In the aftermath of the Isla Vista killings, as the MRA scum of the internet have come out to defend Rodger’s worldview if not his actions and a disturbing number of ostensibly non-sexist men have tried to downplay the role of misogyny in his crimes, #yesallwomen became a robust and cathartic rallying cry. Now, Elizabeth Plank from PolicyMic offers #allmencan as space for men who are also tired of misogyny to show that the #notallmen contingent doesn’t speak for them.
A couple things I really appreciate about the #allmencan framing: First, while some of the men who submitted images to PolicyMic use the language of “real men,” the hashtag itself doesn’t. I get the desire to claim to “real man” label in order to, as Michael Kimmel explains on his submission, “take back the notion that supporting women’s equality does not in any way diminish our manhood.” But, honestly, I’m done with that. I’m done with any attempts to recruit male allies that appeal to a protector role or reinforce hierarchies of masculinities. Don’t be a “real man” — be a goddamn person. All of you.
Which brings me to the other thing I like about hashtag…It is not #allmenSHOULD. It’s #allmenCAN. And I believe that. I believe men can — and many do – see women as full human beings, despite the fact that they get lots of cultural messages not to. And I believe they can care about ending misogyny not because it might affect their mothers/wives/daughters and not because it might even affect themselves, but because men, like women, are human beings. And — underneath the distortions caused by living in a patriarchal white supremacy — I think we’re a naturally empathetic bunch.
Maya thinks we need to hold men to higher standards.