#Yesallwomen: Don’t Stop the Conversation

It has been about two weeks since Elliot Rodger murdered six people (he also died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound) and injured thirteen others. This particular incident reignited the discussion of gun control and mental health and also opened up a new conversation regarding misogyny (hatred of women). It has been reported that the motivation for his attack was the rejection he faced by women and also his hatred of other races for dating white women. The twitter world was on fire the next couple of days following the attack with women sharing their experiences of misogyny using the hashtag #yesallwomen.

I realize that I am a bit behind on commenting on the #yesallwomen campaign, but I’m hoping this becomes a continuous conversation and not a passing trend. The point of the campaign is to create awareness that while #notallmen (another trending topic) are negative or sexist towards women, all women at some point or another have been subjected to negative and unwanted male attention. In my line of work I have met several women who have been subjected to horrible abuse by the men in their lives. While this campaign brings attention to such abuse, it has created awareness around the more subtle, cultural influences that impact women. Things such as catcalls, avoiding walking alone at night, and being educated on how to prevent sexual assault. Violence against women is 100% preventable, yet prevention seems to be preached to the victims.

Instead of teaching women how not to be sexually assaulted, society needs to be educating our boys that they are not entitled to a woman’s body. This starts in childhood. In western culture if a 5, 6, or 7 year old boy is mean to a girl, it is because he likes her. How are our boys supposed to know that behavior is not okay at 17 or 27?

 In many ways, society’s view on women is an insult to men. We teach women to dress ‘appropriately’ as not to draw attention to themselves, we educate women on how not to be sexually assaulted. Last time I checked, grown men are competent, capable adults, who have control over their actions. However, society does a good job of excusing negative male behavior and it is time to change that.

If this article or the #yesallwomen campaign causes you to say “violence can happen against men too,” then you are missing the point. This is about the deep rooted cultural messages that have been passed from generation to generation. The cultural messages that cause my husband to worry when we travel abroad that he might get robbed in a sketchy area of town, and that cause me to worry that I might be sexually assaulted. Let’s keep the conversation going so we can get to a place where #allpeoplearerespected.

Danielle

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8 thoughts on “#Yesallwomen: Don’t Stop the Conversation

  1. I agree and hope the conversation continutes! I know some people consider it wallowing, but if society still refuses to see how important this is and shine light on it then I’m willing to be called a wallower, wallowist?

  2. Thanks for the comment Kelsey. I think in order for there to be any significant change within society we need to keep the discussion going. It is so easy to put this on the backburner and keep doing things as they have always been done. Instead of wallowers, can we be changers? 🙂

  3. Uh… yea I disagree. While it is great to feel empowered, this is about all humans. Not just women. And your statement about this being a cultural message is interesting. Where did you learn this cultural message? I live in America as well and was taught to respect Women. Maybe where you live is just a bad place and people aren’t taught manners perhaps?

    • Hi Opinionated Man,
      Thanks for the comment. I agree with you that this is a human issue. It is about treating everyone with dignity and respect, but unfortunately that is not always the case, particularly for women. Have you been following the #yesallwomen campaign on twitter? This is very much a deep seeded cultural issue that affects women of all walks of life from all cultures. When a women walks down the street and is whistled and commented on, that is not a compliment. Unfortunately that happens on a regular basis in many communities. Have you ever been at a bar and witnessed a women being groped or touched without consent? That is what the #yesallwomen campaign is trying to create awareness of. That behavior is not okay. I have worked with several survivors of sexual assault and victim blaming is something that unfortunately still comes up. What a women is wearing should not even be brought up when discussing sexual assault. That is wonderful if you were brought up to treat everyone with respect, but maybe this has clouded your vision on some of the challenges women face.

      • Yes I have been. Have you also been reading the man hate and the unfair attacks against men as a whole? That is what “this movement” is becoming about. And there is the issue. My vision is not clouded. I see far more privilege given to women in my daily life than to me, a minority male. I have also seen promotions and help given to women wearing clothes they knew would catch the eye. So for every example you are presenting there are equal number of WOMEN that use that. So again, this is a human issue. I don’t need to join a movement only for women that only see their own issues.

  4. Opinionated Man,
    Like I said, I agree with you that this is a human issue. The point of my post is not about attacking men and it is unfortunate that some comments drawing attention to the #yesallwomen campaign have gone that way. While there are women who do play up their sex appeal, sometimes that is because it is the only way to get noticed. This movement is to try to create awareness around injustice and create a safe and secure environment for all people, at least that is how I view it.

  5. Very well said daniellemcfadyen! Very much a human issue! And thank you for not entering a debate on whether or not this is a “man bashing post”. It most certainly isn’t. Your years of EDUCATION and obvious field experience in dealing with many women who have faced sexual assault/issues in their past is evident. Lots of wonderful men are showing empathy and solidarity with women around the world during this #yesallwomen campaign and that’s such an excellent thing. Those men are glowing examples to their daughters (deserving respect) and to their sons (how to treat women). It really is hard to see men with their backs up against the wall and their claws out trying to turn this much needed movement back towards them.
    Again, well said! Smart lady 🙂

    • Thank you for the comment Laura – well said to you! As you commented, it is great to see so many men getting behind this campaign. This really is a human issue and is going to take men and women working together to create change. This movement shouldn’t be about bashing anyone but about trying to move forward to create a safe environment for everyone.

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