choosing to run the country, not who we would look to for fashion or baby advice.

  9. This is a prime example of political extremism and probably does not reflect the sentiments of most men in regards to the upcoming election. This falls into the negative category of stereotyping people, and while in one reading we read this semester that stated a majority of Americans who took a survey would be angry at the thought of a woman president, we can not decide that all people think a specific way because of the words we read online. Trump plays on the fear of many American, and that is one reason he has gained so much power. It is like stereotyping many people of Middle Eastern decent as extremists when in fact a vast majority of people who live there do not support radical terrorist group.

    Hashtags can be created by any social media user in today’s technological age where words can spread in mere hours. I do not even know if we can specifically this specifically into gender, because it sounds more like a humanity issue. What people on both sides are saying is equally derogatory so I have decided to no longer follow the election because by now everyone has at least made up a decision for at least who they are not voting for.

    In respect to the specific hashtag, it sounds more empowering for women because it implies that they have enough political power to choose a candidate simply via popular vote if all women voted. Women have total autonomy to vote for the candidate they choose, which will be a display of power.

    “We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it” -Abraham Lincoln

  10. I saw an article about this and knew it had to come up in our class one way or another. My first reaction was disgust, but it quickly became amusement, in part at the ridiculousness of the situation and also at how far women have come. I love the power that women are being shown to have in this election. Just a hundred years ago this wouldn’t have been possible!
    It did make me think about how much gender may be effecting this presidential race. I assumed the split was more partisan in nature, but apparently gender has more to do with it than I realized. I wonder how accurate that information is.
    What you said about this being a human rights issue was also significant. I agree that it would have changed the perspective and influence of the story had it been written by a man. I’ll have to research this a little more, in hopes of finding some insight on the male perspective on this situation.

  11. This is a very upsetting post because of how degrading this hashtag is to women. Due to the way this election seems to be going, I have decided not to take a side. I am not a supporter of Trump or of Hillary, I believe they are two of the scariest candidates America has ever seen, regardless of their own individual problems. However, whoever decided that “RepealThe19th was a good idea, seriously shot themselves in their own foot because the backlash from this is enough to lose the election for Trump. If women are voting for Hillary because she is a woman, I am disappointed and frankly embarrassed. However, attacking an entire gender based upon their association with a presidential candidate is beyond degrading and sexist. It highlights just how unequal this country still is today when it comes to gender equality and respect. If men understood how much suffering and humiliation women go through regularly but especially during the fight for suffrage, they would be outraged. However, men and specifically white men have never found themselves in a position where their rights, freedoms, and voices were stifled by an entire country and therefore, they will never understand that #RepealThe19th is a direct assault on women.

  12. I think that the #RepealThe19th is so terrible and offensive, but yet so indicative of the candidate in which these hashtag users are supporting. Trump has lead a movement of offensive language that has been normalized and trivialized. This language is seen as merely words, but it is proven time and time again that it is way more than that. Language such as #RepealThe19th suggests that a woman’s rights can be stripped from her. This, I believe ties into sexual assault and other human rights that women struggle to hold onto and are stripped away. The language used, specifically by Trump about women’s bodies and sexual assault are not just words. Women are assaulted at a grotesque rate, and many offenders experience impunity. I specifically think of Brock Turner from Stanford, and how there was such a drastic lack of justice for the victim. It is important that leaders of all shapes and sizes speak words of support and validation of women, to change the tide of not only having a zero tolerance policy for the offensive language and the behavior behind that language.

  13. Where I completely agree with the issue in the #RepealThe19th and it is not okay, I do not feel that all hashtags are bad. Yes, this one is very sexist and offensive to women and the rights we and those before us have worked to gain, hashtags can be used to raise awareness about good causes as well. I remember the summer before my freshman year at CNU, so the summer of 2014, everyone was doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Going on Instagram and searching “#alsicebucketchallenge” came up with 880,586 posts for me to scroll through. This is a perfect example of hashtags being used to bring awareness to a disease and get people more involved in finding a cure. Another example of a positive hashtag is “#spreadtheword” (567,994 posts) or #spreadthewordtoendtheword (21,458 posts) which both mean the same thing in trying to take away the R word in everyday conversation. The R word used to have a meaning to describe individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities but has since been used as a derogatory term to call somebody stupid. It is hashtags like these that can cause big (positive) change in our world.

    When I first heard about this happening I thought it was a joke, then I saw it on facebook, that a guy friend had posted and used the tagline. It stung and hurt and needless to say I sent in my absentee ballot as soon as I could. I loved hashtags in high school (and still find some funny). But this crossed a line. This is a line men can cross but women cannot. If Hilary had tweeted something sexist like that everyone would throw a hissy fit. But Trump isnt seen like that. This shows the power of a man’s voice. Being sexist towards females is still seen as acceptable but God forbid it is the other way. Women are required to tip toe around what they say since everyone listens to every word, waiting for some kind of mess up. Especially a women of power.

  15. I had no idea this hashtag even existed, but even the idea of it is absolutely appalling, whether or not it is a joke. The fact that there were so many women (and men) who worked so hard to give women the right to vote shows how disrespectful the users of the hashtag are. It’s almost impossible to believe this trended after how much progress we’ve seemingly made. It shows that we still have an incredibly long way to go before true equality can ever actually be reached.

    This also shows the toxic nature of the media and it’s influence on society. The accessibility of things that trend on twitter and other social media platforms has an impact. Words have meaning, and when those words are spread through mass communication, they carry incredible significance. If things like this are what is trending on social media, then what does that say about our society as a whole?

  16. Not to be overdramatic, but there are times when you could say that social media almost has a war on women. I think about some of the hashtags I have seen surface–like that one about having your waist be smaller than a piece of paper–and I just can’t help but feel that women are really bearing the brunt of a lot of it. Think about those pictures that women post of their legs/thigh gap for a second. People became frustrated because they believed that filling social media with unrealistic body expectations is harmful. I completely understand that. I also understand, though, that there are real women in the world who have thigh gaps, and the response on social media to those pictures without a doubt had a negative impact on those women. What are girls supposed to think when they see people joking that their legs look like hotdogs? The movement could have praised women who do not have thigh gaps and encouraged all women. However, instead it served to tear down the women who DID have those legs. All in all, I feel like that characterizes our society right now. Hashtags were meant to help people sort out what they wanted to read about on social media, but instead became a way to attack women. If you don’t agree, that’s okay, but think for a moment about the hashtags you’ve seen. How many set out to build people up? And how many in turn serve to tear people–especially women–down?

  17. One of the most interesting things I’ve seen surrounding this hashtag are some female trump supporters who are also in support of giving up their rights so that trump would win. To be this is just baffling that there are women that would give up the rights women in the past fought so hard to gain, to me its an indication of just how deep rooted and internalized sexism can be. I have a hard time imagining that any of these women see themselves as anything other than potential mothers and wives, and although that is a very valid choice for women, it should never be the only option. I think its hard in this class to remember sometimes that there are people and places within the US that teach girls to limit themselves because all of us are seeking higher education and creating possibilities for ourselves that many of those women would classify as a man’s work.

  18. First of all, I want to start by saying that I can’t stand Buzzfeed and I think they contribute to a perpetuation of many of societies issues (except for their fun quizzes about princesses and cheeses). But that aside, I think we need to be really careful about generalizations, especially when it comes to politics. Because most people I know, even some Trump supporters, were appalled by that hashtag. I firmly believe that there are very very few people in this country who are “ok with sexism”. So I don’t think it’s safe to say things that place millions of people who do support Donald Trump into this category of sexists. Most people don’t like the guy, but see him as a “lesser of two evils” and the same goes for many Hillary supporters. Also, especially with an election like this where there is a lot at stake, it’s a lot more effective to focus on things that actually have the potential to impact our lives rather than crap that idiots put on the internet just to get a reaction that have no actual political repercussions. By no means am I making excuses for this hashtag or any of the other absurdities that have been spread through social media this election cycle, because I find it all tasteless and shameful and of course it is insulting to women. But I think as women leaders what we can do in response, is to not give stupidity like this the time of day, and instead maybe focus on voting and exercising that well-deserved right. Even more, maybe focus on our state and local elections happening this November rather than solely on the presidency. Focus on what we can do to contribute to the promotion of leaders who have a lot more to offer us than deleted emails and idiotic tweets.

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