Almost every woman has faced some kind of sexual harassment or abuse in her life. Doesn’t that make #NotAllMen kind of pointless?
Aren’t we all familiar with this hashtag? Every time a crime against women gains a slot on a news channel or trends on social media, the first reaction we see in the comments is men putting up #notallmen.
As a feminist and a woman, I find this extremely annoying. This is an open letter to all those men who are constantly pushing this propaganda forward.
First things first, yes, we KNOW #notallmen. We have all had the privilege of knowing a few good men. And we know good men exist, you don’t really have to shout it every time there’s a discussion about women’s safety.
Every time you shout #notallmen, you seem to be saying, ‘Not all men are bad. Don’t drag us, good men, into this discussion because the men who are to be blamed are a bunch of uneducated perverts. And don’t judge all the men by the work of a few sexually deviant and vile men.’
Is that what you’re trying to say?
If so, let’s do a social experiment. Go to any woman you’re close to – your mother, sister, daughter, colleague, friend, girlfriend, wife, or cousin. Ask her if she has been sexually harassed at some point of time in life. From catcalling to being slut-shamed to being groped in public places to hearing sexual language or jokes at work. Ask them about any major or minor event they remember.
I bet every single one of them will have a story to tell, most probably more than one story each. So according to your #notallmen theory all these women, all across the country, are harassed by that small bunch of sexually deviant men that you aren’t a part of?
Well then, they are doing a pretty good job of covering so many places in very little time. They’re like a weird version of Santa Claus.
Doesn’t this scenario seem (at least) a little improbable to you? Isn’t it probably time to admit that we need to educate men with things like consent, individuality and gender equality?
Maybe the hashtag could be #NotAFewMen? Or rather than putting up these hashtags, we could have proper sex education for everyone.
Then, maybe, one day in the future, our daughters will be able to step out of their houses without worrying about what they’re wearing. Maybe, then, they would be able to enjoy a night out with their friends, their purses light, without the pepper spray.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Ranjhanaa
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