How Feminists Challenged a Sexist Hashtag

May 6th 2015

Laura Donovan

#HowToSpotAFeminist might be trending on your Twitter feed right now, but not for the reason its most recent adopter intended. On May 3, right-leaning talk radio host Doc Thompson called for tips on #HowtoSpotaFeminist on Twitter in preparation for a segment on Glenn Beck's The Blaze. Though the hashtag has been around for years, it took off when Thompson sent this tweet on Sunday:

Though plenty of users tweeted anti-feminist responses, as Thompson likely anticipated, the hashtag also inspired dozens of reactions from people defending feminism:

The feminist response drew backlash from users who seemed to think the hashtag shouldn't be taken so seriously. Twitter has often been a place where feminists have encountered detractors. Often, this conversation has led to situations where women have been harassed on Twitter by anti-feminists. High-profile controversies Gamer Gate and #YesAllWomen brought the Twitter abuse problem to the forefront, and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has even admitted that the platform has not done enough to deal with trolls.