A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

Not All Men, But These Ones

SAYNOTALLMENAGAIN

Trigger Warning for the many ways we experience violence at the hands of (not all) men, including CSA, SA, rape, VAWG.

I saw a quote a while back that hit home for me. I can’t find it now, but it went something like this:

The issue is not that all men are violent. The issue is that nearly all women have experienced violence at the hands of men.

The sad but true fact is that while not all men are violent, men do commit violence against women and non-binary people (and other men—in fact, according to the FBI, most violent crimes are committed by men).

I have told parts of my story before here and there. And I suspect that I will do so again. In this case, I’m reprising my tale now in order to join others who have shared their litanies of violence as a counter to the superfluous yet oh-so-ubiquitous cries of “not all men.” Because FFS, dudes. Enough already.

derail“Not all men” is a derailing tactic and serves literally no other purpose than to focus attention away from male violence and center it on the man decrying the unfairness of it all.

When people who are not men say “men do this,” we’re reporting that our experience is that enough men do this that it stands out that men do this. The fact that men do this contributes to an overall feeling of oppression. Men do engage in behaviors that perpetuate patriarchy. Men do engage in behaviors that perpetuate sexism and misogyny. Men do these things without even thinking about them because the men who came before them did it and because too often no one does so much as turn away in disapproval when it happens.

Not all men did these things to me, but these men did.

The man who sucked my tongue, fondled my genitals, and taught me to give him a blow job when I was three.

The man who was my uncle by marriage and came in my mouth when I was six, then spent hours trying to get into my underwear as we camped out in the yard.

The man who fondled my nipples when I was seven or eight during a nighttime hide-and-go-seek game at my cousin’s house.

The man who flexed his exposed erection at me and my friend when we were 9 via the leg of his shorts.

The man—a trusted family friend—who gave me music lessons when I was 9 and performed oral sex on me while my parents weren’t home.

The man who used a finger cot to make his penis small enough to fit inside me when I was 10. Who also gave me a cigar tube to practice with at home.

The man who pulled his truck over as I walked down the street, opened his door, stepped out naked and masturbated while staring at me.

The 14-year-old boy who violently raped me when I was 12 and smoking weed with him in a fort behind my neighbor’s house.

The man who had sex with me in his van knowing that I was a 12-year-old rape victim (but probably not really believing that second part).

The boys and men who repeatedly “pantsed” me over my loud objections and ridiculed me when I was angry.

The two men who took turns raping me while I was passed out drunk at my first kegger when I was 14.

The many, many men—adults—who gave me alcohol and drugs and got their rocks off on me when I was a troubled teen.

The man who exposed his genitals to me in a grocery store parking lot when I was 16.

The man who spent a drunken night trying to coerce me into sleeping with him when I was 16.

The man who raped me when I was 16 because I said no after a night of partying with him and his friend.

The man who attempted to grab me on a dark street as I rode my bike to a friend’s house, 16 and pregnant, and only stopped because I scared him with my primal and guttural GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME.

The man who beat the shit out of me in front of my 2-year-old for leaving a party when I was 18.

The man who decided that the fact that I was unconscious on his sofa meant he could go ahead and rape me.

The man who thought because we were friends and had been sexual in the past, it was ok to straddle my drunken body and ejaculate on my chest after I said no to sex.

The many men who have wished me harm here on my blog and on social media.

How many men is enough? How many men must commit violence upon my person before it’s ok if I just say “men did this”?

Men did these things. Not all men. But enough of them that this list is not even complete. Men did these things. And every time some dude Kool-Aid-Mans into a thread where people who are not men discuss male violence to declare that not all men did these things, the only thing he makes clear is that he is utterly ignorant and unwilling to listen to people who are not just like him.

Not all men. Just dozens of men in my case. Hundreds if you count my circle of friends and relatives. Thousands if you count their friends and the people they love.

And that’s enough.


PSA: Abusive commenters will be deleted and banned, so kindly piss off in advance. (Comment Policy)


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16 responses

  1. Merlin

    I hope you’re OK. Stay awesome.

    November 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm

  2. Neil

    By Cuspid that is a lot of abuse. I’d like to babble a few points from a terrible white nerds perspective if I may.

    That is an excessive amount of really, really bad abuse. I’m honestly flabbergasted that one person has been put through that much bullshit :\.

    However, whilst some of the ‘notallmen’ people are definitely derailing the very real issue, another large portion of my gender are honestly going ‘where the fuck is this happening and who the fuck is doing it?’ because they don’t overstep like this. MOST GUYS are incredibly paranoid about not offending people/not being accused of rape/molestation/inappropriate behaviour. The consequences to your social standing/job/etc, and the feeling of having hurt another person tends to dissuade a fuckton of abuse.

    Sexuality is a very odd impulse. And it is treated differently by gender. That is, if you grab my butt, I’m probably not going to mind. Or even if I do mind, it is taken less seriously because it is female -> male rather than the other way around. I’ve been felt up dozens of times by older women (and pretty much exclusively older women). And ive been aggressively felt up by a gay dude and chased around a club until I just said fuck it and left.

    I tend to avoid going out much, because I know some guys go out to fight other guys, i.e. that’s literally their night out. I’ve been called out or challenged any number of times by dudes that I accidentally made eye contact with. I had my bucks party recently, was walking through the town square, and saw a tattooed drunk guy to my left… I evidently was giggling too hard, our eyes happened to cross and he started moving towards me, his body language telling me I was about to get my head punched in. I immediately looked straight forward and rushed away. Standing in line at a club for new years, a girl in front of me struck up a conversation. Woo its her 18th birthday. I was uninterested but I was polite, then her brother turns around and accosts me. How dare I talk to his sister. Do I want my teeth knocked out? etc.

    A male friend of mine turned a girl down. Not to be douchey, he just didn’t want to sleep with her. Her solution? She found out some time later that he was passed out at a party, went there and raped him. And my first stupid thought was oh lucky him to get sex… because our culture seems to think its fine the other way around.

    Being male for most of male-kind (totes a thing) is fairly unpleasant. Where a girl is much less likely to be punched in the face for making a scene, many guys have no compunction about hitting another guy. A constant environment of insane levels of competitiveness about almost everything. Job, women, education, social life, etc. Are you GOOD ENOUGH YET!?!?! you don’t make 6 figures? 7 figures? Whats wrong with you, loser? The entirely of our self worth has been channeled in to how many $$ we can make and what women we can attract. Don’t ever cry, don’t show any emotion. Struggling with mental problems? Get over it you stupid weak loser. Aren’t you MAN enough?

    I was beaten by my father and mother (not talking gentle smacks on the bottom). Emotionally abused for all of my childhood, to the point where I felt guilty about wanting to do anything if it upset my mother. Things like going to visit a friend, or taking any time to myself. I joined the Army, and the emotional abuse continued. I wasn’t a particularly good fit for the Military, so I got in to plenty of trouble for not fitting in. It was the loneliest 6 years of my life. I had a few friends but mostly I was maligned for being a nerdy ‘fag’.

    But you’re right, it’s not about me. It’s about all of us. Acknowledging everyone’s troubles and issues, instead of segregating ourselves into little pockets of “fuck your problems these are my problems”, band together and work out how to fix the toxic parts of our society, if that’s even possible. Because whilst it’s not all men, and not all women, it’s enough for it to be a real problem to fix. But using ‘men’ or ‘women’ makes people react poorly, people who want to help but are already painted by this broad brush, and don’t get to participate for fear of being maligned.

    /end of ramble.

    October 5, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    • I’m sorry for the abuse you’ve endured. But the fact is that white men are in power and as such, benefit from that power and the systems that oppress people who are not white men, so it’s pretty difficult to talk about systems of power and oppression without naming those who are in power and doing the oppressing. Does that make sense? Toxic masculinity is to blame for a lot of the things you mention here. How do we talk about that without naming the men who engage in the behavior and abuse we’re discussing? While women are certainly capable of abuse and do perpetrate it, men perpetrate most of the violence that happens to both men and women. There’s no way to talk about any of this without talking about that.

      Men did these things to me, and I’m really tired of men centering themselves and their feelings in discussions about men abusing women. I don’t segregate myself and I don’t know very many who do. I have a lot of male friends and acquaintances who are perfectly aware that #NotAllMen is a bullshit thing to say in a conversation about men abusing women, and hearing the phrase—and hearing women talk about men who abuse—doesn’t threaten them anymore because they’ve spent time listening to women and they understand that if the shoe doesn’t fit, they don’t have to wear it. I had to go through a similar process around racism and Black people talking about white people in general terms. I know that I benefit from and participate in systems of oppression and I also know that when someone says “white people” and I examine the statement and it’s not about me I can just let it pass. But listening to people whose experiences differ from ours is key to this learning and growth.

      October 6, 2016 at 11:38 am

    • athveg34f

      Neil, I am not going to point out the many unfortunate-but-perfect examples of toxic masculinity you’ve been subjected to in your life; the author has already beautifully done so. Instead, I would like you to consider my friend’s similar exhortations to me.

      Victor* quickly turned the radio station when a story about catcalling /harassment was coming up. He said he didn’t like hearing about something so infrequent (and so innocent when it *did* happen), and hated how women acted like it was the worst thing in the world to happen. I sarcastically said I’d thought he’d love to listen to it and pick up some pointers. He laughed but then asked what I meant. I asked him if he knew any guys who’d catcalled/harassed/stalked, etc., women, and he said absolutely not! I asked him if he himself had ever partaken. He said, “you know how shy I am, how uptight I am when it comes to talking to girls; of course I’ve never done that sh!t. I barely can ask for a phone number, I’m practically too scared of women”.

      Then once he’d said no, I asked him about all of the girls he’d “surreptitiously” followed home in his car so he could plan to ”accidentally” run across them later. (He and his friends even call this “Victoring a girl”!) He laughed but said he never hurt or threatened the women and that they never knew. Yet whenever he tries to pull his Fancy-Meeting-YOU-Here shtick, the girls are always wary of him and try to get away (because they knew he was the creep following them a day earlier). I asked him about his boss who likes to pretend he’s drunker than he really is at parties or on dates, and uses the fake drunkenness to outright grope at breasts and legs and in between them. Everyone who knows the guy has seen his penis, because he’s always “drunk” at parties and showing it to girls asking them if they think it’s an OK penis or not. I asked about his friend who drives alongside women on the sidewalk hassling them until they get into his fancy car or at least text hm their number before he’ll leave. I asked him about his friend who does ABOUT TWENTY DIFFERENT atrocious things to women in the name of picking them up — including insulting/threatening them on a dime when they turn down his advances — and Victor just smiled confusedly that his Oh-I-Don’t-Know-Any-Guys-Who-Do-That-To-Girls flew out the window. He’s also fond of saying all of his friends are afraid of being branded cads or perverts for innocently striking up conversations with women in public.

      Humans have a [not so] delightful rhetorical claim of “MOST GUYS”, or “MOST PEOPLE IN THE PEER GROUP TO WHICH I BELONG” are exactly like ME, and WE all have never seen/done/thought the things I am being told exist. I realized that I did that as well, and now I take the time to step back from that claim of “all whoevers think/act/want how *I* think/act/want”. Victor does that a lot, and I hold his feet to the fire for it. He, and others, just smirk like they’d been caught in a prank or something, not sure how they were so vehemently certain about something one moment, only to have that belief set smacked the hell away from under their own feet seconds later.

      Women came forth with #YesAllWomen because we ALL have had way, way, WAY too many instances of harassment and force. And as we women around the world read those tweets and sometimes added to them, the naysayers had to f*cking commandeer the goddamned ONE place we opened for solidarity and tell us “Not All Men” do that. No shit that not ALL men do that. It doesn’t matter that not each and every singular male across the planet (what’s that up to, about 3.5 billion?) happen to do it. It matters that the ones who DO do it are affecting damned near ALL women.

      *Certainly not his real name.

      October 6, 2016 at 1:42 pm

  3. Notsaying

    @Rosie/Sammich:

    I hear you on how much abuse you have taken. I DID NOT have abuse at such a young age, which may skew my thoughts in a different way than yours.

    My first abuse I remember was the day I got wasted at a movie theater where all the teens in my tiny mountain town used to hang out.

    I was 13 and got my first make out session that night, but also got my first taste of what rape looks like. The guy I was making out with that night was not one of the 5 boys who ran me into a secluded area.

    Now, this was in the mid 80s. I did not exit my teens until 1990. There was no Internet at the time (let alone Internet porn at the time), so boys getting to see vagina had to happen in real life or through mags that were not available to teens.

    I got pummeled by 5 teenage boys who wanted to see a vagina. And I was straight up hammered on alcohol for the first time in my life and could not protect myself.

    One of those boys wanted to fuck me, and I was coming in and out of consciousness. I was trying to fight him off. He was the instigator. 2 other boys were following his lead–yet, 2 others were screaming at him and trying to get him off me.

    I fell in and out of consciousness.

    Guess what? The 2 of those 4 boys who did not help the instigator and tore the instigator off me became good friends of mine.

    We became very good friends. Then one dropped off and I had just this last Prince Charming. He was always my friend. He became such a good friend that our parents let us have sleep overs together. Our own parents recognized we were were very good friends at a young age, and we were able to have non-sexual sleep overs together when we were 15, 16, 17 years old.

    Hey! Not all men are bad people. Some of them will protect you. There are some who really will protect you and love you.

    Are YOU bad people???

    Like attracts like.

    August 23, 2016 at 12:17 am

    • I’m so sorry that happened to you and I’m glad you made friends in the process. I never said or even implied that all men are bad people. I know and love many men. And you don’t have to be a bad person to have bad things happen to you, as I’m sure you know. I did not attract the bad people to my life, nor did you. Thanks for reading.

      August 23, 2016 at 6:49 am

  4. First, it is brave of you to even list these acts of violence. Your courage is admirable.
    I, too, have been assaulted too many times throughout my life, and continue to feel violated by images of women raped, victimized, or belittled in the media. When does this culture of abuse end?

    August 14, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    • Thank you. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. I don’t know when or how it ends. But I do know that for me, part of healing is sharing it with others who have had similar experiences so hopefully we all feel a little less alone. And I do feel like talking about it—as loudly and relentlessly as we can—is how we shine a light on it so that it can’t hide anymore. I’m so in awe of the conversations that are happening all over the media that weren’t happening a few years ago and I credit marginalized voices finally being heard among and even above those of the few and the privileged. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      August 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm

  5. Dudes who keep coming back here to spew garbage: I get it. You don’t believe me. I don’t care. Please feel free to continue. Your comments will appear here the same day all the pigs on earth sprout fluffy white wings take to the skies like porcine angels. Kisses!

    July 31, 2016 at 3:15 pm

  6. Hi! I have nominated you for a Blogger Recognition Award on your extremely frank and honest blog on being a girl or woman in the US. It must have taken a lot of strength to start writing about some of the personal experiences that you describe. You also manage to approach the whole horrific subject with charm and humour. You can find your nomination here 😊 https://allfurcoatandra.com/2016/07/25/blogger-recognition-award/

    July 26, 2016 at 5:14 am

    • Thank you so much!

      July 31, 2016 at 3:09 pm

  7. Yikes! These things these men did to you was horrible!

    July 13, 2016 at 11:46 am

  8. Your stories are heart stopping and breath taking and you make your point! I appreciate your words. I want to be an advocate.

    July 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    • Thank you, Abby! <3

      July 2, 2016 at 9:00 am

  9. Carrie

    You know what? After first taking a mental wide glance at your list, I thought, “well, this is rather a lot of things that she says happened to her”… and then… as I read through them… it slowly dawned on me that many of the same things had also happened to me. I had pushed them out of my mind; I had maybe plucked them from my memory here and there through the years to commiserate with a friend or employee who’d said she’d just gotten creeped on by some perv the day before. But really — I had just forced down the memories of those flashers and gropers and dirty-mouthed sickfuxx over the years.

    Amazingly… I had never added up the dozen incidents prior to having read this. I sit here gobsmacked at the realization of not just how many times I’d had to put up with random street pervs in my life, but also how I had neatly wrapped up each incident in thick paper, duct-taped the hell out of them, and placed them in the far back reaches of my memory so that I could apparently just think none of them had ever happened.

    Thank you for writing this. Thank you for writing all you publish, but specifically *this* will let many women and girls realize that they indeed belong to the #YesAllWomen when they perhaps didn’t actually realize it before. (And dontcha just love how quickly #YesAllWomen got wrested over to #NotAllMenz in record time?)

    July 1, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    • Thanks so much, Carrie. Every time I’ve sat down to write one of these posts, it’s been difficult for *me* to believe how many times this shit has happened. For a long time I didn’t know that I was statistically more likely to be victimized after the first time for a number of reasons. I thought I must have a target on my forehead, and yes, I imagine I’m far from alone in that.

      #YesAllWomen is a powerful and challenging concept and I think by telling our stories like you’re doing here we can help people wrap their heads around it. The #NotAllMenz crowd isn’t going away, but maybe we can thin their numbers a bit and just work on drowning out the rest. It’s worth a try.

      July 1, 2016 at 1:22 pm

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