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Why I have a problem with #yesallwomen

I cannot even imagine what’s its like to be a woman, not in a million years. I can write deep women in fiction, but they’re just characters from my head. The amount of sexism that women encounter in intense. Every day they have face harassment and threats of domestic violence and assault, that I, as a man, can not even begin to fathom. My heart goes out to them, really it does. I wish we could all be a equal, but that’s not the world we live in.

Then there’s #yesallwomen hashtag on Twitter and this is what I have a deep problem with.#yesallwomen is everything wrong with Twitter today. Yes the stories being shared is important and need to be shared 100%. The world needs to know, just not this way.

To understand my point of view, you have to separate the stories of domestic violence and abuse women face and look at it in terms of why the hashtag stated and the current state of discourse on Twitter. On the three years I’ve been on Twitter, it has degraded from a micro-blogging service to what amounts to a cesspool of yelling and screaming and various special interests hijacking Twitter for whatever fits their end. Time and time again, I’ve seen plenty of hashtags trend that are based on people jumping the gun and rage about whatever without thinking through the issues at hand.

The case in point is #yesallwomen, which started in the wake of Saturday’s shooting at UC Santa Barbara. Elliot Rodgers, who wrote a manifesto expressing his anger at women in general and sexually active men in particular, shot a guy a convenience store, stabbed 3 men in his apartment, then went to a sorority and shot two women and injured 13 others . Then somehow, in the wake of a horrible tragedy, we get a hashtag where women talk about the misogyny and violence they face in life, which is fine, but in context of the Santa Barbara shootings is  to me its very insensitive, because it forgets the male victims that died and instead becomes all about one man’s disturbed hatred of women.

Hijacking a tragedy where both men and women died and in-essence making it all about the women is insulting, and by denying the right for men to express that, women become everything they’ve accuse men of being. Women have being fighting against having their humanity stripped away for ages and in this instance are stripping men of their humanity. 4 men died in the rampage along with the 2 female victims, where’s the outrage against their deaths on Twitter?  I’ll tell you it certainly wasn’t in #yesallwomen.

The Santa Barbra shootings are not the platform to launch into a discussion about misogyny, not when both sexes were the targets of a twisted individual’s hate. Misogyny is a critical issue and needs to be discussed, just not this way, not this time.

That’s is why I have a problem with #yesallwomen and Twitter in general. A real tragedy is reduced to an excuse to rage against the machine, justified or not.  I today made some comments that were just plain wrong(stand corrected about men losing family court) and I’m sorry for those.  I don’t think I’m wrong in general and I’m not sorry for speaking out.

Women need to speak out against the horrible things they face in life, but they need to do it in the right context, and #yesallwomen is not the place to do it because they do so at the expense of a tragedy with real victims. Violence against men as an issue pales against violence against women in many respects, but we should we not forget that violence against men is still an issue, especially in light of a tragedy where four men died.


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