Women are the target of a certain subset of men, both on the street as seen in the 10 hour walk round New York video that recently went viral. Catcalling is vile, but could be seen as cultural and regional, online abuse is way higher; I’m sure it’s over 9000. Casual misogynistic abuse happens constantly, all over the Internet. From dating sites where men are quick to go on a tirade at the first sign of rejection to comment pages filled with jibes about how women look.
I’ve had my professional opinions dismissed online because a man, who I’ve never met, said ‘it was my time of month’. It’s not possible for me to have a period so he really couldn’t have been further off the mark. This kind of casual overriding and owning of women is rife in the anonymous online world. Gamergate revealed the dangerous levels of that certain men will stoop to online.
Whenever women raise the issue men will comment, some of those comments will be abusive, either in outright attack, or trolls, and some will be arguing that this misogynistic abuse is #notallmen. So is it not all men? Really? Whenever a woman is attacked online for speaking out and happening to be female, where are the hordes of men defending her right to speak? When a woman is threatened because she thinks women need to be equal to men in society, where are the hordes of men supporting her?
Don’t get me wrong here, we don’t need men. Womens equality is progressing and nothing is going to stop that. If we had the active support of men though it would happen so much faster. So where are you guys? I know that it’s #notallmen, I know that for a fact, but where are you guys? Where are guys who won’t put up with all of the casual abuse of women online? Where are you guys that tell off other men on the street for catcalling?
Everytime that you see a women getting abuse just because she’s female, get your voice heard. Don’t let it slide. It’s not cool to accept casual misogyny from friends, or to accept it blindly from the media, or to pretend to ignore it if you’re in public, speak up. Comment on it. Tell friends it’s not OK, tweet to companies that it’s not OK. Get your voice out there. We know that it’s #notallmen, but you know what, it’s time to prove it.
This goes double if you’re a gay man and it’s someone trans who is in trouble. You know what it’s like, don’t sit back, get involved.