This vet surprised everyone after his Mom turned him into an accidental poster boy for the #HimToo movement.
Twitter

If you were on Twitter on Monday you may have seen an incredibly popular meme going around mocking supporters of the #HimToo movement, which claims that men have stopped dating out of fear of facing a false accusation of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era.

Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds.

One tweet in particular went viral after a Mom posted this (since deleted) message to her account, claiming that her proud Navy son was a victim of the women’s rights cultural movement:


“This is MY son. He graduated #1 in boot camp. He was awarded the USO award. He was #1 in A school. He is a gentleman who respects women. He won’t go on solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind. I VOTE. #HimToo.”

The tweet instantly went viral but not for the reasons the Mom had hoped. Instead, a number of people created hilarious memes mocking the idea that men are somehow the real victim of the #MeToo movement.

But no one was more surprised than Pieter Hanson, the Navy veteran and “gentleman who respects women,” featured in his Mom’s original tweet.

You see, Hanson was in class when the Tweet went viral and only found out about it after his image has been shared hundreds of thousands of times across social media.

Worst of all, nothing his Mom said was true.

“It doesn’t represent me at all,” Hanson told the Washington Post. “I love my mom to death, but boy . . . I’m still trying to wrap my head around all this.”

By late Monday night, Hanson had changed his own personal Twitter account name to “That was my Mom” and shared the following message with those curious as to whether he was really some #HimToo proponent:

“Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it. Let’s turn this around. I respect and #BelieveWomen. I never have and never will support #HimToo. I’m a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad and Ally.”

It’s a shame his Mom accidentally turned her innocent son into a cruel meme that broadcasts the worst aspects of a culture that marginalizes sexual violence against women.

But as Hanson himself noted, it’s turned into a chance for him to show the real story -- one in which this strong, proud and decent man is everything his Mom wants him to be: someone that listens to, respects and believes women.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.