***EDIT*** Before you continue scrolling down, please first read this article to understand my position on this issue instead of jumping to conclusions that I am in any way defending men or shifting the focus of the YesAllWomen conversation – as that is very much not my intention.
By now, you have probably heard of the #YesAllWomen hashtag which has made waves throughout social media. It was designed to start a conversation about how all women have experience being harassed at one point or another by men (some even discuss nearly daily issues).
The campaign has become both highly effective, and shocking, as it has brought to light ongoing issues that people don’t usually publicize. While harassment is unacceptable and I have written exactly why more men need to stand with women (please, read it), I believe it’s important to keep the reigns on this conversation and not let it escalate out of control.
I believe we need to acknowledge this before our society segregates itself by gender. Before men are so vilified that we are literally unable to be trusted. Before it is forgotten that things some men do as highlighted in this article are equally repulsive to many men, as they are to women.
Let us not make “men” a dirty word. I believe men are evolving into the next phase of cultural norms, in a good way. We love our girlfriends, our wives, our sisters, mothers, cousins, daughters, and would do anything to protect them. We look to help and support them. We stand by their sides during hard times, and celebrate with them during good times.
We want to be loved and accepted. We want to be given a chance. We want to feel good about ourselves. And we definitely want to be seen for who we are, not for who the last (completely clueless) guy was.
I fully recognize how large this problem is, and I think that many other people do as well, now that it has come to the mainstream – but this is a men’s issue, too. Without men perpetrating the problem, there would be no problem, so we need to be involved in helping to solve it.
Please do not cut us all out because women feel they need to solve this on their own. Please do your best to not scold us all for trying to be nice because you’re waiting for the “real us” to come out…because that nice guy very well might be who he really is. I understand things can be frustrating, but remember that putting up walls to keep out those who will hurt you, might also keep out those who will make you happy.
Many of us are on your side – which is the side of fairness and equality.
Women: Keep speaking out. Keep letting us know what the problems are and the very real threats present in our society – and in addition to that please recognize that many of us disapprove of it just as you do, and are willing to stand by your side in the fight against fairness or equality. This article is not an “excuse,” nor is it a plea to “quiet down” – just the opposite, actually.
It is simply a statement that many of us are willing to fight on your side, if you will give us the honor.
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