The news of yet another mass shooting in the United States, this time in California, and the rantings of the misogynist demon accused of committing the crime, revived a debate on Twitter between those who make broad and defensible generalizations about men, and those who don’t like being lumped in with the vicious fuckers who commit countless acts rape, spousal abuse, sexual assault, emotional assault, physical violence, stalking, harassment, and murder, to name just a few of crimes visited upon women every minute of every day.
This collision of the frequently abused and the easily offended has created the phrase, “not all men”.
Here’s an example…
Woman: “I don’t have to protect myself from rape, men have to stop raping.”
Man: “Hey, not all men rape. I’ve never committed rape in my life.”
Woman: “The vast majority of rapes are committed by men. Men need to deal with that shit.”
Man: “Making generalizations doesn’t exactly help your credibility. #NotAllMen”
If you’re a guy who’s never raped, killed, assaulted, demeaned, or in any other way abused or violated a woman, the subject of any generalization about the violence men visit upon women is not you. Do you love and respect the women in your life? Good you you, bucko. Just keep on keeping on, it’s not about you.
And you don’t have an obligation to defend males, either in small groups (Canadian Men!, Toronto Men!) or large ones (All Men, Everywhere!). As we just discussed, you, me and all the other men who don’t commit atrocities against women now know that women aren’t talking about us. The men who are being referenced are evil shit-eating motherfuckers who neither deserve, nor would appreciate the spirited defence you were about to kick off with that “not all men” line.
With so many vile men out there, it’s understandable that women might choose to speak in generalities rather than taking the time to identify the innumerable strata of men, which range from pretty good to fucking awful, with all degrees of despicable found in between.
But we don’t have to worry about that; we members of the “not about us” club can join in a modest, but not over-long bit of self-congratulation for our general decency toward women. (And “General decency” is about as far as we should go with the self-congratulating. Unless you’ve never talked down to, or discounted the opinion of a female co-worker, or presumed familiarity where it didn’t exist? Instead of taking offence, why not take stock.)
We men run the entire world, make most of the rules and change them regularly to suit our tastes. Even day labourers without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of have integral advantages over most, if not all women. Men do not need reinforcement, gender takes care of that for us.
As Superman’s nephew said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. So just because you aren’t the topic of this conversation doesn’t mean you can sit on your ass and allow the women you supposedly love and cherish be abused; and statistically some or all of the women close to you will suffer some abuse in their lifetimes. A sickeningly high number of rapes and other assaults go unreported because the woman who’s been assaulted doesn’t think she’ll be believed. If you want to stay on the good side of this thing, you gotta earn that shit.
Finally, if you find yourself taking potshots at people for making generalizations about men when, seemingly, those same people resist generalizations about themselves, just go back to the top and re-read this whole thing. You haven’t got it yet. Give it time, though. You’ll get there, sport.
Edited: May 25th, 2014…when you write in the middle of the night, typos will happen.