Sunday, 25 May 2014

#yesallwomen #notallmen

I have things to say about the #yesallwomen tag but it's gonna take more that 140 characters. It's probably going to take more than this blog but I feel the need to speak. Feel free to listen or not. This one is mostly for me. It's hard to put into words and is a conversation best had in person I think. If anything I say offends you please talk to me about it rather than just getting offended and angry. I probably don't mean what you think I mean ^_^

I have been groped on the street in broad daylight by a man who felt that my breasts were there and he had the right. I have been pestered in bars, in the street, on the bus and in the restaurant I worked in by men who got pushy and intimidating when their advances were gently put down. I have never been attacked or assaulted or put into a situation where I felt genuinely scared and I count myself lucky for that.

I have been ignored by men I find attractive. I spent a very large portion of my life being the not so attractive girl in my group and thus not getting lucky with the men I might have fancied. This did not lead me to hate them or all men. This did not lead me to want to do violence upon them or any other men. I did not feel like my entitlements were being ignored. Sure it made me sad and occasionally mad.

You rarely hear about women going on the rampage because they have been turned down. I'm sure it happens but probably not as often. Why? Women are just as capable of violence as men. I have a terrible temper and for years would lash out, sometimes physically, rather than try and deal with the issue rationally. So I know damned well that the reason this does not happen is not because we are not capable.

I get the horrible feeling that it's because we are lead to believe that if a man doesn't want us it is our fault not theirs. We weren't pretty enough or slim enough or god knows what else.  I also get the horrible feeling that the reason you hear of men going on the rampage is because they are lead to believe that if a woman turns them down it is the woman being a tease or a bitch.

It's a hard subject to talk about because as soon as you start the phrase Not All Men pops up. I know not all men feel this way. This is why not every man I've met has groped me unwantedly. Why men have stepped in and got other men to leave me alone and expected nothing in return other than a thank you. By the same merit some women are horrible to men just because they can be. They don't' deserve to be attacked for it. Dear Lord no one deserves that. But there are some mean ladies out there.

The gentleman that is in the news are the moment is disturbed. A lot of people are calling for us to not just label him as crazy because it detracts from the reasons behind his attack. I can agree with that even though I think he does have some serious issues. But I think that focusing on the misogynistic aspect in the way we are is not helpful either. All it seems to be doing is creating a wave of hatred directed at men.

Woman hater, man hater, they are the same thing. How does throwing vitriol at the opposite sex help anyone? Surely we should be responding by looking at teaching ourselves, our friends, our family and our children that the most important thing you can do is respect all people? That love and sex are wonderful things but you are not always going to get them with the people you want because that is not how it works. That you are not entitled to them. That you will be rejected and you will reject. But life goes on and you are a better person for these little heartbreaks because they shape you.

Mostly I feel saddened by what has happened. I feel for the family and friends of the victims. I feel for the family and friends of the perpetrator. And I feel for all of us and the widening chasm between the sexes that I see opening up each time something like this happens. I think perhaps the #yesallwomen and the #notallmen need to work together to bridge this void and create a world of love and respect.  

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