“NotAllMen”: A Rebuttal from a Man

It’s true not all males perpetrate violence towards women, but an organized effort to distance non-violent men from the reality that women face is deeply troubling.

Protests+for+women%27s+equality+help+to+bring+light+to+the+issues+women+face.

image courtesy of Samantha Sophia

Protests for women’s equality help to bring light to the issues women face.

In light of International Women’s Month last month, recent statistics regarding harassment and violent acts toward women have taken many aback. Most commonly seen on social media is the claim that 97% of women ages 18-24 have been violated in some way. This statistic does not even mention countless women outside of this age range.

Yet many are arguing that this claim is untrue.

It’s important to state at the outset of the article that such claims disregard the point being made. The fact that this statistic is anywhere above 0% is completely unacceptable. While some believe that it is more important to have an accurate statistic than to actually bring awareness to sexual assault and illegal actions on women, they are losing sight of the main idea regarding sexual harassment and focusing that attention on something that is still important but not as important as actual occurrences of harassment. 

There have been several arguments that these violent acts against women are not relevant to all men—hence the phrase “NotAllMen.”  

The fact that this statistic is anywhere above 0% is completely unacceptable.”

This is a completely inappropriate claim. In regards to violent acts such as rape and assault, not all men are involved. However, most men contribute to the problem. These actions can include many seemingly innocent and foolish gestures, but they can alter a woman’s perspective on relationships, right and wrong, and even the male gender. Changing a woman’s perspective on such an important topic can not only hurt women but society as a whole. 

Nevertheless, some remain engrossed in the statistic that 97% have fallen victim to such criminal and grim behavior.

The statistic that 97% of women ages 18-24 and many women beyond have been sexualized, harassed, or objectified directly or even indirectly is not something to brush aside. I have seen men do this firsthand on countless occasions, even recently. 

On March 3rd, Sarah Everard was walking home from work at 9:00 PM in the streets of Clapham, England to Brixton. Clapham is known as a relatively safe and well-lit area, especially during the evening. 

On the other hand, Brixton is a crime-ridden area of London. The 33-year-old set out for a standard walk from work, but she never made it home. Sarah Everard was abducted that same night and was found about an hour away in Kent, England in the following days. Wayne Cuuzens, the perpetrator, was arrested on March 12th. 

Rightfully so, women across the UK were enraged with what happened with Sarah Everard. 

There has been a startling spike in violence toward women, with around one in three women globally being victimized physically.”

But what was unusual about this case was that countless men responded to the disgusting crime with the misogynistic trend #NotAllMen, apparently projecting that these ignorant men “aren’t like those guys.”

In reality, those who are using this claim as a way to protect their reputation are indeed part of the problem. It shows that they do not care about what happens and that they are solely focused on how this act of abuse and murder does not relate to them. 

Of course, we would all love to believe that, but it goes against a sad reality. Many men are looking for a way to distance themselves from how the world repeatedly treats women, even if they are unknowingly contributing to the problem. These men are only victimizing themselves by shifting the focus from murder, abduction, and varying forms of assault to the gender being blamed for it. 

Imagine having a bowl of popcorn, but 25% of the kernels are poisoned. Keep in mind that not all of the kernels are poisoned, just like how not all men are rapists or perpetrators of other forms of sexual violence. However, they could be. A person might feel hesitant or scared to eat any of the pieces of popcorn because there is a possibility that they are poisoned. There has been a startling spike in violence toward women, with around one in three women globally being victimized physically. 

Men need to examine their behavior and educate themselves on the issues that affect women. It is crucial that we let every woman in our lives know that we will support them unconditionally and educate ourselves on such topics.