You may have seen #YesAllWomen, a movement on social media that encourages women to tell their stories of being sexually harassed or physically threatened by men. It's supposed to be a bonding thing that lets women know that they aren't alone--other women have suffered through these kinds of things, too. And I can see value in that. Truly, I can.
But every time I see it pop up, I just groan.
First of all, it's not ALL women. I can't remember a time I was sexually harassed or physically threatened in the way these women are describing. And it bothers me when they say, openly, "You know you've experienced this, too." Um...nope. Not ALL women, apparently.
Secondly, their unstated message is that not only have all women suffered, but all men are in line (or at least sympathetic) with these perverted men who do these things. Even if you never acted on it, the women seem to be saying, you know you think about it. I just don't believe that. I do believe there are horrid men in the world. But not ALL men.
And finally, every single time I see another story pop up, I think how completely inappropriate it would be for men to start a movement talking about all the horrid, mean things women have done to them. Especially if it implied that all men were mistreated by all women all the time.
I find it completely baffling that these same feminist women who are publishing these stories refuse to acknowledge that women can be, and are, jerks too. And that jerkiness is not a function of being a certain gender any more than sexiness is. Some people are jerks. Some aren't. We don't need to expand that to say all women are controlling or all men are lecherous simply because some are. And it doesn't further any conversations about real problems that really exist when we demonize and entire gender because...well ...because we have fallen in line with other people who do that? I find it even more offensive when in one post online women bemoan the objectification of women, and in the next they talk about how "hot" some male movie star is.
I guess what I'm getting at is you can't have it both ways. Either everyone gets to objectify, or nobody does. Either everyone gets to point out things the other gender does that are unacceptable (because, ladies, we do things that are unacceptable, too!), or nobody does. You don't get to make men the bad guys and then expect our culture to somehow magically improve.
Mostly, I'm starting to block people who advocate feminism online. They might find it pitiful, and I find it ironic, but the more they talk about their agenda, the less I feel like they are actually in touch with the experiences of average women, and the less I feel like they can actually help any women anywhere (especially the ones--males and female-- who seem compelled to defend womenkind against most of us women out there, without realizing they are trying to force us all to conform to an arbitrary standard upheld and created by an elite group, which is the very thing they are supposedly fighting against). Which is probably fine. They seem to relish talking to each other more than solving problems or engaging in real discussion anyway. You know, like the traditional stereotypical gossipy exclusive nagging women's club. Only minus the aprons and hats.