In the wake of the senseless violence that saw a supremely misogynistic and fucked up individual murder 6 innocent people in a rampage that has re-sparked the ever-simmering gun control debate in America, the shootings at Santa Barbara’s University of California campus has also caused reactions in other areas.
The shooter, seemingly influenced by the beyond absurd Men’s Rights movement, displayed disturbingly violent anti-women sentiments in both his final video posting prior to committing the murders, and in his sprawling, confused 137-page manifesto. His attitudes towards women were misogynistic, misguided, horrific and objectifying. And it’s, sadly, not an isolated viewpoint.
Social media has sprung to life with the hashtag #YesAllWomen – a powerful collection of statements from women defending their right to be outraged at the violence perpetrated by men against women.
#YesAllWomen because when a girl is harassed or even groped by a stranger in public, we’re told to “take it as a compliment”
— AB (@bottrill) May 25, 2014
“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood #yesallwomen
— Jen Kirkman (@JenKirkman) May 25, 2014
Because “the friendzone” is not just an annoying meme; it is an expression of entitlement and threat of violence against women. #YesAllWomen
— Charles Clymer (@cmclymer) May 24, 2014
Because the friendzone is the fictional exile of the entitled. “Sexual partner” is not a woman’s default mode. #yesallwomen
— Harrison Mooney (@HarrisonMooney) May 25, 2014
— Bekah (@RebekahBolser) May 25, 2014
#yesallwomen because people are defending the rights of guns instead of the rights of women.
— Jennifer Heatley (@jen_heatley) May 25, 2014
The message is one of extreme importance and one that everyone – men in particular – should read and take heed of.
Sex is not a commodity that is earned or owed. And yes, guys, you might throw your hands up in protest of being lumped in with the fuckwits who behave like slobbering pigs when it comes to the opposite sex. But understand that the argument is not, and has never been, against all men. It’s never all men who are the perpetrators of violence against women. But never does that remove all women’s right to be outraged when it happens.
Hopefully, with any luck, this is the beginning of a conversation that’s needed to be much broader for a very long time.