I just got another round of hate for this graphic. It pops up somewhere, people get outraged, and they come to my inbox to anonymously threaten me. I blocked and deleted and I think they are gone, but I don’t know how to get this to stop in the future.
This all started when a young man targeted and killed women because he felt rejected. He felt entitled to women because he was a nice guy. Shortly after, the men’s rights activists started proclaiming “not all men” left and right.
I wrote a post. A post I ended up being loved and hated for with equal enthusiasm. A post that I can’t seem to escape. A post that got turned into a graphic with absolutely no context attached. A post that was completely understood by most, and completely misunderstood by those who hate me.
This was written about over and over again. I was labeled the whitest of knights. A non-feminist called the “Factual Feminist” made a video about it.
I wrote her an email explaining what I actually meant.
I was not encouraging people to fear men. I was not even suggesting that men are monsters. I was just trying to help people understand why some women feel scared or cautious. The fear is already present in many of my female friends. And when they hear that a man felt so entitled that his rejections caused him to go on a murderous rampage, their fear intensified.
And you want to posit that men aren’t scary… well… since this quote went viral, men’s groups around the internet have sent me death threats and even told me they would kill my dog and make me watch. I’m not sure they made their case to me.
Also, the analogy doesn’t work if you replace an oppressive group with a marginalized one. If people fear marginalized groups then they get beaten, abused, arrested, and perhaps even killed for just getting some skittles.
But what harm befalls an oppressive group if people are cautious of them?
It was meant to depict a very confrontational group. The current culture of entitlement allows men to approach women in a very invasive way. It allows them to invade personal space wherever women go. Just the other day my friend was walking home and she was catcalled by a man on the street. He stood there watching her as she walked away. She kept looking back and he had a sick smile on his face.
You don’t think that is scary? You don’t think that is worth being cautious? How do you know that he is one of the “not all men” or one of the monsters? Should you just trust everyone?
I’m not sure the point of writing you. I don’t feel like you will agree much with what I had to say. I just felt like I had been unfairly criticized and taken out of context.
I hope you have a lovely day. Take care.
And her response… which made me think I didn’t get through.
I agree with you that misogyny is still a serious problem, but it may soon be surpassed by male-bashing. My goal is not to stir people up, but to bring some balance and reason into our national discussion of gender.
I don’t care if they hate me. I don’t care if they think I lack intelligence. But I wish they understood what the heck I meant. I’m sorry for using salty language, but darn it, I’m tired of this malarkey.
History will show that those who were oppressed and marginalized often would employ general distrust as a survival strategy. In situations where they could not easily identify who their oppressors were, they would assume everyone was an oppressor until they knew otherwise. This was merely a tactic to keep them safe.
I was not judging this tactic morally. I was not encouraging anyone to use it. I was merely explaining why some people feel it necessary to bolster their safety in that manner.
I still stand by what I said. If a marginalized person is fearful of a systematic oppression that seems determined to harm or even kill them… I do not fault them for distrusting people as a precaution.
For instance, if people of color were to be distrustful of all police officers after recent events, I would not discourage this. I think that is their right to do what they think is best to stay safe and alive.
If you think I am in error and a moron for feeling this way, so be it. But it would be nice if you actually understood the intention of my statement before making that judgment of me. Those who sent me messages thought I just hated all men.
The truth is, I don’t really hate anyone. But some people sure hate me.