A Response To The “Not All Men” Argument

A Response To The “Not All Men” Argument

I see why you might want to say it, but don't.
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I understand where you’re coming from, males who say “not all men” to women’s comments on sexist experiences. You want to be sure not to be lumped in with rapists, misogynists and generally awful people. You want to be sure that we know not to assume every man is like the sexist ones we have come across, and that it’s unfair to you to be assumed sexist just because you’re a male. Because that’s like saying all black people are criminals or all Muslims are terrorists, right?

Not exactly.

Most women you encounter that make statements about men being sexist or relaying experiences with discrimination based on gender realize that not all men do this. I recognize the existence of misandrists who truly demonize men in an aggressive way, but they are not the majority. It’s slightly insulting to our intelligence to presume the majority thinks in such absolute terms. Responding to these narratives by saying “not all men are like this” is extremely minimizing and problematic. The fact that “not all men are like this” does not change that men like this do exist. Women’s experiences with them speak to the society we live in in which women are seen as inferior in a lot of ways. To avoid addressing and listening to concerns made about how males treat females in this society, and instead complaining of a perceived generalization, is unhelpful. It makes you a part of the problem.



When “not all men” is used as a response to sexist experiences, it silences the speaker, shames them into thinking their story, possibly shared by many other women, is invalid and unimportant. If the only response you make is “yeah, but I’m not like that,” then you establish an obvious implication while also securing your place among enablers of sexism. You may not be like that, but that doesn’t mean you should not try to listen and do your part to address sexism in society. The assertion that you are not a rapist or a misogynist is not productive, and it is not a significant accomplishment. It does not give you a free pass to ignore the existence of the people who are rapists and misogynists by minimizing and attacking those who voice complaints about the female experience.





Feminist motions to change the inferiority of women and femininity in the public and private sphere require the support of both sexes. Statements about men that relay personal incidents aren’t sexist. The current and long-standing power dynamics between men and women put men above women in society, more often allowing men a voice. When men avoid validating these stories, that only perpetuates the systematic oppression of women. It may be uncomfortable to read statements about men’s treatment of women and they may seem like generalizations, but if you’re truly not a sexist or misogynistic person, there should probably not be the resentment that comes with the indignant, “not all men are like that, I’m not!”





Maybe you aren’t like that, but unless you take measures to speak up against everyday sexism when you see it—women being catcalled or grabbed in the street, jokes made about rape or “staying in the kitchen,” sexual harassment at work or public places—you’re not much better than the men in their stories. And if you are truly on the side of eliminating sexism, you might spend less time telling women “not all men,” and more time listening and standing with them.

Cover Image Credit: http://cubmagazine.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/NotAllMen.jpg

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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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You Might Love Being A CNA, But That Compassion Won't Show Up In Your Paycheck

A big heart means nothing if you're struggling to make ends meet.

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To the ones who love their job and doing what they do but is on the fence about leaving their job, I was in your shoes, too.

I knew when I started my job as a CNA (certified nurse's assistant), it would be a hard one. If you know anything about the job duties of a CNA, you'll quickly understand that for all of the work that we do, we're ridiculously underpaid and overworked.

I'll start by saying I loved my job.

Though the days were long and I was on my feet more than I sat down during the day, I loved being able to help people. I loved being able to make people smile and hear a simple "Thank you" and sometimes, that's all I needed for my day to do a full 360. I could be having the worst day in the world and covered in random bodily fluids, but walking out of a resident's room and hearing them quietly tell you that they appreciate what you've done for them, that's truly the one thing that can change my entire day, knowing that my hard work doesn't go unnoticed.

But compassion doesn't pay mine or anyone else's bills.

Someone could love their job and be happy to be there every single shift, but when you're overworked but so underpaid, your compassion may not leave, but your bills begin to pile up and you're stuck with not knowing what to do. If you're anything like me, you'll be so conflicted about leaving your job to find something better financially, but you know that you're leaving a job you enjoy doing and you may not find that enjoyment elsewhere.

At the end of the day, you have to realize what would be best for you. You can be the most compassionate about your job, but that compassion means nothing if you're struggling to make ends meet. I know from experience that if you're in a field like mine, it's hard to leave because you know people will need you, but you have to do what's best for you and only you.

Compassion doesn't pay the bills.

You may have to leave a job that you love, but there are so many opportunities out there and, who knows, you might find one you enjoy just as equally.

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