So what’s the point? Let me tell you. Any time a woman shares her experience, calls out sexism, disagrees with misogyny, there will be a man nearby shouting, “BUT NOT ALL MEN!” Seriously. Every time. If you look at my #yesallwomen Facebook post, guess what the VERY first words are in the VERY first comment? YOU GUESSED IT! “Not all men…”
And why is this a problem? First of all, the point of speaking out against sexism or sharing your experiences is not to inform everyone that males are the scum of the earth. This is not about men being good or bad. This is about the patriarchal standards we live by and the misogynistic culture that influences society to see women as objects and treat them as less than humans. This is about us trying to change the way EVERYONE treats women. This is about the media and how it constantly sexualizes women. This is about how 90% of young females are insecure with themselves once they reach adolescence because they don’t have the “ideal” body that is constantly being shoved down their throat. So, men who say “not all men”….stop making this about you.
Second, it derails the conversation from “problems women face and how to fix them” to “men can be good too!” Am I supposed to never speak out again injustice against women because there are good men in the world? Am I supposed to keep my mouth shut that 1 in 4 American women will be sexually assaulted and raped in their lifetime because there are some men who don’t rape? Instead of telling us something that we already know and is 100% pointless, why don’t you add something to the original conversation that doesn’t include some type of objection/underlying guilt? Do not delegitimize our thoughts and feelings (that are completely valid) just because you are taking our victimization and voices about our experiences as an attack on you having a penis.
So, the whole point of this hashtag is that even though not all men are sexual predators, all women deal with being attacked and victimized. Even though I have a lot of male friends and family members who I trust and don’t make me feel less than them, that doesn’t stop the fact that me and every female I know deal with sexism on a daily basis by other men. Just because my friends' boyfriends haven’t raped them, doesn’t take away the point that PLENTY of females I know have been sexually assaulted or raped.
So what can you do? First, look at yourself and your actions and point out when you’re being judgmental or irrational towards women. All of us do it and have these preconceived ideas of how women should act and behave because that is how we were raised through people/media. Second, stop laughing at sexist jokes just because you’re going along with what everyone else is doing and laughing about. It’s okay to disagree with people. It’s okay to tell someone when they’re being disrespectful. It’s okay to tell people when they make sexist/rape jokes that they are desensitizing themselves and the people around them to how big of a deal sexism and rape are and how often it happens. Don’t be afraid that you’re the only one who has a problem with these jokes and actions because I guarantee there is someone in the crowd listening to you or reading your comments that agrees with you and needed to see that you stood up against sexism. And once they keep seeing you and others speak out against it, they will start to be inspired to do it because they know they’re not alone. And if you think that you don’t judge women and you follow no patriarchal standards or you think rape jokes are okay, you either A.) suck and/or B.) need to open your eyes a little more.
#YesAllWomen - because I lost track of how many of my female friends and family members have been victims of sexual assault and rape.
#YesAllWomen - because I get told to smile constantly by men because they think I am put on this earth for their pleasure.
#YesAllWomen - because I still have to explain to people why I want to keep my last name and have been told that I would never find a husband because of it.
#YesAllWomen - because I get looked at like I have a dick on my forehead when I wear a belly shirt or short shorts.
#YesAllWomen - because if a woman proposed to her boyfriend few too many would take her seriously and would probably look at her like she’s insane because that’s “the man's job” and it’s on their time and when they’re ready.
#YesAllWomen - because there still hasn’t been a female president.
#YesAllWomen - because female genital mutilation (please Google this).
#YesAllWomen - because when I say it’s annoying when guys hit on me I get told, “yeah right, you like it.”
#YesAllWomen - because colleges try to hide their sexual assault/rape cases so people will still come to their school instead of taking the situations head on and trying to prevent them from happening.
Because if you're tired of reading our stories, imagine how tired we are of living them. #yesallwomen
— Ashley Hallett (@xashleysuzanna) May 28, 2014
Just because you can see my body doesn't mean you are entitled to it. #YesAllWomen
— Nina La Voix (@NinaLaVoix) May 28, 2014
#YesAllWomen because I've never heard of a man having to text his friends to let them know he wasn't raped and murdered on his way home.
— Charlie (@colchonera) May 28, 2014
#YesAllWomen bc telling women "be rational" and "don't be aggressive" and "you're hurting your cause" = all ways to keep us "in our place"
— fuck off, men (@ElizSimins) May 28, 2014
#YesAllWomen Because men are complaining aboutgeneralized statements about men. It must be awful being treated differently based on gender.
— ⏳Michelle ⏳ (@Michellolol) May 28, 2014
— Thought Catalog (@ThoughtCatalog) May 28, 2014