#ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend Trended This Weekend On Twitter

My love/hate relationship with Twitter grew ever-so-slightly more complicated this weekend when the hashtag #ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend trended on Sunday. (For the Twitter-uninitiated, a hashtag is a word or phrase prefaced by the # sign, which usually describes a theme people are talking about — for example, #JetsGame or #AmericanIdol.) When a hashtag or phrase becomes so popular that it is one of the top 10 topics people are discussing, it is listed for all to see on the homepage of Twitter. This is called “trending.” Now, to be fair, part of the reason that #ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend was “trending” was because people were criticizing the subject. But #ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend would not have attracted so much attention in the first place if people weren’t actually tweeting responses to it. Twitter users of conscience were of two minds of how to deal with the #ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend hashtag. Some users addressed the folks at Twitter corporate directly by tweeting at them (“at replying,” it is called) that the hashtag should be pulled. Other users decided to publicly shame Twitter accounts which were contributing reasons to the #ReasonsToBeatYourGirlfriend hashtag. One Twitter user, for instance, would take a user’s name from the list and then tweet “Check out his tweet – another abusive man don’t date him – call authorities #Reasontobeatyourgirlfriend.”

Understandably, being called “an abusive man” over Twitter pissed a lot of those #ReasonsToBeatYearGirlfriend contributers off — especially since some/most/many of them may not actually be domestic abusers, but were simply contributing to a ha-ha-hilarious trending topic. It’s just a jooooooke, they all whined, because joking about hitting your partner is funnnnnnnny!

Really, those ignorant whiners just need to STFU (that is, if they aren’t booted off Twitter entirely for making violent threats). Sure, there’s a legal difference between actually being a domestic abuser and making a joke about domestic abuse on Twitter. But a cavalier attitude towards domestic violence — whether it’s against men, women or children — contributes to the culture that allows it to exist. We’re not at a place yet where joking about domestic abuse, or rape, or child abuse, is funny. Period.

(As of 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, Twitter appears to have disabled the hashtag; if you search “#Reasontobeatyourgirlfriend” it gives you an error report. Good, I guess?)

Image via Twitter.com

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