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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » #YesAllWomen

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Author Topic: #YesAllWomen
MusicNerd
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So, I came across this really awesome trend that started Saturday on Twitter called [tw: violence, sexual assault]: #YesAllWomen. This hashtag was created in response to the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) shooting that happened on Friday, and the hashtag itself is a play-on-words of the "Not All Men" meme. I even created my own #YesAllWomen status on Facebook with the attached article that pretty much said how I was tired of "nice guys" thinking that acting like a decent human being towards a woman means that women "owe" them sex.

I was pretty proud of myself, as were a lot of people who liked my status in agreement. Then, there was a dude from my school who started a firestorm of a debate on that post. He's that dude, you know? The kind of person that doesn't check his privilege when it comes to race or gender or anything-ever? His argument was pretty much: "Women are enabling nice guys to have sex with them, so it's actually their fault and that's why nice guys act the way they do. They only do this 'cause they figured it was successful before, and they don't actually consciously know they're doing anything wrong." And also that men are pretty much mindless and following "natural human behavior" when it comes to trying to coerce women into sex and that they only care about sex instead of the woman involved.

I shared a GeekFeminism link on the "Nice Guy syndrome" and told him how he seemed to be dehumanizing and describing men in a really insulting way. Actually, I more specifically said that "Men are not dogs and sex is not a bone," and that men can control and think for themselves because they are human beings. And then he proceeded to say that he "believed women were people" but then in the same sentence compared women to being "goods" in a market, and tried to fit his argument into an economic model... Yeah. I pointed out to him how flawed that analogy was considering women, like all human beings, are people who require consent unlike, you know -- freaking inanimate objects since women are people!!

It pretty much turned into a super-hot mess from there with me slamming him with feminist concepts and articles on violence against women, and him giving really screwed-up ideas about sex and the roles of men and women. Eventually some of my feminist friends thankfully stepped in. This went on for like 20-something comments with me and another woman (mostly me) debating him. The only time he finally stopped was when one of my male friends defended my point and pointed out why he was wrong. Shocker there.

That dude's views on the "nice guy" trope and gender and sexuality were really, really disturbing. Like, I haven't been made that uncomfortable and infuriated by someone's viewpoints in a long, long time. I had to actually step away from my computer (even though I was going out anyway) in order to feel better.

I don't know if I'm trying to create a discussion on "nice guys" and the "friend zone," or if I'm just still super-disgusted by the shooting that took place, or if I'm just ranting a bunch on how ridiculous that debate with that dude was or whatever, but: I'd really love to hear people's thoughts on the UCSB shooting or the media coverage of it or the #YesAllWomen trend or "nice guy" syndrome or anything else along those lines! [Smile]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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Heather
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Love this action, and also -- per usual! -- think you are the absolute bomb. [Big Grin]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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MusicNerd
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I was really excited to see this happening, too! God, the internet can be great sometimes. [Smile]

Aww, thanks Heather! You're pretty awesome yourself. [Big Grin]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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Molias
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I've definitely been enjoying the #YesAllWomen tag - although "enjoying" isn't always the right word as many of the stories shared there are terrible. But I appreciate it as a movement.

Sadly I've seen some incredibly nasty backlash from the sort of people who go on about "nice guys" and other Not All Men-types, but if anything that's just a sign of how much we need to keep this discussion open.

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Onionpie
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Definitely a great hashtag, I really hope that it means some men will start to actually understand what women are talking about when they talk about rape culture, our ACTUAL EXPERIENCES, etc. Unfortunately the ones who need it the most are the ones who probably WON'T learn anything because they refuse to, but, maybe someone who's on the fence will have their eyes opened.

And oh man -- as soon as someone starts with the economy analogies for HUMAN BEINGS, I run in the other direction. MRAs (ie the PEOPLE WHO HELPED FUEL THIS GUY'S MURDEROUS IDEOLOGIES) are so big on talking about like "zero sum games" and talking about relationships and women like they're games to be strategized, to win. Trying to find logic and set, predictable patterns to human relationships so that they can try to "rig the game" or take advantage of the patterns, instead of accepting that women are humans and they will never be able to control what someone else wants or does. They can't be 100% in control and get exactly what they want every time? UNACCEPTABLE.

The youtube comments on the guy's "manifesto" are just absolutely chilling. That's a whole lot of men out there who want to murder women. But nope, we're totally irrational and unfair for treating men with caution! Because not ALL men want to murder us! Just a disturbingly large handful!

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Redskies
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I've read a transcript of the guy's video (probably not a thing for anyone feeling tender or having a rough day, kinda obviously). It really struck me that when you take out the explicitly murderous words, he sounds exactly like any kind of extremely entitled man, Men's Rights dude or disgruntled "pick-up artist". It's the same world-view, that women are possessions which both convey status and should be gifted by having status, and that sex is a thing that (male) people can be entitled to from other (female) people and the other people are kinda interchangeable.

There's a whole mess of racism, too, closely linked with misogyny: which men deserve and get to have (white) women.

To me, this is why ideologies like this matter and why it matters to try to fight them and dismantle them: this kind of atrocity is their furthest point of conclusion. Misogyny kills women, and misogyny kills everyone.

Musicnerd, I'm glad that you and others are sometimes up to discussions like the one you had. They're mostly not my thing at all, and I think it's so important that someone has them (if only for the people reading along); I so appreciate other people having not-my-thing.

People get to be annoyed and upset that the social norms and structures we have aren't working out well for them, and be confused. We're all confused. Expectations and roles for women, and fears and concerns about how men might react, are common topics in feminism and many groups of women in general; I've talked with guys - great guys, not "Nice Guys", and they weren't complaining either - about issues they've had while being a decent human being and ensuring consent, where that didn't go down well with various women who were instead expecting toxic gender roles. The answer isn't to blame or hate one group of people (eg, MRAs hating women)! It's to recognise that we're All confused by at least some other people in this world sometimes, and to try to change the mess.

That needs a post-script, of course: I have not the remotest wish to work with anyone who hates me or thinks I'm a lesser human than they are, would never expect that of anyone else, and anyone oppressed is not required to stop yelling about it or make oppressors' lives easier.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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OhImpecuniousOne
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One of the things that's really infuriating me about this whole situation is the number of people who are trying to blame the guy's actions on mental illness. I've seen multiple petitions going around along the lines of "Make treatment more accessible than guns for mentally ill people" etc. etc... and it' so very shitty. The guy wasn't mentally ill. He had Asperger's, which is not associated with violence. The problem here is that he was socialised - by perfectly sane people - into believing that he had a right to sex and attention from women, and that women are sufficiently inferior that he felt it was okay to try to shoot up a sorority. And yet, along comes the Mental Illness Bogeyman, misrepresenting those of us with mental health problems, and providing a scapegoat to excuse us from addressing the misogyny that was the real cause of this attack.

I know it's kind of a defence mechanism, that we're all prone to labelling serious criminals as mentally ill, because they commit acts which are so incomprehensible to us that we can't believe their thoughts and emotions work the same way ours do. But it is still shitty.

Sorry, I know this is a bit off-topic, it's just been really bugging me and I wanted to rant!

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Heather
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(Just FYI, OhImpecuniousOne , I have really appreciated your contributions on the boards. It's nice to have you here!)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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acb
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I'm sort of not sure how I feel about the actual wording of #yesallwomen because I dislike when women talk about their own experience of sexism like it's universal thing or the same for everyone because it runs the risk of erasing the voices of ethnic minorities, LGBT folk etc. and homogenising the discussion but I suppose if you look at it as each individual voice on Twitter speaking up to show their personal example of how sexism has effected them and how yes all women do experience sexism in different ways, it's a pretty cool unifying force. Just me being super picky about semantics, I think the discussion it's started is great.

My worst run in with A Nice Guy was last summer when my boyfriend was abroad for work and one of his colleagues decided to try and sleep with me in his absence. I straight up said I wasn't interested in a sexual relationship and he invited me round for pasta and to take me out canoeing and all this stuff and then sort of vanished for a bit. I work in a bar and he was in one night with all of his friends. I just mentioned I hadn't seen him in a while and one of his friends went 'That's because he was still trying to have sex with you and we told him you weren't interested and he wasn't allowed to keep hassling you.' In front of everyone. At least Nice Guy had the decency to look awkward. That's not wholly related, but I just like it when lads (they are all outdoor instructors) aren't scared to be allies publicly.

Most of my friends are feminists or at least that way inclined and I think what that hit home to me a lot was that outside of my bubble there are still people who try and navigate sex without actually talking about it honestly, like there are a bunch of rules and strategies to follow. Although it's not as strict as pick up artists' plays (I used to live with a pick up artist, but that's a whole other story), there's still that idea of a game and codes of conduct and types of behaviour for each gender. I asked some of my students the other day if it's OK for a guy to carry on having sex with a girl if she's said yes and then says no. The class was in Spanish so I guess this might be a translation point, but a lot of them said that if she wasn't interested 'she shouldn't have entered into the game'. Hearing it phrased like that was a really disturbing way of looking at it and it's scary to see how pervasive those attitudes are.

I agree that playing the mental health card is not cool at all but perhaps the upside we can take from this is just how many people are discussing the misogyny instead. I'm pretty inspired by how many people are talking about something that's really quite radical in a reasonably widespread way. Here's hoping it sticks.

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OhImpecuniousOne
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The way I have heard the wording explained is that it's a response to "not all men" type comments - so "No, not all men" are misogynists, but "Yes, all women" suffer the effects of misogyny, in varying forms, and that makes it everyone's problem. At least that's how I understood it for myself.


Ick at your experiences with that guy - especially if you still had to deal with him as a customer at work. I seem to have been lucky enough to avoid Nice Guys so far. All the guys who have tried to talk me out of my boundaries have been barefacedly creepy about it. So, uh, yay?

I did have one guy who followed me home and beat me to my own front step, so I ended up talking to him for 45 minutes in the rain because I was afraid that if I opened the door, he'd just waltz into my house. Eventually I pulled out the "I'm gay" card (I'm not, and I wish I didn't have to use this one so often, because "I like men, I'm single, I want to have sex, and I *still* don't want to have sex with you" should work just as well), and he informed me that I was going to hell for being gay. I pointed out that this was a bit rich, coming from a married roman catholic who was trying to hook up with random girls on the street (he had talked a LOT). He actually had the decency to look ashamed, admit that I was right, and **** off. I certainly didn't see that one coming!


I've been skimming the "manifesto" that Elliot Rodgers wrote (which is more like an autobiography), and actually the thing about navigating sex without communicating seems like a common thread in it. I'm not gonna take this document as an accurate representation of his life. But over and over again he seems to believe that sex and relationships "just happen" for other guys, and they don't happen for him - he feels like he's missing out, either on an inherent characteristic that automatically makes some guys attractive, or on a big secret of How To Date which society is deliberately holding out on him.

It does come across like there are unspoken rules that (he believes) everyone else knows and he doesn't, and you can see where someone else could get that idea from - we mystify sex, paint it as a coming of age rite, tell sexually inexperienced people that they "just don't get it", and any discussion of sex is usually full of wink-wink-nudge-nudge crap, probably because so many people are mortally embarrassed at the idea of being straightforward about sexual experiences. None of this really paints sex as a fun thing to do with people who also want to do it with you, but really not the end of the world and by no means the most awesome or revelatory part of adult life.


It is great that misogyny is being talked about, for sure. [Smile] It's a little frustrating sometimes to see all these amazing discussions online, here, on tumblr, on (a select few people's) facebook - and then realise that most of the world is not talking or thinking about these things, really. But then, I suppose that's how all emancipatory movements start out one way or another, so I shouldn't be so disheartened. [Smile]

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MusicNerd
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Just wanted to say, I'm really loving all of these responses and seeing how this discussion has unfolded! [Smile]

It's also really terrifying to me to know that the cops saw this manifesto before the shooting, because the parents turned it in to them since they themselves were even worried... And yet they saw nothing wrong with it? Like, the extremely violent misogyny with a plan pretty much laid out on who he was going to attack and how, and no one saw anything wrong with that?! That's absolutely terrifying to me not only how commonplace this violence is seen in the general population -- don't get me wrong, it's still super-scary -- but it's also horrifying how even the authorities (who are supposed to be protecting us, right?) don't see a problem with it. But then again, I have a lot of criticisms of our criminal justice system which is a whole other topic, so...

[ 05-31-2014, 08:39 PM: Message edited by: MusicNerd ]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

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ralphie41
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OhImpecuniousOne I love your take on how we mystify sex as a component of the (possible) motives here - As a society it's almost as if we romanticise romance & sex, as this club that you're either in or totally missing out on.
Also one of the best commentaries i've seen is this video by laci green - she says most of what i want to much better than i ever could!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPFcspwbrq8&list=PLTXiNEUzXWKTfNYKThSk-kmJdf7AJRP5K&bpctr=1401659434
(just a warning there is an excerpt from his video - not too bad but if you wanna skip it just go to 1:48 [Smile]

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"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live"

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acb
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I really like that Laci Green's video highlights violent masculinity. I haven't hashed out this thought completely in my head yet but from what I've read it feels to me that although there is obvious obvious misogyny in what Elliot Rodgers did, to me there seems to be a whole lot of self hate due to failing to live up to certain social standards of masculinity too. Elliot trying to prove that he was 'a true alpha male' by doing this makes me feel to me that perhaps that his self-perceived failures as a man play into this a bunch too. And then sort of blaming women for being s**** as a way to push his self-hate elsewhere. I'm aware this is a very shaky kind of idea but to me it accounts a bit for him killing men who he deemed to be more successful than him rather than just targeting women and then ultimately killing himself. But I'm still not sure. Arthur Chu's article called Your Princess Is In Another Castle does a pretty good job of coming at this from a different point of view too, I think, because it comes from a male perspective.

The more I think about this the more I wonder what it is that it the tipping point - I know misogynists, but none have them have gone on a killing spree. It's a little scary to not be able to pinpoint that.

Sorry that this is a bit all over the place, sort of thinking aloud [Smile]

[ 06-01-2014, 07:10 PM: Message edited by: acb ]

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