Because it’s not a small deal that the words “not all men” have become entwined inextricably with male fragility and whininess. It makes it awfully easy to insulate the (largely cis-)female perspective on what males are. To begin a statement with those words—“Not All Men”—is to give grounds to anyone who wants to laugh at the rest of it. But here is the truth: not all men are what you think they are. Man does not mean what you think it means. Generalizing harshly and broadly but implying “you know which ones I mean” is an intellectual and rhetorical laziness that is not allowed to pass anywhere else in these communities. Because we don’t get to choose who our words and behavior affect, we are obligated to choose them carefully.
I hate that the only effective response I can give to “boys are shit” is “well I’m not a boy.” I feel like I am selling out the boy in baseball pajamas that sat with me on the bed while I tried to figure out which one I was supposed to be, and the boys who I have met and loved from inside my boy suit—who believed they were talking to a boy. I feel like I am burning the history of the naked body that sits on the floor of my shower. The body that went to prom in a boxy tuxedo and coveted the gowns.
A person’s privilege can be an explanation of why their beliefs are warped, if indeed their beliefs are warped. It’s not proof of shitty beliefs. Those tend to out themselves by…being shitty. If a person is telling this cis girl she is taking for granted a privilege that trans girls don’t have, why is it this cis girl’s instinct to hunt for that person’s identity to see if she can discredit them and not have to think about their point? Don’t answer that. We already know.