#NotAllWalnuts

Well, if NO ONE ELSE is gonna talk about the #YesAllWomen hashtag, then I guess I will.

HAHAHAFUCKINGHAHAHA

Okay, it’s been discussed, re-discussed and discussed again.

And it’s still not enough.

I’ve read tweets and blog posts and personal stories that make me want to cry and rant and rail against the violent acts that are committed against women. I have my own set of stories that I could tell that range from being afraid to being hurt.

What I find myself getting seriously annoyed by is the #NotAllMen hashtag.

Motherfuckers, NO ONE SAID it was all men who commit violent acts against women.

I decided to start using the #NotAllWalnuts hashtag in my tweets. Am I doing it to minimize the #NotAllMen hashtag?

Yes. Yes I am.

Okay, are there tweets out there from women who claim ALL men are bad? I don’t know. I suspect there are. But that doesn’t change the fact that the #YesAllWomen hashtag doesn’t inherently mean that ALL men are bad.

There is an issue with violence against women. Denying that is stupid.

There are also issues with drug abuse, animal abuse, driving while drunk, sexual assault against men and elder abuse.

The #YesAllWomen hashtag isn’t about those things.

When someone tries to raise awareness about an issue, it is inevitably met with “Yes, but what about…(fill in the blank)”?

So, unless we consider fixing every issue that exists at the same time then it’s not fair to consider addressing any of them? At that point, our only option is to sit around with our collective thumbs up our asses.

But I digress.

Why can’t we all address the issue of violence against women without people getting defensive? What is there to get defensive over?

How dare we speak out against being afraid and being abused and being molested?

It makes no sense at all.

Again, I’m sure there are some women who have made blanket statements condemning all men. I disagree with these women. But just because they are using their voice to paint all men as bad doesn’t take away one iota of the violence committed against women. Why would anyone even focus on that? Why not focus on the problem at hand and treat the extreme comments as they should be treated? With silence.

The #NotAllMen hashtag is attempting to take the focus from the issue at hand. Why? I don’t understand why. Because it seems to me, that every single human who isn’t an abuser or molester or rapist would get behind a movement where woman speak out against fear and rape.

I’ve come to the conclusion that far too many of the humans have the emotional maturity of walnuts.

#NotAllWalnuts are used for baking

#NotAllWalnuts cause death by choking

#NotAllWalnuts are eaten by squirrels

Nonsense.

Conversely, I will say that after spending some time reading the #NotAllMen tweets, I saw scores and scores of men using that hashtag to defend the #YesAllWomen hashtag. A lot of men countered the vitriol with statements supporting women. One of the messages that stood out was a collection of ‘let’s get over ourselves here and LISTEN to what these women are saying’.

This gives me hope.

We have to have discussions. We have to find a place where we can agree.

We have to stop being defensive.

It starts with discussions. It starts with the language we use. How about this? Speak up if you hear someone degenerate a woman or speak about her as if she is an object. Speak up and tell them to stop.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can change the culture we live in. There will always be human on human violence, I don’t believe that will ever change, but I think it’s possible that our daughters and granddaughters can live in a little less fear than we do.

I’ve been going back and forth on posting this because I’ve read so many wonderful articles written on the subject. People have written so eloquently and passionately and with such intelligence about violence against women and I write about goat quizzes.

But I still have a voice. It might be simple and crude and flawed, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be loud and strong.

 

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45 comments

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  • It’s gotten to the point that I’m just skipping most posts with either hashtag because the ensuing discussion is inevitably aggravating. I’m tired of hearing arguments against good ideas and I’m tired of people using good ideas to get personal attention and praise. I’m also tired of the people (obviously not you…you’re in the awesome column and have been since our first twitter conversation) who keep trying to give me advice on how to raise my daughter. I’ll sit down for any real discussion but I’m not confident that I can participate in one that relies on oversimplification and name-calling. Regardless of the intent of the hashtagging at its outset, that’s all I’ve seen for days now…labels and finger pointing.

    • Exactly…and the name calling and finger pointing get us no where.

      Errr…even though that is kind of what I did here.

      But really…if we could all just accept that this IS an issue and work together to make it better…

      • The only problem is that the people who understand that it’s a problem don’t need to be reminded and the people who are the problem aren’t going to respond to internet shaming or shocking personal stories. I’m going to keep raising my daughter the right way and…well that’s really all I’m good for right now.

        • You know what? That is awesome. I am putting my hope in our children. What I see from mine give me hope. They are strong and kind and I really hope that they make a better way than we have.

  • Your voice is loud and strong and SO far from simple and flawed.

    What is it about goats, anyway? Some of my first ever posts were about goat mayhem.

  • I’m reading “the second sex” right now by Simone de Beauvoir, and WAY early in the 20th C. she made this excellent point: men and women will never be true polarities because men (and women) do not fundamentally see everyone as HUMANS. She says that there are true polarities like light and dark, cold and hot, but women can never oppose men because men fundamentally think women are a derivative sex. They are not equal and different humans, they are just like weaker, more emotional versions of men. The whole rib-out-of-Adam bullshit. The fact is that violence against anyone is a HUMAN problem. Those who see fighting against it as a threat on their manhood are just adding fuel to the fire. Love the walnuts hashtag 🙂

      • Here’s one of my fave quotes from her: “I used to get annoyed in abstract discussions to hear men tell me: ‘You think such and such a thing because you’re a woman.’ But I know my only defense is to answer, ‘I think it because it is true,’ thereby eliminating my subjectivity; it was out of the question to answer, ‘And you think the contrary because you’re a man,’ because it is understood that being a man is not a particularity; a man is right by virtue of being man; it is the woman who is in the wrong.”

  • Thank you for adding your voice, and for making me aware that this debate was going on, since I don’t use Twitter. Although it seems ridiculous that there’s a debate, that there’s a #NotAllMen hashtag in use.

    You summed up my thoughts perfectly when you asked, “What is there to get defensive over?”

    I understand we men have to ask ourselves hard questions. Have I done anything, even indirectly, to contribute to violence against women? What can I do to prevent it? And the answers are bound to be difficult.

    It would be easy to be defensive instead of facing up to these questions, but we live in a society that preaches that men are strong and capable. If that’s true then we should have no problem dealing with what’s difficult.

  • This is not unlike when they talk about raising money for breast cancer and someone says, “well what about ______ cancer?” Unfortunately, boobs are way better than anything else that gets cancer, and thus it’s more fun to raise money. In this case #YesAllWomen is definitely the issue, and any man who feels the need to turn it around and say #NotAllMen are suspect. Why don’t you just go all the way and say #NotMe or #ILoveWomen? Heck, go for it and raise awareness for breast cancer at the same time: #IWORSHIPBOOBS.

  • Thank you for this. I’ve seen lots of fantastic rebuttals to the “not all men” bullshit:

    –Not all snakes are dangerous, but how are you going to act if you encounter one in the wild? #NotAllSnakes
    –Here’s a bowl of M&Ms. Only 10% of them are poisoned. Will you eat a handful? #NotAllM&Ms

    I’m totally adding #NotAllWalnuts

    We could keep doing these forever, and everybody seems to agree that you would proceed with extreme fucking caution…until you try to apply it to how women are basically forced by rape culture to act around men, at which point men tend to go “WHAT?!?!? How DARE you accuse ME of being a rapist!!!” And no, not *all* men here, either—that’s the fucking point, you overprivileged jackasses! No one said you were a rapist. Stop making it about YOU. If you’re really such a great guy, why can’t you let go of your fragile fucking ego for one second to try to understand what it’s like to be a woman practically anywhere on earth? If you had even the slightest clue what it was like to have to actively worry about your safety on a near-constant basis, your tiny mind would probably *explode* trying to figure out how women manage to get shit else done. I can’t even get that much shit done when I have *nothing* to worry about.

    It’s not like you have to do anything particularly difficult. Just a) don’t rape anybody or otherwise commit violence against women, and b) take a second to think about whether your behavior or the behavior of others around you might be or seem threatening to women. Thinking about somebody else and not being a rapist—which of these is difficult for you?

    (tl;dr: If you can’t even SEE the problem, you probably ARE the problem.)

    Also, you are fantastic, and just because you write about goat quizzes doesn’t mean you can’t also write about really important shit, and do it well. You don’t have to be all formal and eloquent to say something important and have it mean something. Hell, the most popular and influential thing I ever wrote (by a factor of about 50) was a recap of the Wendy Davis filibuster that consisted almost entirely of gifs. I said “fuck” in the title.

    • This very nearly made me cry and I’m trying to understand why (Other than I’m menopausal and I cry over fucking everything).

      I think because I felt such a sense of relief reading this. YES. PLEASE..try to understand the fear that all women have to manage every single day. It becomes a part of you, but after years and years of it, it’s just so goddamn exhausting.

      Anytime you go anywhere alone, you have to be on guard. Getting on an elevator alone. Walking through a parking garage..trying to make yourself look big and bad and confident, when all you want to do is run as fast as you can. And these are NOT overreactions. You have got to always know your surroundings…have an escape plan…be ready to scream your head off.

      It’s just so tiring.

      Thank you so much for this. I appreciate it so much.

  • Round of applause for this one!
    It seems that no matter what cause anyone is trying to raise awareness for there are a zillion people trying to drag it down or mock it. The power of the internet can also be its downfall. I’d defend the right for people’s freedom to speak to the hilt, but how I wish most of them wouldn’t.

  • This post is amazing. Your comments are so spot on. Here’s the thing, though: Some walnuts are complete assholes. And why is no one talking about cashews? Because they have a powerful lobby behind them, that’s why. I said it, I’m not afraid.

    • I LOVE that you are taking a stand on the cashew thing. The peanuts appreciate it. At least I think they do. And fuck the almonds. They are so snooty.

  • At first I thought the not all men response might be guilty consciences, but the more I read about it (I’m not on Twitter) the more it seemed like fragile egos instead. The louder you insist that you’re not the problem, the more skeptical I get. I would ask what these men are so afraid of, but all of the answers I come up with are just too damn depressing. So rather than launching into another of my feminist rants, I’ll just point out that even your goat quiz post had the idea of how wrong and absurd it is to assign material value to human beings at the bottom of it. Don’t sell yourself short, so to speak.

  • Frankly I think both tags are stupid. Blanket statements about a topic requiring subtlety and understanding made in a public medium limited to 160 characters… How can it have gone RIGHT? #yesallblackpeople, #yesallchristians, #yesallcatpeople, would have had the same stupid response. Why are people surprised that when they try to address a difficult topic in sound bite form, it devolves into the same talk show shit you get on cable news? If you want an appropriate topic for twitter get #yesallnarcissistswithshortattwntionspans trending.

    • A narcissist with a short attention span would never stick around to read a hashtag that long.

      I dunno. I agree to a point. I think a lot (nearly everything) that gets bandied about on social media is bullshit and posturing…BUT…I think getting discussions started has at least a little bit of a chance of grabbing attention and perhaps giving perspective to the very few humans who are open to it.

  • I really must spend more time on Twitter — I had no idea this was a thing (and I had actually read Steph’s post about it and STILL didn’t realize it was a thing). Or maybe I should stay off Twitter and continue to live my life in denial and ignorance.

    PS — I totally agree with everything you said. Power to the Walnuts!

  • I guess I need to get me a Twitter account.
    Naw! Probably just piss me off.
    I love your rants!
    And seriously, I love your attitude and your message.
    Rock On!

  • Amen! I wrote a tweet the other day asking for help for my friend who needs to get out of an abusive relationship. I put in parenthesis “(military)” to indicate that she has access to a military base. Perhaps other military wives might know where she should go? I got an angry reply from a male service member saying “your inclusion of the word ‘military’ implies that all men in the military are abusive and that is FALSE!” What on earth? It didn’t imply that at all, but perhaps one ought to consider why they are so quick to assume it did!

    • Exactly! That just makes no sense at all. Let’s not worry about the woman who is being ABUSED…let’s get all butthurt over a ‘not accusation’

  • There are also issues with.. sexual assault against men..

    I admit that I responded a lot about my own experiences with this issue as stated. I’d list them here, but I’ve linked to a relevant post with commentluv.

    But Cimmorene is definitely a part of #YesAllWomen and so we did take some time to discuss her experiences here in the WP community, too (such as responses to HastyWords and LauraALord’s posts). I’ve spent so many years listening, soothing, and supporting Cimmy with her pain– and I remember this issue repeatedly in my dating life before we married a little over 15 years ago. So I hope you’ll understand that while I want to raise issues of abuse generally (especially abuse of men by women), I really don’t intend to marginalize the dilemma of women. It’d be a conflict of interest for me to do so.

By Michelle

Michelle

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