The men in your life may be talking about women like that, and you would never know it.

This meme was taken from a CNN meme. Michelle Obama is seen in the midst of blasting the blatant misogyny of ‘the orange one wearing a blonde toupee who shall not be named’.

I think that we need to make a couple of things clear and loud enough for the folks in the back to hear.

Misogyny has run so rampant in “this great nation” that it has been normalized to the point of invisibility.

I know that there are men who exist, and have existed, who would never speak about women in the way that ‘the orange one wearing a blonde toupee who shall not be named’ does. (I want to write womxn, but that’s a whole other story and “come to jesus *that lack of capitalization is intentional* moment” that I would have to give about the bullshit society that we find ourselves in).

The reality is that: it is not a testament to a man’s humanity when he says that the orange one is wrong for speaking that way.

We all know that that shit is fucked up!

We all know that people shouldn’t talk about “grabbing pussies” and find it to be, in any way, appropriate without consent.

We know this shit!

Every single living human being knows that the orange one is speaking some garbage that is inherently fucked up. The problem is that the idea of something being fucked up means different things to different people and some people view the outrage at the fucked up shit as a constraint placed upon them by a society that doesn’t want them to engage in that fucked up shit. Newsflash, We Know That As Well.

We know that most men do not speak like the orange one in the presence of womxn. We Know This.

We know that there are (supposedly) social standards for interaction that look down upon making people into inanimate toys and objects for consumption. We Know This.

What we are, seemingly, failing to realize is that 1) knowing all of this does not mean that most of the men in our lives do not exist on the spectrum of toxic masculinity and 2) assuming that they do not embrace that spectrum before you walk in to a room or after you leave it is naive.

The orange one has brought to the surface all of the shit that has been left unsaid. We now see, in plain view, all of the mess that is unsaid, yet still spoken through misguided and biased beliefs, enforced social constraints, and judgment.

When your father, brother, male cousin, or the male teacher who explained to you that the boys in the class were being mean to you because they like you reminded you to be nice — they were speaking in the same way that the orange one does: the difference is that those talks were usually without the vulgarity.

So, before womxn begin to appropriate the “not all men” apologist mentality and transpose mountains into mole holes, let us ask ourselves this: Is it possible to argue “not all men” when this society, as a whole, begins to instill the building blocks of toxic masculinity into all babies, who are assumed to be male, out of the womb?