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.
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 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.
“UNFAIR! NOT ALL MEN!” Imagine a bowl of M&Ms. 10% of them are poisoned. Go ahead. Eat a handful. Not all M&Ms are poison. #YesAllWomen
— Martin Wagner (@wagnerfilm) May 26, 2014