23-year-old freelance journalist Adam Harris thought nothing of uploading images from his wedding day in September 2014 with his new wife Tisa.
The photos the Texas-native posted on his Tumblr showed Harris getting teary-eyed upon seeing his bride for the first time.
“We agreed not to do the first look because we thought it would be more exciting to see each other for the first time during the ceremony,” Harris explained to Buzzfeed’s Rossalyn Warren. “When it came time in the ceremony for her to walk down the aisle, our DJ played ‘Beautiful’ by Meshell Ndegeocello and the doors above the stairs opened. When I saw her, I couldn’t hold back feelings of excitement and love, she looked gorgeous. Our photographer, Dustin Finklestein, captured the moment perfectly.”
And for a few months, nothing happened. The post on Harris’ Tumblr kept racking up likes and reblogs, but it wasn’t until December that his sister-in-law noticed someone had stolen the image.
A photo posted by Restoring Faith in Real (@derrickjaxn) on Nov 23, 2014 at 2:34pm PST
Instagrammer @derrickjaxn was the first to take the photo and turn it into a meme, Harris said.
“The sentiment was ‘sweet’ I suppose but it was the beginning of a deterioration of the meaning of the photos,” he told Vox.
Meninist followers latched onto the tweet and began posting other racist tweets in response, even comparing Harris’s mini calla lily boutineer to a banana peel.
But instead of trying to get Meninist to take down the photos or responding with threats or anger, Harris calmly Tweeted back and corrected the misoygnistic meme.
“I did not respond to that tweet in that way just because ‘my wife was following me on Twitter,’ or ‘because my wife made me,'” Harris wrote later in a Tumblr post. “It is possible for a man, on his own volition, to stand up for himself and his family. To simply reply to something that is wrong and fix it.”
And Twitter users loved it. In comparison with the 9,000 favourites and 6,000 retweets on the original Meninist tweet, Harris’s tweet has since racked up over 103,000 retweets and 105,000 favourites.
He was also overwhelmed by words of encouragement and praise from other Twitter users for his response.
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