When it comes to getting people barking up the wrong tree, nothing on the internet does it quite like 4chan. On Friday, the Twitter hashtag #EndFathersDay was trending worldwide, with its feminist proponents earnestly calling for the end of a day which, in their view, serves no purpose other than the celebration of patriarchal dominance.
At least, that’s what it looked like. As The Daily Dot reports, the whole thing was a prank; bait for feminists in the hope that they would use it to make a caricature out of themselves. Here’s the original post from /pol/, 4chan’s board for politically incorrect content:
Almost all cases of domestic violence, domestic rape, child abuse, adultery, and discontent in the home are caused by men, i.e. fathers. A holiday that celebrates this is another symptom of the disease known as the patriarchy, and has no place in a progressive society.
This is a holiday celebrating misogyny, demanding appreciation and gifts for doing what a father should be doing anyway, especially when almost all cases of domestic abuse stem from the father. Fathers all over the country are refusing to pay alimony or child support, which should not be celebrated and rewarded, but should be shamed. “Father’s Day” should not be about celebrating the role of a father in the family, but about correcting it. It shouldn’t be celebrated in its present form.
We are calling on all feminists and social justice warriors to join us in a campaign to redefine this disgustingly misogyist holiday. #EndFathersDay in its present form, if not entirely. We will be descending upon Twitter and Tumblr to get the message out that this patriarchal ‘holiday’ has no place in our society.
Thankfully, a lot of people weren’t convinced. Most of the tweets using the hashtag were from people denouncing its message, or feminism, or both. They mistook the hoax message for legitimate feminist dialogue, which is sad, in a way. However, some extreme feminists did take the bait and tweeted in support of the hashtag. That’s a pretty damning indictment of their strain of feminism, which has become indistinguishable from those who are parodying it.
If the 4chan trolls were vilifying feminism in the hope of gaining sympathy for men’s rights activism, they’re going to be disappointed. This sort of stunt just makes each movement descend into partisanship; a race to the bottom for the precious commodity of public opinion on social media, fuelled by each group’s dislike for the other. But we shouldn’t be surprised: you don’t have to spend long on 4chan before you realise that its users aren’t prejudiced – they just hate everyone equally.