#YesAllWomen because this is so so wrong….
I lifted this comment from Reddit:
As discussed in this article, it’s a response to the #Notallmen hashtag that has been used to dismiss mysogynistic violence/aggression. By changing it to #Yesallwomen, the retort is that while not all men may propagate sexism or sexist violence, all women are the victim of it, either by direct experience or through fear of it, causing them to change the way they live.
As Neil Gaiman says at the bottom, “The #yesallwomen hashtag is filled with hard, true, sad and angry things. I can empathise & try to understand & know I never entirely will.” This campaign is helping men (including myself) understand how widespread the effects of sexism are, as it is mostly manifested in ways we will not notice.
There is a certain arrogance among feminist-sympathising men that ‘being the change’ is enough, and that active feminism is unnecessary. (This is something that conveniently fits into the fact that active feminism isn’t exactly easy within a group of males, even these days.) Feminism is challenging for males, that’s the point. We simply don’t experience sexism in the way that women do, and it can sometimes feel as if we have to personally take the blame for all that which feminism opposes, which is obviously not easy to take!
However, it’s easier than that, we just have to understand. If we’re pro-feminist then we know we’re not a threat to women ourselves, but being ‘on the inside’ of the gender that most actively perpetuates sexism, it is our responsibility to speak out against it, rather than just stay smugly silent in the knowledge that we know better. Guys have learnt to pay lip-service to feminism in order to keep girls happy, making it even harder to have a reasonable conversation, as they will say one thing to girls, safe in the knowledge that they can be openly sexist when around guys. It is thus up to guys to continue the discussion when women aren’t there, removing the male-female binary that inhibits gender discourse.
So yeah, this has turned into a bit of a rant, but TL;DR:
- This campaign spreads awareness of the fact that all women suffer from sexism even if all men aren’t sexist.
- Being a male feminist is not the same as being a male feminist-sympathiser. Staying quiet while men perpetuate sexism is analogous to not calling someone out on racism – you’re only serving to normalise it.
- If you want to be a male feminist, you have to speak up for women, especially when they aren’t there – that’s where most sexism is perpetuated because men have learnt to keep it quiet in front of women.