Fringe conservatives are calling Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student and mass shooting survivor David Hogg a “soy boy” after the 17-year-old became a leading voice in the emboldened movement for gun control.
David Hogg really needs to cut way down on his soy consumption. #soyboy
— Joe (@joematrixtruth) February 27, 2018
In what has become a norm in the wake of mass shooting incidents, right-wing conspiracy theorists began to smear Hogg just days after 17 people were gunned down at his school. The teen emerged on national media outlets as a strong voice among the survivors, and as a result, fringe internet communities falsely cast him as an FBI plant, a “crisis actor,” and even a 26-year-old criminal from South California. Similar attempts to discredit survivors and fabricate false flag conspiracy narratives have played out after many recent mass-shooting tragedies.
The insult “soy boy,” in the bizarre parlance of the alt-right, is supposed to denote a feminine man who lacks traditionally hyper-masculine characteristics and posture. It draws on the scientifically flawed thinking that dairy-free milk alternatives, like soy milk, increase estrogen hormone production in a way that emasculates men in physical and mental disposition. Trolls use the term for men that represent a liberal or progressive political standpoint.
Despite the backlash, Hogg has persisted in using his newfound public platform to amplify calls for a serious political conversation on gun control, to ensure that a shooting like the one he witnessed does not happen again. Hogg even appeared on CNN to thank the conspiracy theorists for being “great advertisers” of his message.
“These people that have been attacking me on social media, they’ve been great advertisers. Ever since they started attacking me, my Twitter followers are now a quarter of a million people. People have continued to cover us in the media. They’ve done a great job of that, and for that, I honestly thank them,” he told Brian Stelter on Sunday.
On Tuesday Hogg clashed publicly on Twitter with right-wing Infowars personality Alex Jones, provoking a surge of hate from Jones’ supporters. Infowars was recently reprimanded by YouTube for harassment and bullying after sharing videos falsely accusing Hogg of being a crisis actor.
Hogg tweeted that Jones was a “shit journalist and “snake oil” salesman before offering to “come on [his show] and clear some of this up.”
Hey Alex Jones you seem to be really confused as to what I do/who I am I'd love to come on and clear some of this up because clearly as a shit journalist you can't clearly.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 27, 2018
Eager to engage with the student, Jones said he would like for the student to come on Infowars to “set the record straight and clear things up.”
Repeating his offer to host the teen, Jones warned Hogg that he was being used by CNN “to shut down Infowars” and “end free speech.”
Hogg announced late Tuesday that he would not honor Jones’ request for a debate, saying that he would “not speak to anyone that has had disgusting remarks to victims of mass shootings in the past.” Jones has previously promoted mass shooting conspiracy theories, infamously calling the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre a “hoax.” Grieving families said they were subsequently harassed and threatened by Jones’ supporters.