Years ago I met a man named Aaron, who had a little brother named Chris, who had a best friend named Nick.
It took myself and my friend Barrie several months to figure out that the only one of the three who was real, was Nick, and Barrie has never forgiven him. I don’t think I have either, though I’d like to pretend I have because it’s easier than getting angry every time I think about him.
Years after meeting Aaron, the way that I felt about him still effects the relationships that I have with men, even though he was the kindest person I’d ever met…the fact that he wasn’t real invalidated everything I thought I knew about myself at the time.
When Nick tried later to initiate a deeper relationship with me than I was comfortable with, I gave him the “it’s not you it’s me” speech, the truth was that after such a betrayal I wasn’t willing to give him my heart again.
These days I don’t bother with relationships as you know, but it occurred to me that “Aaron” broke my heart, and that is where a lot of my pain came from when it comes to men.
I have little to no respect for men, and before you go “it’s not all men,” the truth is, that it doesn’t have to be all men, for one man to ruin it for the herd, so to speak.
I am so utterly tired of this argument, we know that not all men are bad, there are some incredibly great men out there, there are also quite a few abusive women out there. We know this, but my question is how insecure do you have to be, to invalidate a woman’s experience with the phrase “it’s not all men.”
Lately my friends Profane Feminist, Hey Guido, and Zara’s Comics have been listening to people tell them it’s “not all men” for months now. Especially sad when PF recently lost her cousin due to domestic violence.
The sad thing isn’t that domestic abuse is an issue, we’re used to that, it’s the fact that when we try to have these conversations about manipulation and abuse, which is what Cat fishing, our fears and feelings are dismissed by the “it’s not all men” crowd.
I don’t know how to expand on that more than by saying, we know it’s not all men, but it’s a great deal portion of them. We need to be able to have conversations about our experiences, whether it’s something as simple as cat-fishing, or as deep as domestic abuse without hearing those words. Those words invalidate everything we’re saying and everything that we’re feeling. It’s dismissive, “your points are invalid because not all men are abusive.”
Yet in my personal experience, every man whose ever been a serious part of my life has been nothing but abusive. If I can’t talk about that with my community of support, who can I talk about it with?
Furthermore why are you so afraid of us having this conversation? with the rise of Incel it occurs to me, and to the women in my circle, at least online, that if you want to get close to women you should know what makes us tick, the thing with people who say shit like “it’s not all men,” is that they don’t care. If they did care they’d be open to our side of the conversation.
The “it’s not all men” crowd are made up of people who know damned well it’s not all men, but they are insecure enough to say the words, because they’re afraid they might be seeing something in their selves that they don’t like.
If you’re one of those people who thinks to use the words “it’s not all men,” please don’t. Understand that we already know that, believe that it is infused into everything that we think and feel. Michelle Guido is married to a wonderful man, so is PF, both women have strong healthy relationships where their men treat them like the Queens that they are. Or so I assume, believe me if it were otherwise we’d know, because neither of these women have any problem calling out bullshit when they see it.
That comes from having healthy interpersonal inter-sectional relationships, so if you want to understand how to have that, than perhaps listen to our stories and do the opposite. Or at least give us the safe space we are desperately asking for so we can have these conversations, without your interruption.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall