So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

by

Jon Ronson

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Hank (which is an alias) is a man who was publicly shamed for making vaguely lewd puns at a tech conference in 2013. Adria Richards, a Black Jewish woman who was also in attendance at the conference and sitting in front of Hank and his friend, took a picture of the men and posted it to her Twitter to shame them for speaking insensitively. The internet quickly turned against Hank—but when he was fired from his jobs, suddenly men’s rights activists began to launch a misogynistic attack against Adria Richards. When Hank spoke with Jon Ronson, he seemed overwhelmed by how quickly the situation had spiraled out of control, empathetic toward Richards, and condemning of the unfairly gendered harassment to which Richards was subjected.

Hank Quotes in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed quotes below are all either spoken by Hank or refer to Hank. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead Books edition of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed published in 2016.
Chapter 6 Quotes

It seemed to me that all the people involved in the Hank and Adria story thought they were doing something good. But they only revealed that our imagination is so limited, our arsenal of potential responses so narrow that the only thing anyone can think to do with an inappropriate shamer like Adria is to punish her with a shaming. All of the shamers had themselves come from a place of shame, and it really felt parochial and self-defeating to instinctively slap shame onto shame like a clumsy builder covering cracks.

Related Characters: Jon Ronson (speaker), Hank, Adria Richards
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
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So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed PDF

Hank Character Timeline in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The timeline below shows where the character Hank appears in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: Doing Something Good
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Ronson recalls virtually interviewing a man who called himself “Hank,” though that wasn’t his real name. In March of 2013, Hank was in the audience... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Hank noticed the woman sitting in front of him turn around and use her phone to... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Shame, Freedom of Speech, and Public Discourse Theme Icon
Shame and Gender Theme Icon
But when Hank and his friend looked at Twitter later that afternoon, they saw that the woman sitting... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Shame and Gender Theme Icon
That night, Hank posted a short apology online. He said that while he was sorry for making Richards... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Shame, Freedom of Speech, and Public Discourse Theme Icon
Shame and Gender Theme Icon
...for an interview, and she reluctantly agreed to meet with him. She told him that Hank and his friend’s jokes had made her feel that she was in danger. While Ronson... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Cycles of Shame, Trauma, and Violence Theme Icon
Shame, Freedom of Speech, and Public Discourse Theme Icon
Shame and Gender Theme Icon
Shortly after Hank posted his statement, he began receiving messages of solidarity online from men’s-rights bloggers who also... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Cycles of Shame, Trauma, and Violence Theme Icon
Shame, Freedom of Speech, and Public Discourse Theme Icon
...internet, she suggested, had become the home of the “little guy.” And when people like Hank whom they identified with came under fire, the internet rose up to protect them. As... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Shame and Gender Theme Icon
While Hank told Ronson that he felt nobody deserved to go through what Adria Richards went through,... (full context)
Good, Evil, and Inhumanity Theme Icon
Shame and Social Media Theme Icon
Cycles of Shame, Trauma, and Violence Theme Icon
Everyone in the Hank and Adria Richards story, Ronson realized, thought they were doing something good. But in today’s... (full context)