#HowIWillChange: Engaging Men and Boys in the #MeToo Movement

Morgan E. PettyJohn, Finneran K. Muzzey, Megan K. Maas, Heather L. McCauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In response to the #MeToo movement, #HowIWillChange was intended to engage men and boys in the ongoing discussion about sexual violence by asking them to evaluate their role in sustaining rape culture. We collected publicly available tweets containing #HowIWillChange from Twitter’s application programming interface on October 26, 2017 via NCapture software, resulting in 3,182 tweets for analysis. Tweets were analyzed qualitatively and coded into three primary groups: (a) users committing to actively engage in dismantling rape culture, (b) users indignantly resistant to social change, and (c) users promoting hostile resistance to social change. Actions suggested by users for dismantling rape culture included the following: examining personal participation in toxic masculinity, teaching the next generation, calling out other men, listening to women’s experiences, and promoting egalitarianism. Users indignantly opposed to social change used the rhetoric of “not all men” and promoted benevolently sexist attitudes to assert that men as a group have been unfairly targeted. Other users were hostile toward the notion of social change and expressed their resistance through attacking perceived weaknesses of men supporting #HowIWillChange, hostile sexist attitudes, statements of antifeminist backlash, and rhetoric of Trump-inspired racism. The identified themes provide valuable information for prevention scientists about what holds men back from participating, and what men are willing to do to help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-622
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • masculinity
  • rape culture
  • sexual assault
  • social media
  • violence against women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Applied Psychology


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