Yes. All Men.

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image of Tank Girl by E-Mann at DeviantArt

Elliot Rodger’s misogynist rampage has been on many people’s minds over the weekend.

I’ve observed with interest the conversations that are being had,  about gun control, about mental health, about why exactly white men are so often the ones to commit mass murders. These are the usual topics of discussion, as they were with Sandy Hook, as they were with Aurora. New additions to the table are questions and critiques of pickup artistry, toxic masculinity, entitlement culture particularly around misogyny.

I’ve heard a lot of “not all men”, “well, I’m different”, “this is just one guy, this isn’t a cultural thing”.

Bullshit.

***

Why are men defending pickup artists when they drive personalized rape vans? Or write posts on Reddit detailing serial rapes (receiving congratulations and further stories of “conquest”)? Or encourage men to overcome “last minute resistance” because women who freely consent are “sluts” and to be avoided? Or publish books that are guides to rape?

Why are men defending MRAs when they regularly employ rape and death threats to women they disagree with? Or defend George Sodini, a man who shot up women at a gym in 2009? Or spend their time complaining about how they’re demonized instead of, I don’t know, *critiquing men who are harassing, raping, and murdering women*?!?

Just fucking stop.

***

Yesterday I went on a radio show. I’ve been on it before, and I enjoy it. The guy in charge is a stand up comedian, who I am generally highly suspicious of because of Reasons, but I’ve felt comfortable on his show and looked forward to a fun break from the intensity of my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Until a joke was cracked about that old joke, “take my wife, PLEASE”. And somehow it turned into jokes about shoving her into the trunk of a car. I sat there, somewhat stunned, at how people could joke about murdering women when there was so much focus on misogynist violence.

The person who started the joking was a woman. Misogyny- not just for men.

***

Is there something new in the air? One BBC documentary asks if we’re seeing misogyny, sexism, or liberation. I have issues, of course, with the way it equates female objectification under the male gaze as “liberation”, as if to equate the myriad ways in which women do find themselves sexually liberated to women ultimately lying to themselves. But there is some really scary shit in here that needs to be taken seriously. When female sexual liberation looks exactly the same as male gaze objectification, and men are ultimately profiting from it, I too question if we’re really liberating ourselves. Does being a porn star, or burlesque performer, or glamour model, require a personal critique to be “liberated”?

Of course, liberation takes many forms. I’m a porn performer and in many ways I find it liberating, though in other ways I do not. Financial security is a form of liberation. Feeling safe at work is a form of liberation. Accepting and loving your body is a form of liberation.

As long as we live in an imperialist capitalist patriarchy, liberation really only goes so far. We do the best we can with the tools we have.

***

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Here’s why you should be reading #YesAllWomen.

***

As a society, when white men kill, we consider them as individuals. Often we want to label them as mentally unstable, even though the statistics suggest that people with mental illnesses rarely commit violent crimes, and the people who do commit violent crimes are rarely considered mentally ill. “If only they sought help,” we say, “then these men wouldn’t be so violent!”

Courtney Anderson responds:

“In a study released this year that evaluated the characteristics of 37 high profile school shootings from 1987 onward, it was found that the majority of offenders struggled with the same kinds of personal problems. Social marginalization and issues at home or work were found in all cases. Feelings of chronic rejection were common and categorized as feelings of being “bullied, threatened, or injured.” Also, it is worth noting that a significant percentage of shooters felt that they had “failed in developing their manhood.” As per the YouTube video submitted by Elliot Rodger prior to the Santa Barbara shooting, feelings of masculine or sexual inadequacy were significant.

It should be noted that reputable studies avoid hyper-generalizations of mass shooter psychology. According to the professionals behind mental diagnoses, the reason for this is because the media does significant damage by creating a rhetoric that paints the mentally ill as highly prone to violence. While psychiatrists support “reasonable restrictions” on gun access for persons diagnosed with mental illness, they continue to stress the fact that it will have little affect on total gun-related violence. The reason: people suffering from depression, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder account for, at most, only five percent of violence.”

It would seem that as much as we’d like to think that these people are some “other”, they are not. Like rapists, they are potentially our friends, our lovers, our family, our neighbors, our community leaders. In fact, if the victim is a woman, statistics suggest that her murderer or rapist will be someone she knows.

It’s hard to feel safe when every man you know is a potential statistic.

***

In the previously mentioned BBC documentary, I find the discussion with the ex-editor of Loaded, Martin Daubney, particularly telling. He says how the “New Man” with his hoovering was “asexual” (suggesting asexuality is bad, and that doing “women’s work” desexes men).

When Kirsty Wark starts showing him the teeshirts joking about rape, or hitting women, he recoils, saying how that’s absolutely misogyny. Stand up comics making jokes where women are the butt of cruelty and insult gets the same response.

He obviously SEES that jokes can be misogyny, but not HIS jokes (or the jokes he enables in Loaded), and therein I feel is the crux of the problem. When men say “not all men”, they often me “not me”. But listening to sexist jokes without speaking up, even, does have consequences on behaviour.

Thomas Ford’s research into the effect of sexist jokes on behaviour lays it bare:

“We found that, upon exposure to sexist humor, men higher in sexism discriminated against women by allocating larger funding cuts to a women’s organization than they did to other organizations,” Ford said. “We also found that, in the presence of sexist humor, participants believed the other participants would approve of the funding cuts to women’s organizations. We believe this shows that humorous disparagement creates the perception of a shared standard of tolerance of discrimination that may guide behavior when people believe others feel the same way.”

I found it particularly interesting to read the comments about this study over on the Penny Arcade forum, considering how shit-poor the creators of that comic have been about rape culture.

***

Elliot Rodgers was not unique, however much men are trying to suggest he is. Just this weekend another man shot at women for refusing sex with him in California. A 16 year old girl in Connecticut was murdered by a schoolmate when she refused to go to prom with him. A Californian man murdered his girlfriend when she refused to have makeup sex with him. In Florida a 14 year old girl was kidnapped and choked into unconsciousness when she refused his sexual advances. A woman jogging in California was run over when she refused to get in the car with strangers. Last year a jury in Texas acquitted a man who shot a sex worker when she refused him sex. In 2012 a woman was shot to death in her car when she told them she was trans in response to their flirtations.

And on. And on. And on.

This isn’t just individuals. This is a crisis. And it’s been a crisis for a long time.

Are we only now angry because pretty white cis women were Elliot’s intended victims?

***

I applaud women who are fighting cultural conditioning and fighting back against the men who abuse them. People like the Gulabi Gang, who will beat a rapist with sticks so he dares not do it again. People like Susan Walters, who strangled the hit man her husband sent to murder her. Women are taught that things will be worse if they fight back, but statistics indicate the opposite is true. We can fight back, and we need to learn the most effective ways how. Fuck being “nice”.

***

Martin’s piece in the 2014 BBC documentary sounds very different from his 2012 Daily Mail article, in which he expresses how fatherhood caused him to feel guilt that his work at Loaded may have contributed(!!!) to the further profiting off objectification of women. “Fortune gave me a son, but not on my life would I want any daughter of mine to be a topless model,” he says, before expressing how porn is “a world devoid of aspiration”. His piece is ultimately not against lads mags, however (in the documentary he says how Loaded “celebrates” women), but rather censorship of internet porn.

This sort of lack of awareness is part of why I think people are so often complicit in systems of oppression. We want to point the finger at anyone else, at the “other”. It’s us. We’re the problem, and we need to fucking address it.

***

I keep hearing from men “what should we do, though? We don’t want to take up space!”

Men- you need to confront each other. You need to speak up when you see street harassment. You need to shut down sexist jokes. You need to tell other men that talking about women like we’re sexual prizes to be won is not ok. And as Chuck Wendig says:

“I understand that as a man your initial response to women talking about misogyny, sexism, rape culture and sexual violence is to wave your hands in the air like a drowning man and cry, “Not all men! Not all men!” as if to signal yourself as someone who is not an entitled, presumptive fuck-whistle, but please believe me that interjecting yourself in that way confirms that you are. Because forcing yourself into safe spaces and unwelcome conversations makes you exactly that.

Instead of telling women that it’s not all men, show them.

Show them by listening and supporting.

Show them by cleaning the dogshit out of your ears and listening to their stories — and recognize that while no, it’s not “all men,” it’s still “way too many men.” Consider actually reading the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter not to look for places to interject and defend your fellow men, but as a place to gain insight and understanding into the experiences women have. That hashtag should serve as confirmation that women very often experience the spectrum of sexism and rape culture from an all-too-early age. Recognize that just because “not all men” are gun-toting, women-hating assholes fails to diminish the fact that sexism and rape culture remain firmly entrenched and institutional within our culture.”

Men, you have a part in this, and it’s in male spaces.

***

Why do men feel entitled to women, I hear?

Here’s why. And here’s why.

Now fucking go out there and do something about it.

66 thoughts on “Yes. All Men.

  1. There was a back and forth about this post that happened elsewhere on the internet, focusing mainly on the picture of Tank Girl, with the gun and the guy’s head. I wanted to put my thoughts up and, if I understand correctly, to defend the picture.

    First about the post, and then about the picture.

    One problem with the “not all men” claim is that those who are making it are leaping to the defense of the wrong people.

    Part of the deep, underlying structure of misogyny is the notion that I, as a man, am simply more important. And it is a manifestation of this if, when women are killed by men and the subject of misogyny is raised, my response is about me. “Not me,” I will say. “Not all men, oh no.”

    There is something both subtle and damning about this response. Whatever man I happen to be, probably I am not literally a murderer. But by insisting that the conversation be about me and other men who have not committed homicide, I have effectively announced that we are more important. Women are being killed? Well, let’s talk about me, and men like me, instead.

    So, about the picture.

    The events that precipitated this specific post of Kitty’s were a series of murders committed by Elliot Rodger. Under the doctrine of the defense of others, not only would the victims have been within their rights to use deadly force against Elliot Rodger, but any bystander would also have had the right to use deadly force.

    It seems strangely important to say, but when violence occurs sometimes the only thing that can stop it right now is violence right now. Just like not all bacteria are harmful, not all violence is bad. Some bacteria are necessary, including the ones that stop bad bacteria. And if force of any kind, deadly or non, could have cut Elliot Roger’s rampage short, that would have been better than what actually transpired. Claims that violence only ever leads to more violence are factually in error.

    It is true that some people are extremely uncomfortable with violence, or the suggestion that committing it might be ok. But there is something both subtle and damning about this response. It is leaping to the defense of the wrong people.

    1. If the governments and corporations weren’t in such a hurry to disarm us. If everybody had access to guns, people like Elliot would think twice about opening fire in a public place. Just like gang shootouts in shopping malls, They would think twice before opening fire in a crowd if everybody was packin heat. By limiting the flow of guns to police and criminals only, the world becomes a more dangerous place.

  2. Among many other good points this blog makes, food for thought for those who think Humor should have no boundaries because, Humor:

    QUOTE: Thomas Ford’s research into the effect of sexist jokes on behaviour lays it bare:

    “We found that, upon exposure to sexist humor, men higher in sexism discriminated against women by allocating larger funding cuts to a women’s organization than they did to other organizations,” Ford said. “We also found that, in the presence of sexist humor, participants believed the other participants would approve of the funding cuts to women’s organizations. We believe this shows that humorous disparagement creates the perception of a shared standard of tolerance of discrimination that may guide behavior when people believe others feel the same way.”

    /endquote

    Far too many comedians flatly refuse to take an objective look at their humor, to consider what they’re really saying and what messages it might be carrying, what messages it might be enabling others to claim is “normal” or “non-harmful.” In the end, it’s not so much what the joke is about, in my opinion, as to how it’s constructed. A joke about rapists that shows how horrible they really are? Fine. A joke about rape victims at the expense of said victims that trivializes their rape and makes it “funny”? Not fine. A joke that infers a woman (or a man) should be raped? Not fine.

    Comedians who refuse to parse out their humor and defend with attacks like “It’s just a joke, get over it! You have no sense of humor, obviously,” really and truly do fall into the same classification as men who insist talks about feminism and misogyny simply *must* include the “not me” stuff—it’s a way of moving the focus to yourself, away from those concerned, and totally not listening and trying to silence the voices of those others.

    That whole bit at the Oscars with the “We Saw Your Boobs” song? Some claimed it was an attempt to point out how Hollywood objectifies women. Not a successful attempt, in my opinion, because the focus was *on the actors* who appeared part or totally naked, some of whom were portraying rape victims being raped… and the gleeful pointing out that “we saw your boobs” came across as a direct attack on said actors, no matter what the *intent* might possibly have been. After all, the song wasn’t “You showed people’s boobs” with accompanying images of various movie studio logos, now was it? It wasn’t a graphic saying “American’s watch…” accompanied by the song, “You got us to watch because you showed us boobs… so who are the real boobs here?”

    That was a prime example of humor used wrongly, no matter how much cya they tried to do afterward.

  3. After giving it some more thought, I would also like to point out how dangerous articles like can be to the feminist movement. When gullible, stupid, and naive (GSN) people read this it can be harmful in a number of ways. when a GSN man reads this and sees language like “All men are potential statistics”, you can make him ashamed of being a man, or even antagonize people once sympathetic to the cause. By telling all men they are rapists, or they are just as bad as rapists for not immediately rounding up a posse and hunting misogyny down like an escaped slave, or Frankenstein’s monster (if you’d prefer), you are perpetuating a negative stereotype about men. And when GSN women read this misguided, distorted rhetoric, it can destroy any faith they once had in us. You make them (women) afraid. You make us (men) ashamed. You further draw battle lines and remind us of the differences between us. It’s almost as if this unfortunate incident is being used as type of false flag event that doesn’t bring us together, but drive us further apart.

    1. Good. Be ashamed of being a man. Be ashamed of being a human who witnesses this shit and does nothing, day after day. I hope you feel incredibly ashamed.

      The only men I can stand have compassion for my anger. They understand that women are *always* wary because anything that happens to us is blamed on us. If a few men feel some shame about that, damn fucking right.

      And never refer something to slavery that is not slavery. Are you fucking kidding me?

      1. Why exactly do only men have to be ashamed for being bystanders when we all are? Why aren’t you telling women who don’t stand up for themselves or other women to be ashamed of themselves?

        Also, why are you giving women a free pass to speak incorrectly, and putting it on men to correct their meaning in their heads before responding? If you really think that it’s “way too many men” rather than “all men”, why is asking for that to be said wrong? Why, exactly, does someone confirm themselves as an “entitled, presumptive fuck-whistle” for calling someone out for using a gross, unhelpful, hyperbolic generalization?

        1. I know it’s tempting to feel defensive. But it is, in fact, the responsibility of ALL MEN. It’s the responsibility of all people, but particularly men, because women navigate this every single day. It is time for men to step up, to speak out, to confront each other.

          1. Although you didn’t answer my numerous and snarkily arranged questions and I disagree with the way you’ve articulated your argument, I want to say that I agree with your overall point and think this was a good article.

          2. I think my response can be an answer to all of your questions, actually. ;)

            Except for “Why, exactly, does someone confirm themselves as an ‘entitled, presumptive fuck-whistle’ for calling someone out for using a gross, unhelpful, hyperbolic generalization?”

            When that “call out” is used to justify/excuse/dismiss the myriad ways in which patriarchy and capitalism is enacted by the recipients of that privilege, namely men? Then yes, they are perhaps being a “devil’s advocate”, “not-all-men” spouting fuck-whistle, at least in my opinion. Men talk a *lot* more than they listen, as do all people with institutionalized privilege.

            “The devil doesn’t need an advocate” is probably one of my favourite responses.

        2. Gray asked:

          “Why aren’t you telling women who don’t stand up for themselves or other women to be ashamed of themselves?”

          I dunno Gray, maybe it has something to do with the enormous consequences woman are sometimes made to pay for attempting to stand up for themselves.

          1. I know my anger has gotten me stalked and threatened. I keep doing it anyway because at this point I figure, good, bring it, I need a punching bag.

      2. Jesus, you are so full of shit. Honestly, fuck you. You are the reason that anti-male propaganda exists and it is detrimental to both sexes. Men and women are not equal and….I don’t even know where to begin with you.

          1. I didn’t read your article, because I was too busy being distracted by a butterfly I found. I’m sure it was excellent! *

      3. I’m a man, I dont agree with this, but Im sure you’re a fucking hypocrite. I have the same anger towards people who consume animals, who partake in murder, who allow that to happen and blame men for all their problems. I grew up in the punk scene. Where equal rights exists. Not this feminist bull shit. Every one is equal, your drama gets settled like equal, and we all laugh and the ignorance you have Kitty. So if you are not living a vegan lifestyle, fuck you. You have no compassion and your entire point is invalid because you perpetuate the concept of slavery. Equal rights, equal fights. If you can’t handle true equality, shut up.

        1. I agree that animal welfare is inherently linked to human welfare. I absolutely disagree that being vegan is the only and a nonproblematic way to connect the two, though, considering how soy is grown and destroys habitats, leaving the land a desert much like how we manage all our food. I instead choose to eat locally sourced meat and veg, eat it minimally, and focus my energy on sustainable lower impact farming options.

    2. Wow, you really managed to stretch “Not all men!” out to a big paragraph, didn’t you?

      To recap: your argument is that men should be coddled and wrapped in cotton wool because their minds and characters are not strong enough to handle being made to feel uncomfortable about their privileges, or to recognise that they benefit from other people’s oppression. When faced with this uncomfortable reality, men will become ashamed and angry, and lash out like spoiled toddlers. Therefore we should continue to lie about the reality, and baby these men, because protecting their tender feelings is more important than trying to change the reality.

      A reality in which over 50% of people on the planet are dealing with the insidious and overt effects of a culture that says they are things, less than human, possessions, prizes, dirt. That they are toys to be used up and thrown away.

      And by insidious effects I mean Elliot Rodger believing that he is ENTITLED to the admiration, desire and sexual attention of any woman he finds attractive, and that when women do not return his desire (because they quite rightly identify that he is one creepy ass motherfucker with massive mental health issues, on top of being racist and misogynist) they are COMMITTING A CRIME AGAINST HIM; I mean Mohammad Azeem and his friends bludgeoning his own happily married (& pregnant) daughter to death outside a courthouse in Lahore because she had the gall to marry for love, rather than letting him dispose of her mind, body and life as he saw fit – because he and his fellow men genuinely believe that she is a thing to be owned and traded away, not a human being with agency and autonomy. I mean the friend-of-the-family ( a goddamn community policeman, no less) who sexually assaulted my little sister, and the perv who jerked off all over me one Christmas Eve as I was reading a book in a packed bus station. I mean the man who raped a six year old girl up against the wall outside my workplace in December, whilst we were obliviously holding a carol concert inside, and left her body to be literally eaten by dogs. And on, and on, and on.

      You think it’s unpleasant having to think about this shit for five minutes, while you read an article? WE LIVE THIS. THIS IS OUR 24/7. We are constantly vigilant, weighing up our choices, placating, making peace, laughing at jokes that aren’t funny, bolstering egos, being diplomatic, because this is a world in which men may worry about being laughed at by women, but we have to worry about getting MURDERED by men.

      I say, with all the compassion and understanding of which I am capable: FUCK THAT SHIT.

      I’m white. I know that reflexive feeling of resentful guilt one feels at hearing of how people of colour are oppressed, and getting a window into lives that lack the protections and privileges I take for granted. I know that inner voice that protests “but it’s not my fault, I am a NICE white person! I’m not responsible for all those bad things!”

      But you know what, friend? I’m a grown ass adult. I put on my big girl panties and I do my damnedest NOT to act like a bag of dicks when people give me a heads up about how the world actually works. I recognise that the privileges I take for granted are EXPLICITLY mine because of the oppression, both historically and currently, of people of colour. I stifle that “…not all white people!” impulse, because it makes me an asshole when I try to silence people, rather than listening.

      I don’t want to be some latter day Marie Antoinette, so stupidly ignorant of other people’s realities that I think “let them eat cake” is a reasonable suggestion to offer when people protest that they have no bread.

      Yes, learning about your own privileges can be uncomfortable, but it’s a damn sight less uncomfortable than existing without those privileges. So I stfu, and I listen, and I try to police my own behaviour, and I try to do better, and I speak up when I see other white people being racist assholes, on either a macro or micro level.

      And by God, son, you can damn well man up and try that too.

    3. Nihils,

      This article does not make me (a woman) afraid. Men who feel entitled to my body make me afraid.

      Don’t try to play the hero here by pretending to protect women.

  4. The only people who can comment or reference slavery are folks who have BEEN IN FACT enslaved. What’s more is that as men we should and some us (speaking for myself) do feel ashamed of being a man, of living a socially and cultured steeped in Misogyny, of a population of both men and women that are misguided and mislead about this infected thinking and piss poor defense.
    My mother is a live to die Jehovah’s Witness, teaching my Sister’s and niece how not to dress like this or that. I had to learn and find the courage in my house to teach my sister’s and niece wear what you want, dress how you want that does give a man, ANY MAN to feel entitled. Like you owe him, or you serve him, rejection is a mother fucker and this Elliot Guy was just one of a fucking million guys who need to taught, instructed, and fucking schooled that no one is property of no one and entitled to shit!

  5. Lady….you need to unbunch your panties and step the fuck back a bit. Your generalization of “all men” is every bit as moronic and sexiest as someone saying that all women have red hair and hazel eyes. It’s a flat out lie, but one you seem more than happy to continue to spew. I’m a MAN. I don’t rape, don’t beat women, damn sure do not let women get beat or hurt in any way in my presence. To say that your inane stupidity offends me is putting it lightly. Who the fuck do you think you are? You don’t know me, or men like me, so this “yes all men” shit is nothing more than blatant sexism. Yes, some males do rape and kill. News flash, so do some females. Examples being Aileen Wuornos, Gwendolyn Graham and Cathy Wood, Kimberly Clark Saenz and Dana Sue Gray just to name a few. So before you keep on with your asinine commentary, I strongly suggest you step off and re-evaluate your position.

      1. And thank you for being the stupidest piece of shit, male or female, I’ve ever had the extreme misfortune to encounter.

        1. Hahaha, yes, I am obviously the one lacking intelligence here! Thank goodness you are here to set the record straight!

    1. To be clear- I don’t have to post further comments from you, and won’t. If you like pissing into the wind, though, be my guest.

  6. Awwww, deleted my comment did you? I find YOUR existence as a woman embarrassing. I am glad we do not all think this way. I find it insulting, EVEN AS A FEMALE, that YOU think you know all men to act as such. My father, grandfather, male friends and current boyfriend would NEVER act the way you think they would. But…at the same time…I’m glad you are a femmenazi. Saves another man from your insanity. Oh…and as for banning me from your posts, nice try.

    1. Your last comment was short and had no real point. This one, though, is excellent. Thank you for demonstrating how deep misogyny runs- we even do it to ourselves!

    2. If you just want to be abusive in your comments, rather than make any points, further comments will get the Scalzi treatment.

  7. I think kittens are really cute. I love watching them play with balls of string. When they bat at my hands with their ickle paws, I want to weep with joy. *

    1. All posts marked with an * from here on out have gone through Kittening. If your comment has been Kittened, be aware that further comments are likely to receive the same treatment unless they follow our comment policy.

  8. So, I am a person you would most likely consider part of the problem (straight, white, cis, male) and after doing a lot of reading recently, I am starting to realize how that is accurate. While I am not the type of person to actively BE the problem, I do stay quiet far too often. More recently than I am proud of, I might even have been a crier of “not all men”, or at least a potential defender of someone else saying it. Thanks to mostly your writing, I have seen that just because not all men do these terrible things, all men are responsible for helping bring the issues to light and to help bring them to an end.

  9. I sit here in this comfortable but, blissfully, inexpensive brown armchair, silently contemplating what, if any, possible response to this article I can give. There’s an itch on my left foot that demands my attention repeatedly, like a cawing rooster who won’t get the hint when the farmer has thrown not only his work boots, but also half of his tools at the fellow to be quiet for the love of all that’s holy.

    Yet as cozy as the chair is, as much as I love the safety and security of my home, which I share with my fiancee and our 19-month old little girl (picking up a lot of words lately too, makes me quite proud between that and her obvious interest in trying to read), I find myself troubled by this article.

    And yes, I think it’s a discomfort brought on by shame. I’ll not ask why, because I know the reason behind the why of it; like many similar articles I’ve been reading lately, and from reading/watching how my fiancee has to deal with people both in real life and in the online realm, it is supremely evident that as a man, I don’t have the same concerns for safety or respect as she suffers.

    The same concerns my daughters, all three, will have to suffer with if they are not addressed as quickly as possible.

    I frequently find cis white straight males, such as myself, easily dismissed as ‘irrelevant’ or ‘ignorant’ in online discussions such as this, with broad, blanket statements about such persons hung over the threads like a black blanket, refusing any light to me, and instead keeping me in uncomfortable silence. This, I and others are told, is precisely what everyone not in that 4-way dynamic I belong to had to deal with until modern day, and this is why such folk have, quote, “no leg to stand on.”

    Which is correct. We don’t.

    But just as nobody chose to be born a female, nobody chose to be born male.

    Nobody chose to be born white, or black.

    Scientific data now suggests sexual orientation is determined by markers in the womb, so again, not someone’s choice.

    Male/female brain type development occurs within the stages of development prior to birth as well, so gender identification is not someone’s choice either.

    None of which excuses the piss-poor habits, behaviors and practices of men in general throughout history. Should we be getting after one another for such things? Yes, by all means, we should. Does every single one of us need Miss Stryker to order us to do so? No, we don’t. Some of us have wonderful women/girls in our lives whom we’d like to see have all the same opportunities for growth and success as we enjoy, and having a penis shouldn’t give me a better chance than they’ve got.

    My final observation (dear Lord, in whom I do not believe, didn’t I tell myself I’d make this short and sweet? I did? Well, clearly I’m a fucking liar. Now could you please send me those winning lottery numbers? Hello? Typical) goes to the notion of women being constantly afraid of being killed by men- so are men. In many ways, men have historically been viewed as disposable.

    ‘Having a war? Give a man a sword/spear/gun and ship him off to slash/stab/shoot at other men who look different and speak funny words and wear weird clothing! Of course they’re weird, they don’t look like us! FALL IN LINE, SOLDIER!’

    ‘There’s a localized calamity taking place? Get the women and children out first, and if you’re any kind of good man, you will be expected to sacrifice your own life for the benefit of someone who you’ve possibly never met before because they fall into one of those first two categories! Best of luck with holding that burning support beam up with your back! [thumbs up]‘

    And finally,

    ‘MINE! MINE! EVERYTHING IS MINE!’ [stab stab stab stab]

    Men will kill each other for every reason imaginable, from their differences in faith, to pure, simple psychotic rage.

    Merciful hand flexing exercises, I’ve actually cramped my knuckles typing this all out. Let that be a lesson to me to slow down on the tappity-tap and take a break here and there.

    And I promise this is my final, final point in all of this- trolls rarely seem to take the proper time to articulate what they mean to say. I’m thinking I should have drafted this all out first, even though I’m not trying to troll, but I fear I’ve drifted into sounding like one. Cheers, anyhow.

    1. Agreed! Men are definitely a danger to other men as well. Thanks for your comment (in a car so will comment more later!)

  10. The point of the article is that all men are pigs all men are complicit in every rape every sexual assault every act of sexism and every mass murder. Including Elliot Rodgers totally sexist murder of those two women and four men. Those four guys were complicit and actually benefiting from their male privilege as their were being shot and lying on the ground bleeding to death. Did I get it right sisterhood, I am trying to become a “feminist ally”.

    1. Are all men complicit in misogyny? Yes. Can they also be victimised? Yes. Are they likely to be victimised by men? Yep.

  11. the moment the world stops rewarding violent men with fame, fortune, and power we can reasonably say to men: ‘we do not value your violence’.

    when people flock to violent movies, elect politicians that wage wars to keep gas prices low, and ignore the needs of the poor then they are all complicit in giving the deepest value culture can give to violence: power.

    this blessing is given over and over to men and women by women and men in all forms of culture, from hollywood to politics to sports. we reward them by buying electronics made from slave labor, shopping at stores that only work if gas, won through war, can be used to ship it more cheaply than if it’s made at home, buying food shipped 3000 miles overland in trucks, and giving them our nations’ highest honors.

    until this changes it seems irrationally naive to wish or plan for any sort of change: we absolutely value violence deeply as a culture, even the author who applauds the women who use it to fight back.

    michael moore hit this on the head: it’s about fear and violence. (( https://www.facebook.com/mmflint?hc_location=timeline ))

    your stance seems to advocate more of both.

    1. I disagree violence always begets violence. Often, fighting back ends the dispute. Elliot Rodger didn’t stop his killing spree because of gentle words. He was shot. By a cop.

  12. Here’s the thing about figurative myopia: We all fall victim to it when it comes to something we’ve invested a lot of emotion and time into, especially if it affects us on some personal level. But understand that your myopia perpetuates the worst condition of all when it comes to personality defects: zealotry. And when you become a zealot, no one likes you except for other zealots. And when you’re hanging out with a bunch of other zealots who can only focus on one highly sensitive perspective, it becomes something that must be defended thanks to mob-mentality and the human need to feel like you’re doing something with your life. Which, in turn, makes you weak as an individual.

    It’s not easy to recognize your myopia, further still your zealotry. Unfortunately, no one can help with that except for you. But when you do find yourself waking up amidst a bunch of zealots, extremists, and agenda-pushers who are all angry like disturbed hornets over something in the news or something someone said, ask yourself if that thing you are about to say is a well rounded perspective and go from there.

    1. If it’s a myopia to strive towards a world where rape culture is challenged by men as much as by women, then I’m all for it. And if it’s zealotry to expect men to call out other men, welp, guilty as charged.

      People should be angry about women being regularly murdered for saying no to men. If you’re not, wtf is wrong with you?

  13. I’m giggling in sort an absurd, horrified way at your line that “equal rights exist” in the punk scene. I spent a couple of decades in that scene myself, including several years working at the “Punk Rock Bible,” and I know very well that punk rock has the same fucked-up problems with racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., that exist in all the other communities that I’ve loved and belonged to. Punk communities may aspire to egalitarian, non-hierarchical ideals; that’s not the same as actually achieving them.

    Also, there’s traditionally been a lot of different factions in punk, and they don’t talk, or play, very nicely together. This is actually one of the things that soured me on the whole thing. Back in the days at the Punk Rock Bible, there were HUGE internal struggles over what was and wasn’t “punk,” ranging from music to ethics. They looked down on one of their main competitors because the competitor started putting a bar code on their ‘zine, which definitely wasn’t “punk.”

  14. “”as if to signal yourself as someone who is not an entitled, presumptive fuck-whistle, but please believe me that interjecting yourself in that way confirms that you are. Because forcing yourself into safe spaces and unwelcome conversations makes you exactly that.
    Instead of telling women that it’s not all men, show them.
    Show them by listening and supporting.
    Show them by cleaning the dogshit out of your ears and listening to their stories —…”

    Are you just talking about the twitter hashtags? Because I’m not clear about how something like twitter is “a safe space” (especially a hashtag).

    While I support the idea of the YesAllMen hashtag it’s being done on a very public platform where hashtagging wars are common. About half of the “notallmen” hashtags are actually being done by people trying to hijack the hashtag (I have confirmed this after speaking with the people in question) and make it look ludicrous (not surprisingly it is often hard to tell which are serious and which silly).

    If you are talking about your blog as well then perhaps the author could change their section on policy to include the words “safe space” so that incoming traffic will recognize that this blog is written for very specific types of readers and anyone else looking to share their feelings and views in the wake of a tragedy like this should go elsewhere.

    But if you treat your blog as a safe space I have no problem respecting that and will dutifully fuck off lest my comments should offend. Otherwise how I talk online is exactly how I speak IRL regardless of shape, size, strength or potential legal representation of the other speaker.

    Especially when the writer uses trigger language in seeking responses. My level of asperity is directly proportional to the obviousness at the attempt to use trigger language. >.<

    Sincerely; Philip Rose a.k.a. TheTruePooka

  15. Do people realize this article is not literal? It’s supposed to be a character sketch of a female version of Elliot Roger.

    The violent image of a woman with a gun is your first tip off.

    The second is how the author/character indicts an entire gender (in this case men instead of women).

    The third is the rage displayed in the piece much like Roger and his hate filled pieces on internet forums.

    It feels a little like something Chuck Palahniuk might write.

    1. No, I am actually meaning “yes all men”. Men are writing similar posts, some of which are linked about (but here’s another one, and here’s another, and here’s another).

      We live in a culture that rewards misogyny. We don’t live in a vacuum. Men benefit from that misogyny all the time, often without even knowing or noticing. Men are systematically paid more, your masculinity isn’t called into question if you choose not to have children, if you do have children and work far fewer people will question that decision or suggest you’re selfish if you choose your career, etc etc etc. In that way, yes, all men are complicit, because you can’t NOT be without living in a vacuum. I think perhaps the critique is larger than individuals, exploring how misogyny has fingers in everything, you know?

      For example: right now I’m being threatened with libel for calling out a man who has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple women. Because the women didn’t file reports, it may not be considered enough evidence. They didn’t file reports because the police shame women who file reports, and the statistics for any legal action dissuade women from reporting. He hasn’t been called out because he is threatening those who do, and is supported in doing so by his friends, male and female alike. I am going to see it through however, because he sexually coerced me, and attempted to have anal sex with a female friend of mine while she was tied up, and violated the boundaries of my ex girlfriend, and threatened to out a sex worker (including her home address). But it’s *risky* to say that someone is even accused of boundary violations unless you involve the prison/industrial complex, which is misogynistic and slut shaming.

      This shit is complicated, and constant, and dangerous to challenge. I just hope that more men stop seeing that challenge as an attack on them, and as a reaction to the constant and various ways in which women are placed under threat by misogyny.

      I think the implication that this post is like Elliot Rodger’s manifesto is kind of indicative of the exact issue. There is a massive difference between encouraging women to fight back against their assailants and shooting up a bunch of people because they won’t date you. (Also, notably, I’m not exactly lacking for sexyfuntimes, not that it really matters).

      1. You know that he also hacked up his two male room mates? I think the evidence that the guy wasn’t merely misogynistic but totally crazy pants is pretty substantial.

        You assert in your piece that the mentally ill “rarely” commit violent crimes. I’d say define “rarely”. Sandy Hook? Aurora? Norway?

        As for the case you are being threatened for libel. Holy shit girl, that shit is fucked up. How are the police shaming women who try to file reports? Is that a common practice?

        1. Well, but he describes his reasoning to be that he hates men who he considers as being more successful at “game” than he is- “game” meaning they are sleeping with women, which treats women as prizes, you know?

          I mean granted I think there’s a growing argument for male entitlement being a form of mental illness.

          And yeah, it’s shockingly common. I’ve been doing some form of rape reporting advocacy for years and I’ve had cops laugh and say they won’t take reports from prodommes unless they want to be arrested for sex work, I’ve been locked in a room (literally, locked in from the outside) while my lover had to write her report over and over again for male cops (we requested a female cop, they didn’t provide one), I’ve had police tell me that I probably asked for it anyway because I was wearing eyeliner. It’s incredibly fucked up.

          1. “Well, but he describes his reasoning to be that he hates men who he considers as being more successful at “game” than he is- “game” meaning they are sleeping with women, which treats women as prizes, you know?”

            Yeah, I think that only furthers the case that the guy was bonkers, like the guys in Aurora, Sandy Hook, and Norway for example. They all had their reasons, their perceived oppressors.

            Or maybe you don’t think those cases involved mental illness? I’d again ask you to define “rarely”.

            That shit with the cops is fucked up. I don’t know what else to say about that.

          1. It’s interesting that no matter what your agenda/narrative is (guns, mental illness, misogyny) the Roger killings allow you to make your claim for causality. In your case “misogyny”, in the case of the Slate article “guns”.I think the truth is it is a complicated crime with more than one factor.

          2. Agreed! I think everyone’s trying to find the root of the cause. Like, he stabbed his roommates before going on a shooting spree, but guns do make murdering people easier and increase that violence. Even so, women don’t commit gun violence at the level men do, and a lot of people who commit violent crimes aren’t considered mentally ill until AFTER the crimes are committed. It’s hard to figure out what to do, but I think encouraging men to feel safe being vulnerable and unpacking violent masculinity is a good place to start (while also encouraging smart gun laws like Australia’s).

  16. I’d like to interject here if I could. I only found this site because I was reading the hashtags on Facebook. I became aware of this because a good friend of mine posted a similar article to this one. I was infuriated, defensive, and offended by the rhetoric. But let me explain why. I was raised well. Many of the things described I would never consider doing. And the 3 or 4 times I’ve witnessed such actions, I was enraged and tried to put a stop to it. How dare you try to say I’m part of this? And really? Come on, you’re just overreacting. This can’t be common. I don’t know anyone who behaves this way.
    I argued with my friend for like a whole day. But then I actually searched the hashtag on social media. I was stunned. There were two very different things I found.
    The first was mostly just posts on fb and Twitter. Heart wrenching horror stories. Personal testimonials of abhorrent behavior and victim blaming authority figures. I was horrified. I had heard stories like this, but had no idea of the scope and magnitude. I think the reason was two fold. Firstly that type of shit doesn’t happen around me, cuz I’d put a stop to it. And secondly, women are ashamed to tell me these stories. I think that’s a major problem and #yesallwomen I hope is the first step to changing it.
    But the other thing I found in my search was links to blogs and articles like this. Each more inflammatory and devisive than the last. Just plain hateful. They made my blood boil. Look here Lady, you’re just way out in left field and just…arrgh.
    I felt the need to throw my two cents out into the ether. This was my fb post this morning…

    Because too many people are afraid to go to the bar alone. Because too many people have to worry if the sun is gonna set during their jog. Because my daughter my wife and my mother have the right to pursue life liberty and happiness. Because so do yours. Because I want my daughter to live in a world where she can wear whatever she wants and walk wherever she wants whenever she wants. Because I want to live in a world where perverts are afraid and ashamed, not their victims. Because freedom is an illusion unless we all share it. Because its not ok for the strong to impose their will on the weak. Because I love women. For all these reasons, I pledge to be the change I want to see in the world. I pledge to make a stand when I see a woman being taken advantage of. I pledge to speak up when a guy crosses a line. I pledge to back a woman up when she needs a little force to maintain her dignity. I pledge to use my strength to make the world a safer place

    Do you see what I did there? I talked about my personal plan to help the problem in some small way. I didn’t point fingers or bring up confusing and derailing non sequiturs. I just told the women in my life “I hear you ladies, and I’m on your team”. As a man, I’m a goal oriented problem solver. How I feel doesn’t matter. Who’s to blame doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is we FIX it. Together. The good people have to come together to overpower the bad. And its inclusive.
    There are too many walls being built in this conversation. Too much name calling and blame game and bs. Men don’t need to know how bad we all are. We just need to know what we can do . thank you for your time.

    1. Thank you for expressing your process! I totally understand why people are defensive. I mean, shit, I don’t want to think about my part in perpetuating misogyny, right? But whenever I shake my head and say “women, right?” as a way of dismissing someone, or say “bitches are crazy”, even if I mean it jokingly… I’m adding to the issue. I’m glad to see you have a plan for action, and I hope you’re held to it, as we should all hold each other accountable with compassion. <3

  17. I’ve heard a lot of “not all black men”, “well, I’m different”, “this is just one black guy, this isn’t a cultural thing”.

    Bullshit.

    As a society, when black men kill… “If only they sought help,” we say, “then these black men wouldn’t be so violent!”

    It’s hard to feel safe when every black man you know is a potential statistic.

    When black men say “not all black men”, they often mean.

    This isn’t just individuals. This is a crisis. And it’s been a crisis for a long time.

    I applaud those who are fighting cultural conditioning and fighting back against the black men who abuse them.

    Black Men- you need to confront each other. You need to speak up when you see street harassment.

  18. Ok, if I read this article correctly what you’re saying is if I’m male I’m part of the problem?

    Let’s flip this around.
    Since the vast majority of children who are killed by their parents is done so by their mothers (not talking about abortion) i propose that all women are to blame for infanticide. Women need to start doing their part to help stop this injustice. Women need to stop standing by while other women kill their children. Women need to teach their young girls it is not ok to kill the children they do have. Women need to step in when they see signs if abuse towards children by their mothers. Women need to stop the silly notion that mothers overall are good parents because it discredits the real danger mothers pose to their children. YesAllMothers, because until women can fully admit they are part of the problem these heinous crimes will continue.

    Do you see how silly and inflammatory statements like that are? Do you expect me to see my wife, the mother of my child as a potential murderer to my son because other mothers have done so? Should I shame her for her role as a mother because some other mothers kill their children?

    I take offence to YesAllMen because it devaluates me as a PERSON because of my gender. It devaluates my 4 year old as a PERSON because of his gender. It places a persons worth as a human based upon that persons gender and if you’re arguing about trying to end such injustices why are you doing it yourself?

    You’ve just proven the worst thing about humanity. That entitlement runs deep within our culture, so deep in fact that even when basic human rights are concerned the only rights people care about are their own.

    1. I think that if you do not reflect on the fact that this is an issue with toxic masculinity, as is being evidenced in these very comments, then you are indeed part of the issue. Up to you though.

  19. So, it’s “Yes, all men”, now is it?

    I, who spent my life in readiness to protect women and occasionally doing so, I am no different from the men who attack you? It’s because I didn’t tell them firmly enough prior to their attacks, right?

    I get nothing for anything I do, though, because I “don’t get a cookie” for just doing “what is expected.”

    Expected, by who? Just who is it that obligates me to risk my life protecting you?

    That person used to be … me! Being a free person in a free country, I am the one who decides what to obligate myself to.

    I owe you nothing, and with the condescending insult you make with your “Yes, all men”, I am not inclined to offer any woman the gift of my protection. I am certain that other men like myself are reacting the same way, because I hear them saying so. By the way, there are a lot more of us than there are of them. Not for much longer, though. You’re seeing to that.

    You can dress ( or undress ) any way you like. You can get as drunk as you like. You get to say “no” at any instant because that is your right. I will respect that. It’s easy, and takes little of my time.

    But, those thugs, that prey on such as you, the ones that used to have to worry that such men as I were around? Pretty quickly they are going to figure out that we’re gone. You work out with him why you ought not have to give him a piece of ass, because it is not our problem any more. Those thugs can be dangerous and I, certainly, am not going to mix it up with a guy like that for nothing.

    Party on, little girl.

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