#YesAllWomen, And The Men In Their Corner
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***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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The thing with “not all men” and why it is so wrong is important though. Not all men are like you and the ‘bad’ ones won’t realize how sexist they are unless we generalize all men. “Not all men” makes the wrong guys think they’re doing good. Men who get defensive over this “not all of us!” are usually the problematic ones because they don’t realize their wrongdoings. So even though you’re correct when you say not all men, it should’t become a trend. Stopping to generalize men will only have a negative effect.
Talk about double standards, to treat all men in a negative way is sexism of the worst sort, the very thing women have been protesting against. If a man made any comparable statement regarding women, he would be racked over the coals in the media and if he was lucky be given a warning by his employer’s HR department or he would probably be fired.
Exactly. The Yes All Women hashtag started *because* men kept saying, “but not all men…!!”
Personally I’m tired of all the whining, it’s time for the women to quite blaming men and put on their big girl panties. 1st world women in the 21st century are more coddled and protected now than in any other time in recorded history and yet according to reports women across the board are more unhappy now than they were in 1970, 25% of them are on anti depressants. In reality men are more likely to be assaulted, murdered and even raped more than women*. Men, the ones that have provided all the comforts women now enjoy have suicide rates four times higher than women and 93% of deaths on the job involved men, with a death rate approximately 11 times higher than women.
*When you take prison populations into consideration
Taking PRISONS into account?! Seriously. Criminals go to jail, and jail is not a pretty place. Putting those rates alongside something women face everyday ON THE STREET or IN THEIR HOMES is demeaning and disgusting. You’re clearly a raging imbecile .
So Rape is all right if it only happens to Men in jail? Rape is Rape Jen, no matter who it happens to or where. In the case of prison the victims have no where to run and it’s a repeated event. Violent Crime rates across the board are at record lows, the lowest they’ve been since 1963
^ Aaaaaand there you go, now you see the issue with the whole “not all men” thing. Assholes like Ronin make up bullshit statistics and hide behind “but not all men are bad” as an excuse because of their fear of this conversation.
Yeah, there I go clouding a discussion with facts. I have no fear of this conversation at all, these are real statistics from reputable sources, such as the CDC, Department of Labor, the Mayo Clinic and University of Pennsylvania. If you want links I’d be happy to provide them
Oh please do. I’d love to see your so-called “facts.”
You have no fear, but you also have zero experience of being a female. You sound like every other whiner who comes in and downplays women’s issues. YOU are very much part of the problem, dear.
Do you also think minorities should just keep quiet about their injustices as well?
Yes, please include your citations. If you are going to make such bold statements, you should provide backup.
Profanity is so unattractive.
Red herrings even more so.
Ronin: In reality men are more likely to be assaulted, murdered and even raped more than women. In all actuality you are a problem and so many more people with your unreal statistics. This is from CDC: Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. I wrote a blog about this very thing because even I had the statistics wrong…one of the many reasons I didn’t tell authorities when I was being raped by a partner for years. I am not mad…I just want more people to read the facts. Here is a link to CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/SV-DataSheet-a.pdf
And of course now you have betrayed us. You are just another culture rapist pig holding tight to his white male privilege, making excuses for the patriarchy and rape culture. When are you going to learn that it is ALL MEN ALL THE TIME. As long as men have control, as long as women are shamed and forced to live in terror every day of our lives, we are being raped by you every minute of every day that we live. You live in privilege while we SUFFER AND DIE. Andrea Dwarkin was right – there really are no men who are not rapists.
You are an even worse problem then the Elliot Rodgers of the world – at least we know who they are.
Um…I think you mistakenly commented on the wrong website.
Maybe she meant to reply to Ronin??
The vast majortiy of men do not live in privilege and have very little control of their own lives. The vast majority of us get up everyday, work at jobs we really don’t like very much and do the best we can for our family. As for the statistics i mentioned earlier here they are.
25% of Women on anti-depressants: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/women-and-prescription-drug-use_n_1098023.html
Women more unhappy than in 1970 : http://businessinnovation.berkeley.edu/WilliamsonSeminar/wolfers111308.pdf
Men’s rate of suicide four times that of women: http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures
93% of men who are killed at work are men: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/why-did-workplace-deaths-fall-in-2008/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
From 2002 to 2011, the average homicide rate for males was 3.6 times higher than the rate for females: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4863
More links to come.
The thing about the “not all men are like that” argument is that it’s not as helpful as the many, many, many well-intentioned, good guys who say it want it to be. It isn’t a helpful reminder to women that men aren’t the enemy.
I promise, every woman also knows men who aren’t like that; likely the men who say “not all men” to us are one of those men we know who isn’t like that. We know that there are many, many, many men who are not like that. What we want people—including those well-intentioned, good guys—to know is that the number who aren’t good guys isn’t as small as that phrase makes it sound.
As women, we can’t find as much comfort in the fact that most men won’t be threats to us than men can because we still have to live in a world where far too many men are threats. You won’t be aggressive toward us, great! Fantastic and thank you! But that’s not really stopping the guys who will.
Instead of saying “not all men are like that,” that shifts the discussion away from the horrible things the men who are like that do and makes the women who speak up against them the people in the wrong who need to be corrected, tell us, “Those guys suck; I’m sorry they did that to you. Is there something I can do to help?”
Keep the focus where it belongs, on the fact that those men who harass women are wrong. They’re the ones who need to be corrected. They’re the ones who need to change.
You’re right, there is an “us vs them” relationships going on here but, for most women, it isn’t “men vs women.” It’s “harassers vs non-harassers,” it just so happens that most harassers of women tend to be male That’s the framework that this needs to be viewed from. You want to show us that *you* are not *them*, then be part of *us*. Be on our side. Instead of telling us that not all men are like that, which we already know–after all, we know you, right?–show us that there are guys who care that there are way too many men who ARE like that.
Because we know not all men are like that. What we want is there to be less men like that. We want to live in a world where the men who would harass women, who feel like we’re prizes to be won or exist only to provide them pleasure, don’t feel safe doing so. We want to live in a world where the men who would harass women or treat them as less won’t because they know that type of behavior, like racism and homophobia, won’t be tolerated. By anyone. We want to live in a world where we don’t have to be on guard for them, but where they have to be on guard for us. All of us, men and women alike.
Perhaps this article will give you a clearer understanding of my position on the issue: http://jamesmsama.com/2014/05/30/why-more-men-need-to-stand-with-women/
Amazingly well put! James you do a wonderful job but in this case I agree that you aren’t furthering the correct conversation.
Thank you both for taking the time to comment, though as I mentioned on Facebook at this point in time I must operate under the assumption that you’ve not yet read this article, if you think I am pushing the conversation in the wrong direction:
I believe working together to solve this problem is the exact right direction, personally.
I really like this post and the idea of all of us working together to solve problems like this. I also think it’s silly to criticize someone for expressing this point of view–I know plenty of men who are trustworthy and respectful, and that’s something we all need to remember. These problems in our society can’t be blamed on men as a whole.
I admire the work you do James,but I am inclined to agree with what some of the ladies are saying. They know who the good guys are. I think for us it is more about our actions than our words. I for one also don’t think we use harsh enough words sometimes. Sadly,even though we cannot fathom it, because it is vile,to an extent we do live in a culture of rape,which should be phrased as so,and it is getting worse because not enough men condemn it. The money connection should also be discussed. The potential for lost profit from drinks,drugs,prostitution,strip clubs,organized crime. Chivalry out of respect,mutual respect is a threat to those merchants of misery and isolation…
I grew up living overseas as an American and had to fight every day because people didn’t like me just because I was American plus all the wildlife that tried to eat me.THATS living in fear every day and as far as I’m concerned you men/women your all soft and need to get thrown into a 3rd world country for 10 years. It’s a messed up dangerous world adapt or die.
As a Black male, African-American, African, whatever, I am an anti-white supremacy. I am against a philosophy that degrades, denegrates, dehumanizes and puts in danger anyone based on the non-whiteness of their skin. Despite this, I am not against white people as a whole. I understand that all people regardless of thier so-called race are infected with this mentality. And my goal is not to enlighten people about the evils and historical and current issues surrounding issues of the ideology of white supremacy, and how they impact people in the past and currently. One of the issues that is frustrating is the idea of white privilege, which many people who are white have hard time dealing with. But the bottom line is that whites have untold priviliges which they benefit from simply becuase of the color of thier skin. The list is nearly endless. Since this forum isn’t about that I will move on.
As a man, I have untold privileges becuase of the fact that I am a male. So while the hashtag yes all men slightly annoys me, I must step away from my male privilige and think about all the shit woman go through on a daily basis that I would never have to endure. At no point and time do I ever have to worry about walking home alone at night. At no point and time do I ever have to worry about being raped ( unless in prison or in the military ). I can have a person of any gender buy me a drink and not be concerned about what’s in it. I have no worries about the fact that if I do the same work as most other men, that I won’t get the same pay. I never have to be worried about being grouped in public by someone I don’t know. I can walk down the street suited up and not have people whistle or make sexual comments about my appearnce. I would never have to worry about wearing a garment that would prevent me from getting raped. I can go out, get black out drunk, an not have to worry about being assaulted. If I am in a bad mood, no one assumes I am on my period. I don’t need to be told I need a buddy to walk home with on a college campus. I have never been given a rape whistle. I have never truly had to be concerned about what would happen to me if I was home alone with a woman I have just met. The list goes on and on.
As I generally consider myself to be a gentleman and one of the good guys, I have to step back and look at all the shit woman go through, and allow them to vent their frustration and take steps to address these issues, and make us aware of the things that they go through on a daily basis. To degrade the yesallmen hashtag only shows that most men have given very little thought about the trials and tribulations of being a woman. Which is a shame, becuase your girlfriends, wives, aunts, nieces, mothers, friends, and co-workers go through these things daily. If we love them and want to support them, the best we can can do is listen to them, support them, and do out best to modify our behavior as men to make sure that we are aware of our own behaviors and the behaviors and ideas in society at large which put women in these positions.
Sorry Derrick, it’s a myth, men are physically assaulted at a far higher rate than women. In the latest report from Canada ( I imagine rates in the USA are comparable) the Government of Canada reported overall rates of police-reported violent victimization that men were more likely than women to be victims of the most serious forms of physical assault and have a weapon used against them. Men were almost twice as likely to be the victims of assault level 2 than women (215 versus 114 per 100,000);
Though aggravated assault (level 3) occurs much less frequently than the less serious forms of assault, the rate of aggravated assault for men is over three times greater than that of women (18 versus 5 per 100,000) Young men under the age of 18 are 1.5 times more likely to be physically assaulted than young girls. Male victims were most often physically assaulted by a stranger or by someone else outside of the family. In 2008, men were the victims of 80% of all reported attacks by strangers.
Men were more likely to be robbed than women. They were victims in 65% of robberies in 2008.
Male teens aged 15 to 17 reported the highest robbery rates among all child and youth age groups and nearly 1.5 times higher than the rate for men aged 18 to 24. Men were more likely than women to be a homicide victim, accounting for almost three quarters (74%) of homicide victims during a 5-year period between the years 2004 to 2008. More than one-third of male victims of homicide were killed with a firearm, compared to one fifth of female homicide victims. Men were 2.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted in an institutional setting (school, non-commercial or non-corporate area) than women.
So the idea as man you can’t just walk anywhere or at anytime without fear of attack is baloney, what you wear can get you into trouble, as will get blacked out drunk, both put you at risk of being assaulted . As a man 6’2″ and 190lbs. I’m always careful about my surroundings and avoid situations that are potentially harmful. For example I would not walk through a tough/unknown neighborhood at night by myself under any circumstances and certainly not in expensive clothes. I would also not get falling down drunk and making an ass of myself in a strange bar, or any other for that matter. As for being at home alone with a woman that’s a complete stranger, that’s risky behavoir that leaves you open for all sorts of potential trouble.
Ronin, you’re a fucking idiot.
There you go folks, upset by the truth? Use profanity and attack the messenger…
I love how all your stats are about 6 years old. Times have changed,you raging fool.