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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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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