What is #YESALLWOMEN?
In response to the Elliot Rodger rampage that killed six people on May23rd around UC Santa Barbara, California and his motivation of sexual hatred and misogyny, the hashtag #YESALLWOMEN began appearing on twitter. I should say that it exploded onto twitter.
Women across the world in an unorganized way started pushing back against the harassment and violence that women face on a daily basis. They were responding to the “not all men” lingo that is used to dissuade feminism and the wordage of Elliot Rodger’s manifesto. These women posted their own experiences of sexual assault, fears, feelings, and violence committed against them. They tweeted about catcalls, groping in crowded places, date rape, workplace harassment, domestic violence, and much more.
It is absolutely true that not all men are sexist, violent, or hate women, but it is true that all women are vulnerable to sexual harassment by just by being female. It doesn’t matter what a woman says or wears—nothing gives a man the right to harass, assault, or abuse.
Some men have embraced and supported this movement while others have called it feminism, guy-bashing, and accused it of being ‘anger toward men’ and have retaliated with tweets of their own. It is anger toward some men (the abusers and harassers) and if all men rose to the occasion to let their friends and family know that sexual harassment isn’t acceptable then things would start to change. Men can do their part, as many do, and bring forth change alongside women.
I didn’t put the hashtag #YESALLWOMEN in the title of my blog because the woman who started the movement has asked people to stop using it and let the movement die down. Why? I did it out of respect for her because she’s been receiving death threats. What has this world come to?
Let me leave you with this quote from Margaret Atwood (a famous Canadian author and one of my favorites) that really made me think. She said, “Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
Remember, if we can help just one woman, we’ve done our job.