#MenAreTrash hashtag sparks widespread debate and outrage on Maldivian twitter

The most fragile thing in the Indian Ocean - The egos of Maldivian men or the faith of Maldivian men?

The polarising hashtag caused an uproar and week long drama across the Maldivian twitterverse as tweeps debated the controversial topic. Are men trash? Are men trash, but is the wording wrong? Have people who say men are trash actually not met enough men who are not trash? Are women responsible for the men in their life being trash? Can they simply just filter them out? All this and more below. This is of course just a taste. I also did not include some of the nastier stuff from obvious troll accounts.

May 25th - Day One

It all started with this tweet: 

Which instantly started backlash from the (Most) Men (You Know) Are Trash camp.

This group seemed to imply that most men were in fact not trash, and that it was more of an issue of who you knew. 

A woman also takes the opportunity to defend the men in their life

This causes debate and drama to occur over multiple days, some of which is detailed below 


May 26th - Day Two 


One tweep found the backlash amusing 

Another thought the whole thing was an issue of filtering out the trash 

This caused people to respond with some obvious truths 

One woman shared their experience of how they learned about feminism 

Another explained what feminism means to them 



May 27th - Day Three 

One tweep asked men to listen 

This prompted a man to ask if the hashtag was creating more division 

Another reflected on gender roles during Ramadan (or Roadha mas in Dhivehi)

Some tweeps reflected on the fragility of the male ego 

One man took it upon himself to sort the trash 

A man shared an account of an incident that he witnessed 

Another man wondered if the whole thing was a ploy for attention 

Yet another man insisted that there was no gender based discrimination in the Maldives, this time using the First Lady Madam Faathun simply existing as an example

Inside a long thread full of drama, one man decides that inequality doesn't exist in the Maldives 

This sparks off even more debate, and many women and men share their experiences. 

Rough translation of the text in quotes "When you marry someone you should just stay at home. Why should you frivolously spend on getting higher qualifications?"

Meanwhile a woman shared her very real story of discrimiation

One woman laid on the snark 

Another flipped the script

Another woman reflected on Maldivian culture and toxic masculinity 

Another expressed her frustrations

A man pointed out the irony of some of the backlash 

Reflections on the previous backlash faced by anti-harrasment campaign Nufoshey

May 28th - Day Four 

One tweep reflected on how they viewed the hashtag as a success

A woman shared their thoughts on the word "feminazi"

Another woman reflected on the messages taught to men in Maldivian media

A man showed his support for the movement 

A woman responded to people dismissing everything as useless drama

To which a man asked what the big deal was in the first place

Rough translation : "So what's the real problem with all the men anyways? (only then) can we attempt to solve the problem or try to help out with the situation. Just asking as a man. If there's something that's bothering you you should speak out, you shouldn't stay quiet."

An opressed man says he is scared to make eye contact with women because he might get labelled a harasser

Concluding drama

Alright I've embedded so many tweets that my browser is starting to slow down, so here are some concluding remarks

What has one of the men who sparked the initial backlash learnt from days of women sharing their experiences of discrimination?

Apparently not much 

If you want my opinion, I'd say hell yes, Maldivian men are trash. The country's appalling record on women's rights should speak for itself. No politician even mentions the need for abortions, which are still illegal and cause untold misery and stress for women who need to access this basic reproductive health service. Not to mention the Maldives has incredibly high rates of domestic violence, and a Guinness World Record for the highest number of divorces per capita. Many Maldivians still believe that women shouldn't be allowed to rule their country. Street harassment and abuse is widespread. This is without even getting into the extremely taboo topic of the rights of lesbian, bisexual or other non-cis women.

I think it says a lot that some men chose to police the people using the hashtag than confront the realities of what it's like being a woman in the Maldives. I think the following two tweets below sum up my feelings quite well.