You know what’s wrong with #notallmen? Everything. The idea behind it is wrong. The justification behind it is wrong. Most importantly, the existence of the hashtag itself is wrong. The reason why I Say that it’s wrong, is because this hashtag is used whenever women try to raise voice against the atrocities inflicted by men. Be it #metoo movement or the #boislockerroom case. By saying #notallmen, every time a case comes up, you are devaluing the importance and significance of the movement.
The only idea behind this hashtag is to belittle every oppression that women fight against. It is important that you understand the heinous intention behind this hashtag. It takes the focus away from the fact that women are a victim of gender-based oppressions. By saying ‘notallmen’, when someone is finally under the light for his crimes, you are diminishing the crime caused by that man. It discredits the violence and oppression inflicted on the women.
Ever since the ‘MeToo’ movement began, men have been enraged about how they cannot do anything anymore without it being called as harassment. Well, that’s because it probably is. With the start of #metoo movement, for the first-time men were being called out for their horrid behavior. They were being made aware of the code of conduct they need to follow. They did not like being told not to touch women inappropriately, force them into having sex, and use physical violence against them.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is for a woman to speak up about her struggles? Every woman fights a hundred battles, every day of her life, child sexual abuse, harassment by relatives, domestic violence, cyber harassment, workplace harassment, gender bias in labour force, rape, dowry, trafficking, forced into marriage, discrimination, objectification, body shame and much more.
- According to a report by UN Women on violence against women, it is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives.
- 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.
- Adult women account for nearly half (49 per cent) of all human trafficking victims detected globally. More than four out of every five trafficked women and nearly three out of every four trafficked girls are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
- At least 200 million women and girls aged 15-49 have undergone female genital mutilation in the 30 countries with representative data on prevalence.
- Approximately 15 million adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) worldwide have experienced forced sex (forced sexual intercourse or other sexual acts) at some point in their life.
- In the majority of countries with available data, less than 40 per cent of the women who experience violence seek help of any sort.
- A report by National Crime Records Bureau, India, a crime was recorded against women every three minutes.
- Every hour, at least two women are sexually assaulted and every six hours, a young married woman is beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide.
- 4 per cent of pregnant women suffer domestic violence.
- Women with disabilities (such as hearing, visually, speech and intellectual disabled) are highly vulnerable to sexual assault.
- According to a report by UNESCO, 99 per cent of victims of forced labour in the sex industry are women and girls.
- More than 126 million girls are ‘missing’ worldwide due to prenatal sex selection.
- 4,000 women surveyed reported having experienced online violence at least once. Very worryingly, 41 per cent of the women who had experienced online violence reported that they had felt physically threatened on at least one occasion.
- Globally, 21 per cent of girls (now aged 20 to 24) married before the age of 18, and 5 per cent married before they turned 15.
- According to WHO, more than 5,000 so-called ‘honour’ killings are recorded each year.
Now imagine that after going through all these struggles, when a woman finally musters up the courage to speak up about how this world has inflicted pain in her life, someone has the audacity to say ‘not all men are same’.
The first thing that men are supposed to do when a woman talks about her struggle, is to listen. Going in the defense mode without even listening to her, makes you guilty of oppression. There is no denying that everyone faces oppression but not everyone is oppressed in the same way. Some are much more oppressed than the other. So just listen, if you don’t have the courage to stand up with her. It is better than coming up with baseless points and hashtags.