The Best "Despite What Your Gender Studies Professor Says" Memes In The Wake Of A Conservative Blogger's Ridiculous Tweet
For six days, Hurricane Harvey has battered Houston, Texas, and surrounding areas. At least 30 have been confirmed dead so far, and still the floodwaters rise. This week, a conservative blogger tried to use a photograph of the destruction for sexist propaganda — which then morphed into a Hurricane Harvey meme as soon as the rest of Twitter caught on. Something tells me the original tweet backfired.
On Monday, blogger Matt Walsh tweeted a photo of a rescue in progress: A man carrying a woman and baby out of floodwaters. In the caption, Walsh added his own interpretation of events. "Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both," he tweeted. "This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says." (Barf.)
Obviously, a rescue is a rescue, no matter the participants' genders. Would anyone in need of help actually turn it down because their rescuer is a woman? For that matter, what about the hundreds of men who were also rescued from the floods?
When Twitter users outside Walsh's target audience caught wind of the tweet, they were understandably frustrated that he would use Harvey's devastation — Gov. Greg Abbott called it "one of the largest disasters America has ever faced" — to promote misogyny and backwards gender roles.
Oh so let's say a man is hurt, should I not protect him and carry him to safety because that's not how it "ought" to be?— Hanna Fridén (@HannaFriden) August 29, 2017
Politicize my human tragedy daddy— Tom Francis (@thomasrfrancis) August 29, 2017
One user pointed out that for plenty of women, rescue is literally part of the job description.
Oh so we should tell these women to stop saving the world and go home and wait for their man. got it. pic.twitter.com/PPy0dsLwVn— Amber Alexander (@KetchupSnowman) August 29, 2017
This being the internet, things spiraled from there. People began ridiculing the tweet by pairing Walsh's caption with various photos, and lo, a meme was born. It began with other photos from Hurricane Harvey.
Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects shoes. This is how it ought to be despite what your gender studies professor says pic.twitter.com/qXPaWfHYCV— Titus Flavortown (@marblemadeflesh) August 29, 2017
"Man carries pup. Woman carries toddler & appliances" would be an equally stupid caption. It's people working together to survive ffs pic.twitter.com/FdhX9csWyn— Illustrious Harridan (@pardymyleslong) August 29, 2017
Soon, there were raccoons. Spacedomes. Kittens.
THIS IS HOW IT OUGHT TO BE, DESPITE WHAT YOUR RACCON STUDIES PROFESSOR SAYS pic.twitter.com/UDq7cIxkqe— Jenna Mullins (@JBomb11) August 29, 2017
Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says pic.twitter.com/qchib8b1Sy— Gabriella Paiella (@GMPaiella) August 29, 2017
Then came the media references.
Woman cradles and protects child. Man carries and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says pic.twitter.com/ZGAq7tNMuB— end of line (@exdli) August 29, 2017
Ernie cradles and protects duck, Bert holds and protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says pic.twitter.com/jWVJQ63Id1— christina reif (@shtinky_puddin) August 29, 2017
wizard cradles and protects wand. giant carries & protects both. This is how it ought to be, despite what your gender studies professor says pic.twitter.com/jCDmBRXeH9— jamie (@ASVPJVMIE) August 29, 2017
Who knows? In the fuure, men might be replaced by robo-bears in the grand scheme of things.
(robot voice) MAN HAS BEEN REPLACED. ROBEAR IS NEW PROTECTOR OF WOMEN. ALL HAIL ROBEAR. GOODBYE MEN FOREVER pic.twitter.com/pwkpbwU93E— Luke Yoquinto (@lukeyoquinto) August 29, 2017
Meanwhile, an actual gender professor, Christina Wolbrecht, created a thread explaining the complicated relationship between care work and gender. It's lengthy, but you can read it over on Twitter.
I was going to stick w sarcasm but as an actual gender studies prof, there's just so much to unpack here, I can't help myself. THREAD! 1/ https://t.co/et7L7oClqe— Christina Wolbrecht (@C_Wolbrecht) August 29, 2017
The victims of Hurricane Harvey deserve all the aid others can offer, regardless of their gender. It may take years to recover from the disaster, but there are plenty of ways to help or donate from wherever you are.