The Week on Twitter: Mali, Charlie Sheen, and International Men’s Day

This week, the good people of Twitter talked about Charlie Sheen, braced themselves for Storm Barney, and celebrated International Men’s Day (kind of). We also watched as it was reported that gunmen had stormed a hotel in Mali, holding at least 170 people hostage.

Gunmen kill 27 people at Radisson siege in #Mali

On Friday morning, two gunmen took 170 people hostage in a Radisson Blu hotel. The hotel, which is situated in Mali’s capitol city Bamako, was stormed by gunmen in a stolen car bearing a diplomatic license plate, who began firing at guards, and using grenades.

The siege lasted 9 hours, eventually ending last night. UN peacekeepers reported that they saw 27 bodies across two floors, including two of the gunmen.

According to witnesses, the attackers were Islamist extremists who were releasing those correctly reciting passages from the Qur’an. Live updates of the attack can be found here.

#CharlieSheen reveals he has HIV

On Tuesday, Charlie Sheen revealed that he has been HIV positive for four years. The Two and a Half Men star decided to speak out about his condition after being blackmailed repeatedly for millions of dollars. Sheen appeared on the Today Show earlier in the week with his doctor to explain some of the components of the virus, and to differentiate the condition from the AIDS virus, which he does not have.

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While many took to the internet to criticise Sheen’s four years of silence and to make some rather cruel and unfunny jokes, others commended his announcement, claiming that his eventual honesty and treatment of the situation would reduce the stigma still associated with HIV.

#StormBarney ruins everything

45,000 people were left without power this week when Storm Barney swept across the country. Tuesday evening saw electricity going, wheeley bins disappearing, and lots and lots of things blowing from one place to another place.

According to Met Éireann, winds reached speeds of up to 100km/h, which is pretty fast for wind and for things in general. In the wake of the storm, everybody took to Twitter to complain about Barney and the distressing amount of nationwide destruction he had caused.

Twitter celebrates #InternationalMensDay… Sort of

Since 1992, November 19th has marked International Men’s Day. This year, many used the day to emphasise the importance of men’s mental health, and to draw attention to some other issues that men face, like toxic masculinity, and a lack of paternal rights. Suicide is the leading cause of death in young Irish men between the ages of 18 and 34.

Some saw November 19th as just another Thursday – where men’s rights activists dominated, the patriarchy ruled all, and men were celebrated just for being men.

The Independent ran an article stating that International Men’s Day is about as necessary as “white history month, or able bodied action day.” While the author recognises the importance of highlighting risks of male suicides, they ultimately suggest that the day is a pointless gesture to make all men feel “special.”

Others simply used the day to promote their own rampant heterosexuality. Good luck, Larry.

Featured image via Getty