Hashtag hometown pride?
If you glanced at Twitter last week, you may have seen #TampaHoes stream through your feed. You may have thought, "I really need to clean out my friends list." And then you might have seen it again and again and realized, oh sweet mercy, #TampaHoes was actually trending.
Yes, hoes. It's an indelicate term not meant for garden tools. A denigrating term. A term that apparently made a whole lot of people feel better about themselves last week. The #TampaHoes hashtag gained steam after cheating matchmakers AshleyMadison.com released statistics claiming Tampa had more mistresses per capita than all but three major U.S. cities. People started making #TampaHoes cracks on Twitter. It crept up and up.
Thursday morning, the radio hosts at Wild 94.1 prepped for their show. They read the Ashley Madison stats, saw that #TampaHoes was trending. They pounced.
"We were doing it as a public service," said host Orlando Davis. "There are a lot of ladies out there that are very classy, who have done it right... And then there are some hoochies."
They invited listeners to call up and report cheaters. The calls flooded the airwaves for at least an hour. Tweets to the station overloaded the technology. People reported identifying car colors and hairstyles but were told to leave last names out of it.
And #TampaHoes kept growing on Twitter, trending all the way to No. 2 in the country during the show, Davis said. Tweeps whipped out their best zingers, their lowest opinions of 813 females:
@Richie_Ortiz — #TampaHoes Act like they are models from Miami, but can't win a beauty pageant in Plant City
@ESPizzle — #TampaHoes all make high waisted shorts and think they design clothes
@fentonfaseur — #TampaHoes be like "I'd like the beach, if it wasn't for the sand."
Some people got chivalrous:
@lukefranchina — #TampaHoes ... Well that's a nice way to let them know how you feel. How disrespectful. I know a lot of #TampaWOMEN who are really sweet.
Some people got indignant:
@ashyybabyyyy — I'm embarrassed to live in Tampa when #TampaHoes is a trending topic.
A caller to the Wild morning show made the point that men could also be #TampaHoes. Davis agreed, and opened it up for people to call out guys.
"Once we did that, the numbers doubled up," said Davis. "People started calling up. 'So and so who drives the white car,' 'So and so who lives in Lakeland ...' "
One woman called with a serious tone in her voice. She wanted to raise the level of discourse. She didn't want women calling each other #TampaHoes, disrespecting each other, letting cheaters know they had any power.
She paused. The hosts were about to agree with her when she said:
"But let me tell you about ..."