Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yup. All of Us.

More than a million posts have been written on the social media site, Twitter with the hashtag #YesAllWomen.

Even if you're not a twitter subscriber, (and 98% of us are not) this is a pretty impressive number of people weighing in on a topic dear to them.

To catch you up, a twisted teenager went on one of those all-too-familiar shooting rampages in the US on Friday, killing six people at the University of California campus in Santa Barbara. Beforehand, he posted a bunch of videos on Youtube, talking about why he was about to do it. He was pretty clear; he was mad at being a virgin at the age of 22, and wanted revenge on the women who had rejected him. He went to a sorority house, but didn't get in, so, thwarted, ran down some people, shot some others and then finally, apparently, himself.

Some Twitter users posted their thoughts with the hashtag #notallmen, making the point that not all men hate women.

Saturday night, someone created #YesAllWomen, as a reply to not all men. As in, maybe not all men are mean to women, but yes, all women deal with the fallout of men's behaviour toward us and here's an example.

The people post about being groped and grabbed, honked at and whistled at. The posters note young women are taught to avoid being raped but wonder how much effort is put into teaching men about consent, or that they don't have a right to sex. They write about how it's unfair how many of us are afraid to walk alone at night, fearful that a man will attack us. When alone in our homes, we worry about being attacked by a man. On a smaller plane, but still on the same continuum, when speaking our minds, we are often silenced. Men explain things to us, even when we know more about those things than they do. Yes, it's a wide range of experiences, from silencing all the way through some dumb jerk grabbing a boob, right up to rape. All women experience some of it. And yes, things are better in North America than they are elsewhere, but better doesn't mean right or fair.

So far, somewhere around 1.3 million people have posted. You should join Twitter, even for just a day, to read some of the posts, especially if you're reading this, and thinking, "But not all men are bad!" or, "But things are worse somewhere else," or really anything that begins with a "but". Let the million examples of small nastiness and big horrors women experience every day wash over you, and then think.


  1. I wish I could say that I was "not all men". Unfortunately, no. Too often I revert to "type" and am ashamed.

  2. I wish I could say that I was "not all men". Unfortunately, no. Too often I revert to "type" and am ashamed.


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