By Grace M
Disclaimer: This piece deals with sensitive subject matter. Reader discretion is advised.
‘Me Too’ is a very popular movement that began online in 2006. In 2006, Tarana Burke created a ‘MeToo’ Myspace page and founded a movement that helped young women who suffered abuse harassment, or physical violence from men.
It slowly gained traction online, but it went viral in 2017 when actress Ashley Judd used the hashtag ‘#MeToo' on Twitter and revealed that she had been harassed by her producer, Henry Weinstein. Then, actress Alyssa Milano commented, "If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet." More than 500 thousand people commented on#MeToo. On January 7, 2018, all females attending the Golden Globe Awards ceremony wore black in protest of sexual violence, and the men wore Time's Up pins in support. On January 9, 2018, 100 French women signed an open letter in protest of the #MeToo Movement, which they claimed went too far. Soon it went to India and Asia, where young women spoke out when they had been harassed by athletes, professors, and so on.Then, ‘Not All Men’ started.
‘Not All Men’ is also a popular quote used by men when women are talking about their own traumatizing experiences. It started when a severe crime occurred in Isla Vista, California in 2014. Here is the paragraph from Wikipedia:
“#NotAllMen was already a Twitter hashtag created by the Twitter user Sassycrass before the 2014 Isla Vista [occurrence], but it gained additional traction after the event, because of the hatred against women expressed by the [criminal],” …. “In response to the hashtag #NotAllMen, an anonymous Twitter user created the hashtag #YesAllWomen, to express that all women are affected by sexism and misogyny, even though not all men are sexist.”
This started the ‘Not all Men’ conflict. This showed that men were using this quote against women, saying things like, “Not all Men [assault women], you can’t get angry at the whole sex because of one tiny event.” But this wasn’t one tiny event. Multiple incidents came after, like ‘the Bengaluru Incident’. This angered all feminists because men continued to post #notallmen tweets. Yes, we know it may not be all men, but it is enough to be scared to leave the house after dark without some sort of defense or weapon.
This spread throughout social media apps, and soon it was all over your favorite app, Tik Tok. The movement gained more attention when Evelyn Koh, a Harvard-educated feminist, posted a TikTok video response to #notallmen. Here’s a summary of the video from the British newspaper, The Guardian:
“The video was made around a month ago, but the timing of it appears to have helped a lot of people verbalize why that defense is so wrong right now. It speaks volumes that she feels she has to list her credentials in order to be taken seriously, but it is worth noting that she has two degrees from the university on the topic.
She explains three reasons why using that kind of language doesn’t help anybody, explaining how it "boils down to a ‘pick me’ attitude where men create a divide between the good and the bad to help their egos. ’But I’m not one of them. If you depend on me to protect you from male violence, you’ll be good. Evelyn expertly unpacks why the reaction boils down to tone policing women instead of productive action against those responsible for upholding patriarchal culture. Questions are raised about why stronger reactions are evoked from having conversations about the topic than the actual violence itself.”
In other words, Evelyn Koh proves that the #notallmen hashtag might mean well, but it doesn’t help the actual problem.
On the Scientific American website, they quote, “ A recent study found that showing men pictures of sexualized women evokes less activity in areas of the brain responsible for mental state attribution—that is, the area of the brain that becomes active when we think we are looking at an entity capable of thought and planned action. Other studies have found similar results. When men see body shots of women as compared with face shots, they judge women to be less intelligent, likable, ambitious, and competent. ….A new study by Kurt Gray and colleagues in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, however, suggests that this kind of objectification might not cause perceivers to see women as mindless bodies but instead cause a transformation in the kind of minds that they perceive.” This is claiming that when Man A sees Man B, the brain thinks of Man B as a regular human. But when Man A sees a woman in “revealing” clothes, the brain thinks the woman is an object and is not a human.
I am sure I have proved my point enough to explain that women should be given equal rights as men, and we should be able to wear whatever we want without being identified as an object. We want to be given a chance without someone stopping us. Thank you.