Image by C_Scott
In the wake of the news about various male sexual harassers—Harvey Weinstein, Tyler Malka, even ninety-three-year-old George H.W Bush is not immune—the internet has come to the conclusion: All men are evil. Well, at least men are simply bad.
The situation has become truly dire. Men have become so evil that men are now embarrassed to be called a “man” and will listen only to “male” or the pronouns of their choice. Well, why would you willingly choose to be a—brr, can I even bear it to type those words?—a man? Men are all like Harvey Weinstein and Tyler Malka and will either rape or—God forbid—stare rape you the first chance they get. They are all violent video gaming harassers. They are all Donald Trump supporting neo-Nazis. Men commit mass murders and shootings and all the crimes. They must be stopped.
This is all completely absurd, of course. It is utterly bewildering why it is acceptable for people like Lauren Duca to loudly proclaim that all men are evil. This is attention-seeking sensationalism, written to get reactions from people. Whether or not the aforementioned people believe what they writing, they are looking to get a reaction: they are provocateurs, plain and simple.
But what if they do believe what they writing? The problem lies in that their behavior is perceived as acceptable. It is shocking that proclaiming forty-nine per cent of the world’s population as inherently evil is a-ok. However, claim that an even smaller percentage of the world—Muslims, which make up twenty-three per cent—is bad will be enough to cause fire and brimstone. Of course it is not acceptable to call all Muslims or all men bad, since the horrible people from both these demographics do not make up anywhere near the majority. So why is it acceptable to call all men evil for the actions of a few horrible souls?
When you are focusing on “All men are evil”, what you mean is the bad men you see in your everyday life. It is also likely that you are specifically seeking out men who conduct themselves badly or have done bad things. Your world may be surrounded by men who you think are really great, but when you’re on a mission to prove all men are evil, they’re basically beige wallpaper to you. The same with Red Pillers, incels and MGTOWs. To them, the good women they see everyday are ignored. With these male-haters, they see the men they like as people, not men, and thus don’t consider them part of the problem. Well, at least until they get sick of those men. Ginelle Testa describes it this way:
You’ll be on a bus and you’ll see the one man who’s catcalling you while missing the other 75 men [who are doing nothing]
There are a lot of bad men in the world, but they are not evil simply because they’re male. If any man thinks he’s evil simply because he’s a man—like Youssef Sarhan—then that should be a warning sign. People—yes, people—are bad, not because of their gender, but because of varying different reasons and influences.
The same people who say “All men are monsters!” are the same types who get furious when a man stereotypes all women. This is not because one side is inherently correct: it is because generalizations hurt. We are all unique—those not as unique as snowflakes—and it is insulting when someone describes us the same way as billions of others based on one tiny part of our identity.
Claiming that all men are bad is as damaging as claiming that all women are [insert gendered insult of choice]. By claiming all men are bad, you are putting an umbrella over good and bad alike, and announcing they are the same. This has happened with the Shitty Men in Media List: flirting with a woman is on the same list as rape. When you’re equating a man staring at a woman or asking her out on a date as any way comparable to rape, of course you will see all men as bad. But this is a disgusting habit and it needs to stop. It is diminishing rape and sexual assault and treats men who have committed minor infractions the same as those who are the vilest of monsters.
There are bad men, there’s no doubt about that. But there are also bad women, and good men and women. If your response is to mockingly state “Oh boo hoo, those poor manbabies, #NotAllMen”, then maybe the problem is not with the men, but you. There are men who commit horrific acts of violence, and those who rape and sexually abuse, but they are nowhere near the majority, and claiming this is the case means you are not actually serious about stopping rapists and abusers. Anyone who claims that all men are bad or all women are bad is not someone who truly wants equality, and if we trust them for their opinion on equality, then progress will never occur.
Dismissing an entire portion of the population just to political point score on social media probably means you don’t actually care about stopping the rapists and abusers. If you care about stopping terrible people like Harvey Weinstein or Tyler Malka, the best way is not to generalize, but to understand what lead them to their vile acts. Only then can we stop the next generation of Weinsteins and Malkas in the first place.