Okay, so it’s not really “anti-women” per se, but I needed to get your attention. This is important.
The #YesAllWomen campaign is about telling the truth about women’s rights in this country and worldwide. It’s about the fact that yes, in fact, all women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, abuse, or assault at the hands of men. It’s about women and men standing up for other women and telling the world that events like the shooting and stabbing deaths that occurred in Santa Barbara last Friday and the misogyny that provoked them are not uncommon.
Caught up? Awesome.
So anyway, I started checking out the #YesAllWomen campaign on twitter – you should too! It’s interesting, captivating, heartbreaking, and empowering. It’s sometimes eye-opening, and sometimes not.
Here’s some examples of the types of things I was not surprised to see:
Obviously, any time a marginalized group wants to fight back or stand up for their basic rights, the group doing the marginalizing gets all freaked out and fights back. In this case, the marginalized group is us chicks. I want to be clear, however, that the oppressive group is not “all men” but is actually misogynists of any type (which hopefully includes only a small and pathetic subset of “all men”).
As we’ve already discussed, the comments section of anything is where humanity goes to rot and die, and so naturally we’re going to see the ignorant asshole guys who threaten to rape any woman speaking out against rape, or who use the ever-popular “everyone is oppressed” defense.
Par for the course, really.
Here’s what I was surprised to see:
I double-checked each profile just to be certain, but these last few tweets were all composed by women.
Here’s the thing: some men are rapists and abusers and trolls and monsters and misogynists. This is an absolute truth. These men hate women and hate losing control to women and hate women having any power.
And that sucks, and it is absolutely not okay, but we knew that already, and it’s why #YesAllWomen was started in the first place. The whole idea was to get the attention of men and call on them to join us in the fight for equality.
What I didn’t expect was the amount of women-hating women out there. That’s right: to me, if you are a woman, you have certain obligations to other women. You have an absolute responsibility to be a safe haven for women everywhere – for victims of abuse, assault, rape, violence, aggression, hate. You should be the one who takes another woman into your arms and whispers, “I am with you. You’re safe here.”
Every time, every single time, there’s a sexual assault that gets attention in the media, there are women everywhere who condemn the victim for being slutty/stupid/naive/ugly/pretty/fat/skinny/annoying/drunk/high/naked/flirty/popular/lame. There are women everywhere who roll their eyes and shake their heads and exchange knowing glances because she must have been asking for it. What they’re really saying, these women, is, “That would never happen to me. I’m too smart. Too proud. Too cautious. Too sober. I would never let that happen.”
If you’ve ever said any of those things, then it is you, my friend, who ties your best friend’s hands behind her back while her boyfriend punches her in the gut. It is you who holds your sister down while some guy at a party takes advantage of her. It is you who holds open the door to every misogynistic rapist loser looking for a target, because as your voice echoes, “It’s HER FAULT!”, you become another hand clamped over her mouth, silencing her cries.
Yes, I feel pretty strongly about this.
Are you a woman? Then you should too.
Being the “cool girl” or the “non-feminist” or the girl who can take a joke isn’t worth stealing the voice of one more victim.
I promise you, one of your best friends or your cousins or your classmates has been raped. I promise you, the last time you made a joke about some girl “asking for it,” someone close to you felt your knife twist into her back.
#YesAllWomen deserve support and compassion and loyalty and respect.
From, yes, all women.