The week in hashtags: #HistoricPOC, #BAFTAs, #MugabeFalls, #QuestionsForMen

The good, the BAFTAs and the ugly truths being tagged and tweeted over the past week…


Writer Mikki Kendall started this hashtag as a celebration of Black History Month – but also as an important exercise in visibility, challenging the way history tends to be taught and remembered through a caucasian filter. The idea was inspired by an online debate with commenters about the predominantly white cast of Marvel miniseries Agent Carter; commenters who really believed that in 1940s New York no person of colour would ever have lived or worked alongside a white woman, unless they were a servant.

Mikki asked tweeters to share pictures of historic people of colour in day-to-day life, hoping to show that ‘there is more to our history than the pain of legally enfranchised brutality depicted in Roots, Selma, or The Help.’ What followed was a huge (and still growing) collection of rarely-seen photos. Some showed soldiers, activists or leaders, some relatives or unknown people going about their lives in decades past – all helping to remind us that, as Mikki says, ‘people of color had a larger role in creating this country [the US] than they’re given credit for and it’s only fair that that’s acknowledged year-round.’



London had its turn in the awards season spotlight last night, as the brightest stars from film (plus David Beckham, from ‘being David Beckham’) turned out to see Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette and Eddie Redmayne do slightly different speeches to the ones they did the last time.

Boyhood took home the most awards, The Imitation Game got nada, and Stephen Fry had his own John Travolta moment when he introduced Patricia Arquette as ‘Rosanna Arquette’ – who is, the assembled guests and a huge TV audience managed to spot, an entirely different person. He later tried to joke his way out of it by referring to the Best Actor winner as ‘Reddie Edmayne’, but nobody really noticed.

Twitter saved most of its energy, however, for complaining about notable omissions from this year’s poignant In Memoriam section – mainly Drop Dead Fred star Rik Mayall, and the late Bob Hoskins, who actually won a BAFTA in 1989. Some muttered about class war. Or perhaps, like Stephen, the Academy just had a memory lapse. 



This week in Australia, in a shock development that nobody ever saw coming, a political hashtag was hijacked for lolz.

#ImStickingWithTony was started in an effort to show support for prime minister Tony Abbott, but within the usual amount of time it had been turned into a vehicle for making fun of the Liberal leader – and dredging up his previous gaffes. Of which there are many.



Last week we had #EffYourBeautyStandards, and this week saw the rise of #Pluskini, a body-positive hashtag devised to celebrate Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition featuring its first ‘plus-size’ models. Size 14-16 Ashley Graham appears in an advert, and size 12 Robyn Lawley stars in the mag’s ‘Rookies’ section.

As the internet debated everything from on what planet a 12 should constitute ‘plus size’ to whether we should be letting a magazine devoted to women in swimsuits dictate our body confidence anyway, campaigner Cherrell Brown kicked off #Pluskini to showcase a whole lot more body types – and the happy, unapologetic women within them.  



Another big trender to come out of Australia this week, writer Clementine Ford unwittingly started #QuestionsForMen when she tweeted her own pointed query for the opposite sex: ‘When you have a hostile disagreement with someone, is it common for them to say you’re angry because no one will fuck you?’

Plenty of other tweeters hopped on board with their own rhetorical questions highlighting the myriad ways in which male privilege affects life for modern women. But of course, nothing really can be rhetorical on Twitter – and the ragey ‘answers’ to #QuestionsForMen started coming soon after…



There aren’t many 90-year-olds in the world who could fall over and have half the internet point and laugh at them, but Robert Mugabe is one of them. When the Zimbabwe President tumbled down a little set of steps after finishing an African Union meeting in Ethiopia, he was barely on his feet again before Twitter had turned him into the meme du jour.

Mugabe has since swung on Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball, ridden a broomstick in a Quidditch match, been surfing, touch Kim Kardashian’s naked bottom and fallen Del Boy-style though a bar. Whether he was actually injured by his tumble we don’t know, but word has it his aides have been scrabbling around trying to get photos of the incident deleted. Good luck with that, guys.

Image image: misspixels’ Flickr

Lauren Bravo