Online feminists and social justice warriors (SJWs) have been fooled by users of an internet forum into starting a campaign to ban the Christmas tradition of kissing under mistletoe. Apparently, the small plant promotes nonconsensual kissing and even rape.
“I have an idea for trolling feminists”, wrote an anonymous user on the internet forum 4Chan on 1 December. “Let’s see if we can get them to ban mistletoe because it ‘promotes rape culture’”.
“Something like #SayNoToMistletoe. What do you think?” he propositioned. “Could actually work” responded one user. “Bumping for serious potential”, added another.
‘Rape culture’ is the idea that Western culture somehow promotes and perpetuates the crime of rape, and that pernicious forces in society like the patriarchy are responsible for the violent crimes.
Mistletoe is a parasitic plant with tiny white berries. Small sprigs are traditionally hung up at random locations during Christmas time, under which lovers are expected to kiss. Because the tradition encourages men to kiss women, it could be said to perpetuate rape according to ‘rape culture’ logic.
Almost immediately after the suggestion was made on 4Chan, a fake twitter page was set up and users of the messaging board began covertly spreading the message, posting satirical but genuine-sounding messages condemning mistletoe.
Mistletoe is so wrong. Men are pigs and use this construct as a means for rape. Another wrong in our patriarchal society. #SayNoToMistletoe
— Yung Vape Lord (@HuntaroTheGreat) December 4, 2015
#SayNoToMistletoe let's abolish this horrific tradition that promotes rape culture
— Colin Diehl (@C_DiehlQB8) December 4, 2015
— fappyhour (@fappyhour) December 2, 2015
Some feminists fell for it.
#SayNoToMistletoe Mistletoe promotes rape culture and is yet another way patriarchy dominates society. No family should have a mistletoe.
— Ted Veerman (@TedVeerman) December 4, 2015
#SayNoToMistletoe because it promotes rape cultures and allows male misogynistic tendencies to manifest themselves in reality.
— proud feminist ⚢ (@feminiest) December 2, 2015
#SayNoToMistletoe because up to 85% of all adults in US are carriers of oral herpes… and that stuff never goes away people. Stop that junk
— Ravjot Mehek Singh (@ravjotmehek) December 4, 2015
Others remained sceptical.
This tag is so pathetic, and feminists will ofc be blamed for it when anti-fems were the ones who started it #SayNoToMistletoe
— m (@prodigynjh) December 5, 2015
And a few were enraged:
#SayNoToMistletoe 👈🏽 seriously? You feminists need to shut the fuck up. It's not that serious, it's a damn plant. Get on my nerves 😒
— Alexandria (@ChasingBohemian) December 4, 2015
#SayNoToMistletoe because why make Christmas fun anymore? Stupid feminists
— Joey Ruotolo (5-7) (@JoeyRuotolo) December 4, 2015
#SayNoToMistletoe fuck you guys. All the shit to fix in the world and you pick fucking mistletoe?
— Foxxy (@Glitter682) December 3, 2015
Just three days after the prank was concocted — in a move unconfirmed to be connected to the hashtag — Cornell University in the US decided that mistletoe was no longer politically correct. Campus authorities issued a document demanding that students and staff avoid the tradition, because it “doesn’t create an inclusive environment”.
The trolling campaign is similar to other successful hoaxes on social justice warriors (SJWs) and feminists, such as the ‘p*ss for equality’ campaign, where feminist were tricked into wetting themselves in ‘solidarity’ with rape victims, and the ‘free bleeding’ prank, when 4Chan users managed to fool most of the mainstream press.