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Can We Please Stop The Vast, Bottomless Stupidity That Is #NotAllMen?

#notatallrelevant

03/01/2017 4:42 PM IST | Updated 03/01/2017 6:29 PM IST
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Let's jump right to it.

Honestly, I don't know how anyone who read the Bangalore Mirror's report on the mass molestation of women during New Year's Eve celebrations in the city could find it in themselves to go on social media, see women anguishing over the horrific details of the incident and say something as unhelpful, meaningless, irritating, egotistical and self-absorbed as #NotAllMen.

What a spectacular way to declare to the world that you so completely missed the point. Like seriously dude, where's your sense of priorities?

In case the self-appointed custodians of men's endangered rights and protectors of their honour hadn't noticed, you don't need to tell us that not all men are scum, WE KNOW.

WE KNOW that not all men are molesters and/or rapists; we marry men and bring cute bobble-headed babies into the world on the assumption that baseline decent men still outnumber the jerks in society. WE KNOW that a whole lot of men are as repulsed as women when the sorry excuse for a Home Minister of the state callously dismisses the incident as a consequence of "aping the West" and that "these things happen".

At what point do we move past your fragile ego and onto the disturbing fact that so many men feel perfectly entitled to violating women in full public view with neither the fear of law, nor public ostracisation?

But every time the #NotAllMen hashtag trends on Twitter as soon as women start talking about their experiences of sexual violence, abuse and molestation, we realise, once again, with incontrovertible proof, that the narrative of women will always be hijacked by men who believe that establishing that their record is squeaky clean is somehow more important, relevant and discussion-worthy than the epidemic of abuse and habitual violation that all women, everywhere, have faced at some point in their lives.

Fantastic. That's just kick-you-in-the-crotch-spit-on-your-neck fantastic, guys. Here, take a cookie for keeping your paws to yourself when a woman you'd like to touch walks past within fiddling distance. Or shall we give you a standing ovation for your herculean effort and success (so far)? Should we gasp and wet our panties as an ode to your niceness? Never mind that you completely derailed the conversation, diluted it with piss-poor logic and turned an opportunity for meaningful dialogue into a wobbly pile of 140-character pellets of imagined misandry.

I want to know, not just me, all of us loud, brash, men-hating feminists really, really, from the bottom of our venomous hearts and attention-seeking souls want to know: what is it that these #NotAllMen champions actually want?

What can we do so that your Rajasthan-sized ego and need for self-validation is assuaged for just long enough for you to be able to clear out the little mountains of ear wax accumulated due to years of disuse, and listen?

What will it take for you to shut up and listen when a woman talks about the exhaustion of always being outnumbered in every public setting and the soul-crushing oppression of never feeling completely safe, no matter where you are? At what point do we move past your fragile ego, ready to take offence at the merest hint of an overgeneralisation, and onto the disturbing fact that we live in a world where so many men are capable of dehumanising women to such an extent that they feel perfectly entitled to violating them in full public view with neither the fear of law, nor public ostracisation?

#NotAllMen is not even an argument; it is stupid distraction and a ploy to maintain the status quo by keeping the discourse stuck in a juvenile, battle-of-the-sexes rut. Stop embarrassing yourself by using it.

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