Updated: January 4, 2017 8:50:52 pm
#notallmen hasn’t brought people together to oppose violence against women or show empathy towards those who suffered molestation in Bangalore on New Year’s Eve.
The premise is that because obviously not all men act in the spirit of misogyny and commit heinous acts, we should not highlight misogynistic attitudes of others and the serious problem they pose to women’s safety in public and private spaces. The issues that Bengaluru mass molestation has highlighted should not be sidelined because some men on social media incorrectly take it as an attack on their egos and integrity – as male bashing. However, bashing patriarchy is not bashing men – no one ever proclaimed #allmen — except when those two are horribly entwined i.e. in the misogynists minds of men who harass.
It bears similarity to the notorious #alllivesmatter which deflected attention away from #blacklivesmatter that sought to draw attention to demonstrable grievances suffered disproportionately by Black Americans. While #alllivesmatter was used to incorrectly assert incriminating exclusivity that #blacklivesmatter meant only black lives mattered, #notallmen absurdly implies inclusivity that all men are being bashed.
Let us please pay attention to what’s broken in our system of upbringing scores of young boys and what law and order can do better to protect girls. This is not a moment for them to misconstrue a women’s issue as male targeting and react defensively, but to show empathy and allyship with those who suffer, which is: #yesallwomen. It is to oppose those whom one is trying so hard to distinguish himself from.
Hijacking a discourse that is highlighting a violent problem is unconstructive at best and noxiously derailing at worst. This is not about all men. This is about all women — the fact that half of the human beings cum citizens of this country (and this world) live under the thumb of fear of sexual harassment in spaces where the other half does not have to worry. Acknowledging that, instead of running away, would be helpful.
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