I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m really sick of women in the wake of #MeToo coming out and emphasizing #notallmen arguments, or placing primary focus on the fact that not every man is evil, that many individuals are not to blame.
First of all, you’re missing the point. Nobody said that all men are to blame as individuals. Certainly far more than many of us expected are, but this movement is not about individual guilt. It is about RESTRUCTURING A SYSTEM THAT IS INHERENTLY OPPRESSIVE. It is about what is allowed to pass in our society as normal. It is about a sick society.
When you derail the argument to be about men as individuals, you allow men who feel they have personally committed no crimes to decide to absolve themselves of responsibility: “I’m not doing that, so therefore I’m cool and this is not my problem.” NO. We need ALL MEN, regardless of their personal culpability or lack thereof, to help us herald this movement. This is on EVERY SINGLE PERSON to create change. This is a broken system that needs to be fixed.
Further, when you derail the argument back to “oh the poor menfolk,” you are choosing to side with the oppressor. Sorry but there are no two ways about it: in that moment you are ignoring the survivors who are asking for your allyship in favor of coddling the feelings of the privileged, which is yet another symptom of the patriarchy we are trying to dismantle. You are holding us back from progress. Put your emotional labor where it belongs.
And when you say “but women can rape and assault too!” you are AGAIN MISSING THE POINT. Yes, women can rape and assault too. Yes, there are male survivors of assaults by both men and women. But unless you are looking at how the patriarchy also supports this, you are again impeding progress. We are living in a system that supports powerful men far more than it uplifts women into powerful positions. If you want to talk about how patriarchy makes it difficult for male survivors of female assailants to come forward due to toxic masculinity’s assumptions of male hypersexuality, or for male survivors of male assailants to come forward due to homophobic stigma, then yes I am here for that. But if you’re going to try to use it as a false equivalency, then just don’t. We don’t live in a society where women in power routinely grope, rape, harass, and catcall men. Women have not been conditioned to feel entitlement to men for their sexual gratification. The fact that you can’t see the power imbalance is precisely a sign of how accustomed to patriarchy you have become. Congratulations, you’re the frog in the pot of boiling water, sticking in the environment you know until it gets so hot it kills you without your noticing.
And yes, I do believe it is best to show compassion to men who are going through difficult reckonings right now, because compassion is the first step toward healing. But if that compassion doesn’t come with accountability, then it’s not compassion, it’s coddling – and you’re not helping anyone be better. In fact you’re just letting people off the hook with their self-examination. You’re babying them because you don’t think they can handle looking in the mirror. Who the fuck do you think you’re helping?
I’m just seeing too many women completely misinterpret what this entire movement is about, which is the collective being called to change its operating system. I don’t care how many men are innocent – we are all complicit, and each one of us needs to take responsibility for creating change.
Fuck you if your priority at this moment is the hurt feelings of the most privileged class.