Don’t “Not All Men” Me
Don’t do it. I’ve noticed this happening a lot when women are talking about rape, rapists, rape culture, domestic abuse, etc.. Dudes want to swoop in and say “not all men” are like that. As if the woman talking *literally* suggested every single male on the entire planet behaves this way. Which she did not. Yet, men still feel the need to insert themselves into the conversation and derail it, by asking for their feelings to be protected.
“Not all men” solves nothing. Or, for that matter, any kind of “not all” argument. “Not all men,” “not all cops,” “Not all white people,” and on and on. It’s all unnecessary. For one, you know good and goddamn well I’m not saying *all* men. So you’re going to have to stop acting ignorant like you don’t understand context. You know that when women are talking. Nobody is saying “all [insert demographic] act like this.” We know they don’t. That’s a given. It shouldn’t need to be stated.
When Black people are talking about racism, we’re pretty much only talking about white people who are racist. If you’re not racist, you really should not be offended. You shouldn’t be jumping into the conversation with, “well, wait, not all of us,” blah, blah, blah. Stop it. You *know* what we’re talking about. If it ain’t you, what are you worried about?
When women are talking about rape culture and rapists, they’re talking about those who actually rape. If you’ve never raped anyone and you understand consent, then clearly, they ain’t talking about you. So why are you getting upset?
You still get offended by this. Why? Do you secretly participate in this kind of behavior? Do you have close friends or family members who do? Or is it that you, for some reason, feel like you’re being attacked? But…why? If you’ve done nothing wrong…I’m gonna sound like a broken record.
“I just don’t want to perpetuate the idea that it’s all of us.”
You’re the only ones perpetuating that fucking idea by constantly assuming that’s what people are literally saying. Stop it. And guess what? Even if you stumble across someone who *is* saying that all men are rapists, all white people are racists…well then, clearly, they’re wrong. And the facts aren’t on their side. So they’re not going to get a whole lot of traction with their bullshit. There’s nothing to worry about. Stop it. Relax.
Now, there is an entirely different problem at play here. Sure, not all men are rapists…but all men benefit from rape culture. Not all white people are racist…but white people benefit from a racist society. So even if they haven’t actively participated in something terrible…it doesn’t mean that they’re literally, 100% off the hook. It doesn’t mean they won’t do those things in the future. It doesn’t mean they don’t do these things unconsciously, or act out microaggressions. You’re still a guy. You’re still white. Which means you have privilege. White privilege and male privilege. And if you’re a Black man, yes, you still have male male privilege.
So saying “not all men,” “not all white people,” is really pointless. Because you’re not off the hook. You still have a responsibility. There’s still work for you to do. You don’t get a free pass.