A hashtag intended to promote women's issues has also brought out those in opposition.
In the wake of Elliot Rodger’s lethal and misogynistic rampage #YesAllWomen began trending on twitter. Powerful statements have been made about the horrors women regularly experience. It was eye-opening. Naturally, it was immediately attacked by the boorish and hateful. But why?
Every woman I know has a story where, if she wasn’t assaulted, then was nearly assaulted. All have been stalked, at least once. My wife, my mother, my female friends, all have been subjected to fear in a way I can’t relate to. Every woman I know has a story where they didn’t feel safe because of something a man said or did to them. And no, not all men are bad. We’re not all “like that.” But how is anyone supposed to know that just by looking?
Let’s say only one in every 5 or 6 men are dangerous, potential rapists or killers. That’s still way too much. That means you know one of those guys, don’t you? His picture just flashed in your head. Maybe a few pictures of guys. You’ve sat next to one of those guys in a restaurant, on the bus or subway, he’s stood next to you, walked right by you. Just today. Maybe right now. You work with him, or he’s in your class at school. Maybe you’re married to him.
Yet these are the fears that get dismissed. “Oh, come on,” we say, “It’s not that bad! Only one in five or six guys will hurt you! The majority of us are good!”
Okay, well if one in six isn’t so bad, then take this pistol. It’s a revolver with one bullet in the chambers. Give it a spin, then hold it to your head. Pull the trigger. Now do it again. And again. And again. And again. Every time you go out to a bar. Spin. Click. Meeting a blind date? Spin. Click. Riding the bus home alone tonight? Spin. Click. Oh, you’re walking? Spin. Click. It’s only one out of six. How bad can that be?
As a man, I have no equal experience to this. I have never been afraid to walk home alone at night. Nobody has ever hit on me repeatedly, refused to take “no” for an answer if I am not interested sexually, followed me all over the club, including the bathrooms, catcalling and groping me. I have never been called a “dirty whore” because I wasn’t into the person I was talking to. I have never been raped once, let alone multiple times. I am clear that #YesAllWomen isn’t about me.
Is this why women’s issues are not taken seriously by many, because it’s not about them? It seems to be about different perceptions, not just of fear, but of realities. Critics raging against #YesAllWomen aren’t dealing with what’s actually happening to women, but fear a loss of control over those same women.
To put it another way, plenty of people are terrified of flying, but have no issues with driving. Air travel is statistically very safe while driving is the most dangerous daily activity we engage in. It’s because we feel in control when we’re driving and don’t when we fly. Others are in control of the plane, a vehicle we know less about than our cars. Plus, the possibility of crashing in an aircraft is more terrifyingly final than a car accident. This is why many of us feel flying is more dangerous than driving.
But it really only boils down to not being in control. We don’t know enough about how planes work, we don’t like putting our lives in the hands of people we don’t know, and there’s the remote possibility of a fiery horrible death. Driving? Yeah, it’s more dangerous, but that’s life, baby! Suck it up, buttercup! Sure I get caught in traffic a few times a week because of other car accidents,but that won’t happen to me, I’m in control! #NotAllCars
A major point of the #YesAllWomen trend was to show how women have to frequently deal with situations they aren’t in control of. This is lost by those opposing it. Some of them ironically say that these women are “out of control.” And that’s exactly what they fear.
This also ties in to how people (men) think false accusations of rape happen frequently. The notion being that the woman is in control. All she needs to do is say it, right? “He raped me!” These men simply assume that this is easy to do, so it must happen all the time. Therefore, women are clearly lying about rapes.
Except they aren’t. Every woman I know has a story of harassment, or assault, or stalking. All have been victimized by men in the past. They are actually very strong and brave for adapting, rolling with it, and moving on with their life, resigned to the fact that something awful will happen again soon. #YesAllWomen was meant to remind everyone of what women go through every day. It’s a way for them to take more control of their situation.
Those speaking out against it, such as Todd “Liberal Bitches” Kincannon, Rush “Feminazis” Limbaugh, or the laughably pathetic MRA are afraid of losing control over women. Period. Don’t believe this? Fine. Let’s look at the policies regarding women that they do support:
Prevent access to birth control for women and restrict abortion, make it illegal if possible. Limit job opportunities for women, pay them less than men, and refuse paid maternity leave. Deny healthcare, unemployment benefits, and food assistance for women and children while bemoaning that single mothers are why the economy is in the toilet.
Tear down feminists. Accuse women who were raped of lying; say they were drunk; say they were asking for it by what they were wearing; say they are just sluts. Excuse the men who rape by saying “boys will be boys” and that you can’t rape your wife. Make sure to support misogynists by saying they are “victims of a feminized culture.”
Don’t worry about getting pregnant from rape, that’s “God’s plan” and a woman’s body has ways of shutting that whole thing down.
You want to know who says “No” to #YesAllWomen? The ignorant. The egotistical. The cognitively dissonant. The chauvinistic. The assholes. The rapists, the criminals, the liars. The misogynists. The monsters. Those who support hurting women.
“The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.” ~ Maya Angelou
Anyone who bashes this article is IMO a rapist or potential rapist, and should be avoided at all costs.
I didn’t finish the article – though I would agree that sexual harassment almost always is male > female – because the premise is wrong: 1 in 6 men “DANGEROUS”??? Get Real. The generally accepted statistics for psychopathy is no more than 3%, so the ratio is more like 1 in 33 men are ‘dangerous’, though certainly still far from lethal in all situations. We are not talking about a rabid wolverine on the loose in a day care here. Situation, environment, and plain opportunity are all factors. As for the outright predator, the most dangerous of the dangerous, we hear their names when they kill without remorse. And their victims include men and boys as well as females of all ages – but admittedly, women tend to be the majority of victims, hence my initial agreement as to the problem. with all its causes, but not the premise proposed here.
One great thing about this article is that it draws out exactly the people it condemns.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women’s rights and equality, but this #YesAllWomen thing is absurd. Everyone who reads this article should also read the article linked as the critics “raging against” #YesAllWomen. They’ll quickly find that the article this author is denouncing is actually the more sensible one. While its great to see women joining together for a common cause, #YesAllWomen is just a place for them to grossly over-exaggerate and over-dramatize, and diminishes real victims, women who have actually suffered from things like sexual assault and rape.
“As the #YesAllWomen craze spread, a woman was stoned by her family in Pakistan for marrying someone of her choice as opposed to someone of their arrangement. While the #YesAllWomen crowds talked about the unbearable horror of being whistled at on the street, annoyingly being told to smile, and being given gendered McDonald’s toys, more than 200 Nigerian girls remained in slavery to Islamist extremist rebels. While we turn the murder of six into a narcissistic contest of victimhood, a Sudanese Christian woman married to an American Christian man gave birth to a daughter in prison. She awaits her martyrdom for supposedly converting from Islam (because her father, who left her family, had been Muslim). While we complain that women are expected to be considerate, Saudi women aren’t legally allowed to drive cars. While we are outraged that people treat us poorly if we’re wearing a sheer shirt and short shorts, 100 million girls have been killed in utero for the crime of being female.”
What really pisses me off is that people act like rape and violence are directed only towards women. 40% of abusive crimes are actually inflicted on males. And males get raped too. When I was a boy, I was raped by my friend’s father. He beat me, forced me into a shower, forcefully had sex with me, and penetrated me anally with a large hair brush. Is anyone ever interested in standing up for people like me? No. But will people stand up because a girl got a “dirty look” or an “inappropriate comment” when she was dressed in shorts so short her butt cheeks were hanging out? Yes, and by the millions. I tried having a conversation with a couple girls about this, how the whole #YesAllWomen movement is a mockery of real problems, and even after I explained I had been raped and that most women who don’t endure serious sexual assault have no right to claim themselves as victims, all they had to say was that I “had no idea what I was talking about because I’m not a woman and haven’t lived a life of being victimized.” Yea, I got raped as a child and had to carry the psychological scars for years, and I have no idea what it’s like to be victimized. But girls who have never endured anything worse then being gawked at sure must have such a hard time carrying on…
#YesAllWomen is one giant over-dramatic place for women to complain and make grossly exaggerated comments and sweeping generalizations in an almost misandrist fashion, not only does it demean the struggles of women who have actually endured rape and sexual assault, but it disgraces feminism and makes its appear child-like and pitiful.
I’d also like to point out this article is hog-wash. 1/6th of men are not sexually dangerous. The actual number is less than 1 in 20. False rape accusations aren’t common? False. Studies show that, depending on the region, false rape accusations in the United States account for 20%-40% of all rape charges. Every women the author knows has been sexually harassed or assaulted? Weird, cause nationally, only 1 in 5 women have experienced any form of sexual assault (still way too high of a number, but it just goes to show this article isn’t using any real data and is entirely opinionated) None of this is about men retaining power. It’s about women needing to stop playing the victim. While the feminist crusaders mount their high horses and tweet away absurdities, real men and women are suffering from actual sexual assault
Men and women are equal in…you know, I’m not that sure. Most domestic and sexual violence have a woman as the victim and by a known acquaintance. More men die by homicide… I don’t think these amount to the same thing. When I was a younger walking home one day a store owner shouted “Hey boy” to me. I was wearing a skirt and makeup. While I was walking away I hear him say to his buddy, “Yeah, that’s my boy.” I HAD BOOBS by then. I’ve been called a boy by 5 different people in my life, one person even put M as sex when I was applying for a licence. This isn’t violent, they could have been (somehow) honest mistakes. The shop owner could have been 80% blind for all I know. But careless words, as simple as saying a girl looks boyish does cause little sinister mental wounds. After enough repetition you begin to wonder… do I really look like a boy? Am I not feminine enough? What’s wrong with who I am that makes people see me this way? Small things.You don’t have to throw your fists to bruise our self of self. I know. I would never compare this to what other women went through, those that suffered under the tyranny of…. oh wait, of men. Our society callously and sneakily starts this inferiority complex from the cradle. Blue or Pink. Ballet or Little League. There are little things happening all our lives that subtly “put us in our place” under the “intelligent” rule of man. And then there are not so little things. I was watching a movie with my then-boyfriend and he said clear as day and complete emotionless: “If you ever cheat on me I will find you, beat you, tie you down and rape you with a rough piece of wood soaked in salt water with little bits of metal embedded in the surface. I will rape you with this until you die and then jerk off over you.” FYI this is a criminal threat and can lead to arrest. He was also very manipulative and managed to talk me into sexual acts I didn’t want or were comfortable with. Women are raised to be soft and warm and caretakers. Men are raised to be tough and competitive and top dog. Clearly the competitiveness they learn as kids carries over into their sex life. And women have grown up in a society that encourages to believe they are the lesser sex. That men have dominion over women. We may seem “over aggressive” and wanting more then our “fair share” but we didn’t start on the same playing field with the same rules. How many times do you have to hit a dog before it bits back? Women weren’t going to stay your little house-keeper sex-slaves forever. Dynasties fall. The oppressed will rise. They will take a look around and some will say “hey, no hard feelings, we forgive you, we just want to be equals” and some others (a MINORITY mind you) will look around and say “Justice is blind.” We cant tell which men are going to be the 1 in 6. But you cant see that in us ether.
Death… that’s it. Your gender doesn’t matter when you’re dead. And we’re all getting there eventually.
You make some good points, and most of your assertions seem correct, but even some of your statistics used in rebuttal are inaccurate: for instance, I have never found a legitimately researched source that would claim that 20-40% of rape accusations are false. The process of making a claim of rape, including a physical examination (rape kit), is so odious that no woman would go through that except in very unusual circumstances (revenge, or covering up a consensual affair for example), but that percentage is going to be extremely small – perhaps only 1%, if that. And the police can almost always see through the lie by the woman’s atypical behavior or reactions, as well as associated evidence.
I do not want to dispute your own claims of male rape – a very serious and not uncommon crime, given that almost every victim of a priest of boy scout leader (or female teacher) is male – however, I have not heard of the scenario you described ever before and do not understand the situation or the motivation (including using a hair brush) of the rapist. But, I apologize if it is accurate, and wish you the best in your healing.
Thank you for the fantastic article. It only reinforces what I’ve seen in the #YesAllWomen movement. Keep up the good work!
It obviously doesn’t matter what my credentials are or even what my opinion is of violence against women or even this BS article. Women are victims and men are the evil scum who perpetuate it. So much to the point that walking alone down the street is akin to putting a loaded weapon to your head and pulling the trigger. Really? But it’s okay, hash tag campaigns will make it all better.
Playing dumb, and acting as though your intentional misrepresentation of the article is its actual meaning doesn’t support your argument as much as you seem to think it does.
Those who leave negative comments are those who fear they’ll be found out for what they are. They fear women and our power and feel that the only way to keep their own power is by saying we are weak and need protecting. As someone said above, we don’t need protected, we need respected! Yes, we have power, but we’ll share it with men gladly if they would just give us a little credit and respect instead of trying to take our power by controlling us, belittling us, and trying to make us believe we have no worth other than the worth they give us.
I spent 9 yrs of my childhood being raped and beaten, and told that I was ugly and stupid, (I was neither). It’s taken me a lot of years to finally step away from that pattern and learn to love and respect myself. I still have to work at it, even though I ended up meeting a man who encourages me to be myself and follow my dreams. (after 3 bad marriages and assorted bad relationships)
I believe you, because although you endured abuse you also found the ability to have a healthy and loving relationship with a male partner. i’m glad for you. Take Care!
(acknowledging that neither the victim nor the perpetrator at 5 or 6 or 7 is mature enough to understand the situation to mitigate it per se)
This is proof of how full of shit your are https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvjYGVXVWaE
No, that’s just one video of a made up scenario. Not to say it doesn’t happen but please think about the reaction you are having to this article and why you are having it. The problem exists whether you acknowledge it or not.
You think that because the two people in question have staged the fight that the public reaction to it isn’t purely genuine? Yah, you’ve thought this through.
To Say that 1 out of 6 men is dangerous makes you way more dangerous than any other out there. You are spreading fear. What an assahole are you
quit being one of the men mentioned in this article, and we’ll stop being afraid.
We don’t need someone to make up any stats to be afraid. We live it daily. We already know the stats are correct. We are already afraid.
Every person who is against this campaign, is a son, brother, friend or father of a girl/woman. A woman who will be abused simply because of her genetic makeup. Think it doesn’t apply to you? Think again. Until we treat our sons and daughters equally, until we can trust that they behave equally well and are equally safe, it is EVERYBODY’s problem.
I have an eleven year old daughter. She has 3 older brothers. It breaks my heart when I have to tell her that she can’t wear such and such. It isn’t right. There is actually no nice way to sugar coat that either. You can’t wear that dress because it is too tight, short etc. Because boys are dogs and they will treat you poorly. I don’t say it like that, but that is the reality of it. There is no real way to raise our girls to stand in their truth, be original and individual, and not FEAR the world, when our boys are encouraged to disregard girls as equals, or even individuals who have the right to be respected and feel safe.
I’m raising my boys differently, but I’m one person and represent a very TINY part of the community who sees how important it really is.
More power to you maam and others like you
Just to reply to some of the comments: women don’t need to be protected, they need to be RESPECTED. The idea that women need to be protected and managed by their stronger, more intelligent male guardians is patriarchy at its most basic.
Thanks for speaking out. We may have never shared our experiences with others, but we’ve all been there. We’ve experienced predatory bosses who assume we’re fair game, men who stalk us when we declined to date them because our sixth sense warned “danger”, we’ve been groped by total strangers in a crowd, we’ve been brutally raped by an angry husband after quietly asking for a divorce. Walk a mile in our shoes. It will scare the hell out of you.
After being stalked, harassed and put through mental torture, including rape by a woman, I am in full support of women’s rights to feel safe and free from harassment.
Thank you. I hope you find peace and happiness.
thank you. I hope you see justice against your attacker.
It may not happen as often, or (as I believe), simply isn’t reported as often, but it can and does happen. To adult men as well as young boys. My son had a similar experience to yours and a child resulted, which was the woman’s intention. I hope your scars heal and you find, (or have found) peace and happiness. Thank you for your support as well.
Yes, violence happens against women. I hate to break it to you but violence happens to everyone and it is absolutely tragic every time it occurs. Men, women and children alike can be and are targets of violence every single day. But if everyone goes around living in fear of what could happen to them, you’re never going to enjoy life. I’m a full grown man who has known abuses you can’t even imagine, both physically and psychologically. But I don’t start hash tag campaigns about it or go around propagating fear to everyone who has ever felt the slightest bit threatened. Instead of limiting this shite to #yesallwomen, why not a #stopabuse campaign if nothing else? Or better yet, #youarenotspecial. Spread the idea that violence against anyone, man or woman, should stop. Women have pushed for the right to be equal and I have fought along side them. But at some point you have to start perpetuating yourselves as equals and stop trying to push yourselves above it just because you are women. And that’s what this is doing.
The first time I was assaulted I was fourteen, I was a tomboy and looked like I was 10. My boss at my after school job tried to rape me. He was middle aged. My mother and her friends told me that I had to keep quiet about the incident. My reputation would be ruined and my father and older brother would end up in jail. I was then schooled on my responsibility in putting myself in a situation where this could happen.
I have been raped 3 times in my life, beaten not only by my step father and later by my mother’s boyfriend, but my mother as well. I’ve been molested, sexually assaulted and harassed dozens of times since 5th grade when my breasts developed. These things happened by men/boys I knew…family, friends, co-workers. I never dressed slutty, nor was I taking drugs. I went to school, work, or working on many many projects in the things I was interested in. But still saying “no” falling on deaf ears or having things done to me in my sleep…took away my security. Other than my husband (who is very loving and devoted) I fear men, they are all potential abusers.
That all sounds truthful. That you found a loving male partner. It is good to hear that you were open to that possibility. All the Best to you.
I’m sorry he hated women and that most criminals are men. But that does not equal a war on women. We protect women more than men.
May you be reincarnated as a woman. An attractive woman. May you live every moment of the life of the women you have hit on and then called “bitch” when they said no. May you live that life in the very fear you now deny exists. And may you have full memory and comprehension of the type of man you were before.
When has anyone legislated what health care you may or may not have? When has anyone legislated that non-medical may demand you undergo invasive examinations? When were you ever paid 33% less than your comparably educated, trained, and experienced male colleagues ONLY because you are a woman? When were you EVER told that some pig, with a bad mullet, in a pseudo-macho, oversized gas guzzling phallic symbol on wheels, had every RIGHT to cat call you and follow you down the street making kissy noises and calling you Slut and Whore and Bitch because you are ignoring his “attentions”?
When was it ever, in the history of the planet, considered the “right” of the victor in a military conflict to kidnap you, rape, you, and then throw you to his underlings to be used up until you died? That has been happening for THOUSANDS of years and is still happening today. No war on women?
May you be reincarnated as a woman with full remember acne of having made this idiotic and ignorant statement.
Except when they get harassed or assaulted. Then we dismiss them or blame them but if you say so.
Who is “we”? What are YOU doing to protect women?
Buddy, you have NO idea what you’re talking about. Seriously.
Who protects women more than men? The rapists? The police that call them liars? You people who think there is no war on women, so what are you protecting them from? You realize your points are not intelligent, dont’ you?
I know quite a few women who could protect me better than I could protect them. I respect them and I respect all women.
What hit home for me with this article was talking about the pistol with one bullet. My God, you equated “Not-all-men” with Russian Roulette! I find that very disturbing, as it should be.
Thank you for this article.
I thought the analogy was spot-on, too. And to add to it, because we can’t be sure which chamber is the one that comes up once the barrel stops spinning, it’s safer for us to put the gun down and walk away.
While I appreciate your piece, I was most struck by the little quote that appears about halfway down the page: “How do I nicely turn him down without getting murdered?”
Being male, I am uniquely unqualified to speak to the kind of fear that many women live with. However, for what it’s worth, just listening to my nieces and to my female college students and to the daughters of friends has convinced me that this is a sentiment held by far more women than we men realize.
I recall when I was first struck, perhaps fifteen years ago, with how prevalent male abuse of females was on college campuses—physical/sexual/psychological abuse, you name it. I could not figure out how I had missed the signs of it. But, once I became conscious of it, I saw it everywhere. And I still see it everywhere.
That little quote you inserted as a sidebar is really powerful, especially when one realizes how many women nod their heads when they read it or hear it said.
I’ve been following this trend very closely for very personal reasons. The men I see on these posts are taking this crusade very personally. They’re acting as if all women are pointing a finger at them which begs the question, are they the men we fear or merely thin skinned?
IMHO, a little of both. It’s been my experience in life when someone reacts with as much defensiveness as these particular men have, someone hit a nerve. Then they try to put the responsibility for their reactions on us. The only person’s reactions I’m responsible for are mine and mine alone.
Exactly! Smacks of guilty consciences, does it not?