Yes, All Women: A Response

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I know I kind of hit on some of my feminist views last Thursday and this week I had every intention of finding something more on the nerd end of my posting spectrum. That was until I heard about what happened at UCSB last Friday.

(I haven’t had any time alone with my laptop this week so this is pretty much a rant. Hopefully I’ll get another little something up later this week.)

I didn’t get in on the #YesAllWomen on twitter mostly because I suck at twitter and remained oblivious in the first few days but I’ve finally had the time to do some catching up on the twitter sphere and current events in general and I am pissed.

I’m mad at the lunatic Elliot Rodgers who committed this act, I’m mad at the forum of sexless, entitled, losers who engaged with him online, and I’m mad at the #NotAllMen response to women’s claims of everyday misogyny.

I’m mad that the press is giving more weight to his mental state than the reason why he saw it fit to open fire in a sorority house. Yes, this guy was obviously unhinged and completely fucked but more attention needs to be given to the blatantly misogynist views that still exist in our society. A hatred of women that is perpetuated and shared by others. The hyper masculine expectations and focus on sexual conquest that is pushed on men. This isn’t just a fundamental issue of one man, this is a fundamental issue in our world.

If you want to play the numbers game in the end Rodgers did kill more men than women but that doesn’t make it any less of a misogynist hate crime. He hated women and other men. Women for not giving him the attention and sexual satisfaction he believed he deserved and the men he thought took it from him as if a woman’s consent is something that can be taken.

These days kids are swapping v-cards like I did Pokemon cards.
These days kids are swapping v-cards like I did Pokemon cards.

I’m mad that there are still people in this world that think of half the population as the lesser. The out pour of women online sharing how they’ve been victims of misogyny is sad and terrifying and hits way to close to home. The fact that so many instances of harassment are able to occur is disgusting. It’s even more disgusting how unsurprised I was.

I’m mad that there are men who can’t understand the point of #YesAllWomen. It wasn’t an attack or a generalization it was women sharing their personal experiences. They weren’t blaming all men as some seemed to believe. No one thinks all men are killers or rapists or bad people. Few men would ever do what Rodgers did and many men have never sexually harassed a woman or done anything intentionally that would make her feel uncomfortable. You are not the problem. The problem is the men out there who do rape, harass, and demean women.

All the #NotAllMen hashtag did was prove the relevance of and need for #YesAllWomen. We need it because a large portion of the population isn’t listening. Instead of trying to understand what the women of the web were saying and letting the reality of what they face everyday sink in. Some men instead went on the defensive. Some used it as a way to discredit women’s claims. Some used it to make themselves feel better about the situation. None of those responses were mature or helpful in anyway. They should have seen this as an opportunity to stop and reflect. A chance to learn and try to improve our society’s view and treatment of women.

There was also a lot of support from men on twitter and that was the most touching part of the whole trend. For those of you who maybe didn’t get it I’m going to ask you to try again. Understand that this is not an attack on you. I’m not trying to shame you or villianize you I’m trying to explain to you what it’s like to be a woman. You’re at my blog so you must be a pretty stand up guy with a big heart and even bigger penis. I hope that last bit didn’t diminish my point in anyway. I meant your soul’s penis. Like, if your soul had a penis it would be huge because your super cool and would be rewarded with a massive schlong or something… I digress.

I'm also sorry for the terrible ghost dick images I've put in your mind.
I’m also really sorry for the terrible ghost dick images I’ve put in your mind.

I’m going to share some of my own #YesAllWomen statements based on experiences of myself and of the women in my life.

Yes, All Women: because leering from men shouldn’t make me ask myself “am I showing to much skin?” when I’m out in a sundress.

Yes, All Women: because I shouldn’t be propositioned to toss in a blow job with a customer’s purchase.

Yes, All Women: because I should never have felt the need to tell my friend to call the police if I went more than three minutes without texting him while walking home.

Yes, All Women: because when a customer needs help with their cellphone I shouldn’t be told “I just feel like he would know more.”

Yes, All Women: because being a friend to me shouldn’t make a guy feel entitled to sex.

Yes, All Women: because I shouldn’t have to keep an eye on my drink at all times.

Yes, All Women: because I should be praised for my work ethic and not just my “pretty smile”.

Yes, All Women: because If I say I’m into comics I shouldn’t have to prove it.

Yes, All Women: because I shouldn’t have to lie about my relationship status to get a guy to stop hitting on me. “I’m not interested” should be reason enough.

Yes, All Women: because when I read an article in the paper about a sexual assault the victim’s outfit should be irrelevant.

Yes, All Women: because I should be able to trust a male friend not to try to take advantage of me after I’ve had a few too many.

Yes, All Women: because I shouldn’t instinctively fear any strange man walking behind me or I’m stuck in an elevator with but I do.

Yes, All Women: because If I choose to game online I shouldn’t receive requests for nude pics or rape threats for crime of being female.

Yes, All Women: because “no” should be taken as a “no” and not an invitation to convince me.

Yes, All Women: because my parents shouldn’t have to worry about their little girl’s safety anymore than they do their son’s.

Yes, All Women: because I shouldn’t have to explain what does and doesn’t qualify as consent.

Yes, All Women: because speaking my mind shouldn’t make me a bitch.

There were men who got it. There were men who didn’t try to dictate the conversation but listened, sympathized, and tried to reach out to their fellow men. It’s those men, the men who will make a difference, that give me hope and remind me why I don’t just say “fuck it” and run off to join a lesbian colony.

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13 thoughts on “Yes, All Women: A Response

  1. Puffetic May 30, 2014 / 10:16 pm

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned “generalization.” People naturally get defensive when they get categorised in a negative way.

    No one in their right mind would defend a rapist or a calculating murderer. But when I look at some of the thousands of male comments, I can only really think that people are only asking to be treated as an individual and to be judged on their own behaviour.

    People on both sides of the sexes are letting us down and it seems to me, mutual respect is a good place to start. Unfortunately too many men are stuck in the stone age and will use their physical strength and denial of moral values to make the wrong choices. This can only be turned around by other men in their lives setting the right example and by intervening or educating those that fail to demonstrate the behaviour required to participate in an intelligent (for lack of a better word) modern society.

    I don’t much like the gay colony idea though, I kinda like a mixed society! I’m more interesting in identifying the bad apples and putting them on the compost heap.

    Like

    • ellemorgan May 31, 2014 / 1:33 am

      I get that a lot of the “not all men” camp is men resisting being lumped in with rapists and I don’t blame them. The problem is that no one was labelling all men as violent or misogynists but that instant need they felt to defend themselves got in the way of understanding what women were trying to do which was speak out against the kind of behaviour that goes largely ignored and unnoticed. This terrible thing happened and the loudest male response we got was “but I’m not like that” so we got angry. As a result of that anger there was a lapse in communication and that’s something else that needs to be understood.

      I love men. I don’t want to ostracize myself from their company but some experiences make it pretty tempting.

      Like

      • Greg Ian Riggs May 31, 2014 / 11:15 am

        “I don’t want to ostracize myself from their company but some experiences make it pretty tempting.”

        I find this attitude frankly disgusting. The only time I have ever had a gun pointed in my face was by a black man. Now by your standard of thinking it would be perfectly fine for me to say ” I don’t want to judge all black people as criminals, but some experiences make it pretty tempting.”

        And you guys got angry when some men had the absolute gall to be offended at being lumped in with murders and rapists. HOW DARE THEY!

        Like

        • ellemorgan May 31, 2014 / 9:16 pm

          Clearly I don’t actually want to segregate myself from men. It was a joking response, to a joking reply, to a joking concluding line. You’re obviously still not listening if all you got was “I’m mad that you don’t want to be called a rapist”.

          Like

        • Greg Ian Riggs June 1, 2014 / 10:39 am

          I don’t think Puffetic post had much “joking” in it. In fact I think he is absolutely correct when he says “But when I look at some of the thousands of male comments, I can only really think that people are only asking to be treated as an individual and to be judged on their own behaviour.” Perfectly said.
          If you were reading Twitter that day you were seeing thousands of tweets on how this was a “typical” male behavior and attitude. The notallmen hashtag was in response to the large number of people, not just talking about their personal experiences, but denigrating all men as neanderthals.
          When I look at the yesallwomen tweets I see a common theme. Physically attractive women talking of sexual harassment. The fact is that not all women have been sexually harassed. A good friend of mine since childhood told me the other day told me she had never been sexually harassed. She is a hilarious and brilliant girl but she is not physically attractive in the the least. At least by any societies standards. And she said the yesallwomen reminded here she is not like other women.
          Solving social issues through 140 characters is asinine. It would be extremely naive to think that any rapists or misogynists minds were changed by yesallwomen. But you were able to remind ugly women that they are ugly, so you guys go that done.
          If you say the problem with UCSB murders was a case of male objectification(which I do agree) I would have to say that males are hardly alone in the practice of objectifying the opposite sex. Humans objectify the opposite sex quite often and this a unhealthy mental state. But not a uniquely male one.

          Like

        • ellemorgan June 2, 2014 / 2:21 am

          Puffetic’s last stament about putting people in “compost heaps” definitely was a joke.

          I’m sure there were some ladies who in their rage lashed out with more generalized comments but for the most part those I’ve read are more about specific situations or societal attitudes.

          Being considered attractive doesn’t make claims of sexual harassment any less valid and if you’re friend hasn’t been harassed then she is in a very small portion who haven’t. Even if she’s never been overtly sexually harassed she has at some point dealt with misogyny.

          I don’t think that twitter can really solve anything but it can draw attention to a problem. You can’t change a rapist’s mind but you can get the conversation started.

          Of course women objectify men. I for one am a complete horn dog but there are very few instances of harassment by women in comparison to those committed by men. A woman is far less likely to shout obscenities at you on the street or press for your phone number after you’ve rejected her. Some men are objected to sexual harassment and that is unacceptable and terrible. However, We do still largely live in a world dominated by men. Women are hyper sexualized in ways and to degrees that men are not in our culture.

          Like

  2. Corner of Confessions June 1, 2014 / 10:25 am

    Great post. It’s so frustrating worrying about traveling home from work late night. Sucks, that I feel safer throwing a shawl or cardigan over myself to cover up even on hot days when I’m commuting late night. Sucks that I have to project bitchiness to avoid “misleading” strangers on the street. It just sucks being a woman and having these fears. Sure, not all men. But when our daily experiences encounter at least ONE sleazy man… yeah. It’s hard for women not to generalize and be afraid. We have every right to be.

    Like

  3. And I’m annoyed that the media focuses more on the perp than the victims. These twisted individuals that commit a crime, commit suicide knowing they will be talked about over and over again. Reason why I DONT watch television

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  4. Johng544 June 4, 2014 / 11:58 am

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    Like

  5. madnessandmisanthropy June 7, 2014 / 11:32 pm

    I think I may want to marry you a little bit. This is brilliantly written and makes fantastic points.

    Like

    • ellemorgan June 8, 2014 / 12:25 am

      If I didn’t fear commitment I’d take you up on that.

      Like

      • madnessandmisanthropy June 8, 2014 / 12:27 am

        Ha! Don’t worry, me too! Let’s not and say we did! 😉 but seriously, I love reading your blog and this post was no exception.

        Liked by 1 person

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