‘Not All Men Are Like That’

I’ve heard this counter-argument almost every single time I’ve tried to bring up a feminist issue with a man: “but not all men are like that!”

I know.  Not all men are rapists.  Not all men abuse their significant others.  Not all men actively oppress women.  I get it.  Moving on.

Having your gender generalized is irritating, I know.

However, generalizations about women–along with misogyny as a whole–can lead to rape, murder, abuse, belittling, harassment, wage gaps, and handfuls of other harmful things.  Generalizations about men cause hurt feelings.

Having to preface every discussion about men with “some men” is also really irritating.

Having to point out that not every man exhibits explicitly harmful behavior allows for oppression to continue because having to say “some men do harmful things” gives oppressors peace of mind.  It reassures them, falsely, that only a small portion of men behave in a way that is detrimental to the liberation of groups outside of white men (so, most people).  It reassures them that said white men don’t have to critique their own behavior or think long and hard about why their shitty behavior is damaging to everyone else.

And I’m sorry, but “it’s not my fault; I was socially conditioned to be like this and I can’t change!” isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Sure, white men–you were brought up to feel entitled to anything you wanted and now you see anyone trying to have opportunities equal to yours as a threat.

Guess what?  It’s not a threat.  Not everything belongs to you.  I know that white men before you have socially conditioned you and the world to believe that white men deserve everything, but that’s not the case.  It might not be your fault that things were systematically placed before you were even born, but it is your fault for not doing anything to change things now.

When you try to defend your stance as a man because you think you’re not at fault for how you act, you say, “not all men are like that!”

When you say, “not all men are like that!” what you’re really saying is, “I don’t want to have to think about my privilege as a white man, so I’m going to try to defer the blame to other guys because I clearly don’t act like that.”

Nice try.

107 thoughts on “‘Not All Men Are Like That’”

      1. You should be careful not to hurt yourself with that dangerously limp wrist of yours.

    1. You know, if you want to bring up the harm that white men have been doing to other cultures and societies, I’d be hard pressed that white women be held to the same burden. Man does not accomplish anything without a woman at his side or the thoughts of women in his mind. Get out of the assumption that you come from a gender that had no rights, had no privilege, and no say. History would like to remind you that such is not the case. So if you want to attack men, I have the right to address women, as guilty by association for the harms visited upon my race. Lucky for you, I’m keen to forgive. Let’s hope you take some time and think about what women have done through history to encourage strife instead of heaping this bullshit on white men. They don’t deserve it.

      1. Your comment is well-meaning and largely correct, however, it leaves some nuances out. First, though, I want to begin on a less critical note by mentioning (in reference to your “keen to forgive” comment) how great it is that you don’t blame all white people for stuff their ancestors did or some other white people are still doing and that even people of color are starting to note how “white” and especially “white male” are too often being used as pejoratives these days.
        For one thing, “not all men are like that” contains no phraseology limiting itself to only white men. It means not all men of any color are like that, and women who hear it said a lot probably have issues with men in general. After all, if you’re not constantly bashing a certain group, person after person will not feel called upon to remind you you’re generalizing and stereotyping. It’s not about privilege or lack thereof, it’s pushback against women who think men have a hive mind. Many of these women flat out hate men and are trying to get men to hate ourselves. There’s something seriously wrong with reading into phrases that have nothing to do with race and taking it upon yourself to add a racial component to other people’s words that there’s no evidence is there. It’s like some of these women (often white themselves, as you noted) are trying to distract from their own whiteness or just muddy the waters so they can label any dissent from their view of men as racist AND sexist, even if it’s not. It’s actually a little racist and sexist of THEM to think only white men stick up for ANY men, or men as a whole. I know a black woman who will tear a feminist a new one for constant misandry.
        Besides that, your comment about men not doing anything without women on our minds leaves out gay men like myself. We are still men even though we spend far less time thinking about women. I know you didn’t mean the comment in an exclusionary manner and you’re far from the only person who unintentionally phrases certain things in ways that erase the presence of non-hetero people in society. We’ve always been here, too, it’s only fairly recently become acknowledged. The language we use to discuss issues between men and women, and racial issues, needs to evolve to incorporate sexual minorities of all races. I’m not laying it all on your doorstep that the language hasn’t gotten there yet.
        This is a long comment already (sorry!) but the only other thing I wanted to respectfully mention is that black slave traders in Africa willingly sold their fellow black people to the white slave traders who abducted them to America. Ironically, the two races worked in harmony to some extent on the great evil of the transatlantic slave trade. That in no way excuses white people for having slaves, for not ending it sooner or more decisively, for racist language in founding documents, for the racist crap too many white people still try to engage in, etc, etc. I get that Americans often talk about America as if it exists in a vacuum, so crimes committed in Africa by Africans may be left out, but not ALL the blame for American slavery goes to the white slave traders who bought slaves. Some must also go to black slave traders who were perfectly willing to sell them.

      2. Why is this writer bringing race into it? She is talking about how generalizing women is so much worse than generalizing men, which is entirely not true, and then somehow brings being white into the equation? She almost immediately generalizes oppressors of women as being white, as if only the whites ever suppressed women. In history, almost every other race had systems where men presided over women. So don’t pretend that this ‘white male privelige’ bullshit has anything to do with oppressing women. Having privilege is not at all the same as oppression, the act of denying someone else of privilege. Ronnie also had a point about women in history sometimes having as much, even more power than men. And they did their fair share of suppression. Lastly, agreeing that some men aren’t misogynists isn’t going to give oppressors peace of mind all. As a white male, I know I haven’t been brought up to think that as a white male I deserve everything I see. That claim is bullshit. And none of us white men will EVER try to use ‘well I was conditioned to think I deserve everything and I can’t change’ as an excuse. EVER. Because most of us weren’t. Don’t tell me (and I quote) “Sure, white men–you were brought up to feel entitled to anything you wanted and now you see anyone trying to have opportunities equal to yours as a threat. Guess what? It’s not a threat. Not everything belongs to you.” Because I don’t. And I never said it was. And I never said it did. You went completely off topic with this post, going from explaining how you know ‘it’s not all men’ to ranting about white male privelege. Nothing you said about us was true. Absolutely nothing. You are implying not only that only white people say ‘not all men’ (I can quote you. Just read the last paragraph of the post) but that anyone who says it is oppressive and just trying not to think about how oppressive they’ve been. Oh, and about the wage gap thing? Many major economists have proven it’s not as big of a deal as people make it seem. And you’re going to say “You mean lots of White Male economists? And I’m going to say “No. I mean lots of economists.” You complain about how it’s annoying to add ‘some men’ to the beginning of every sentence, but then flip shit when someone says ‘femenists hate men.’ And if they try to use the same argument you used about ‘some men’ being annoying they are a sexist generalizing cunt. Generalizing men can also lead to rape murder abuse and harassment. Remember the ‘gay guy’ from middle school who was beat up every day for not living up to the standards of being a man? Yeah, now tell me generalizing men only results in hurt feelings. Oh, and quick question? Exactly what generalizations directly lead to women being raped? Actually curious. This blog or whatever it is all over the place, and most of it is racist, generalizing, bullshit, which is what you said you were trying to avoid.

      1. Cut out your calling everything you don’t agree with a ‘slur’.

    1. Cut out the sexist slurs.

      And, no, feminism is not “the ultimate evolution of stupidity”. It is a set of ideas based around the amply-demonstrated fact that there is no grounds for gender inequality in society.

      1. Critizing feminist is not sexism. Just like critizing the KKK isn’t racism against white people.

      2. I’ve had enough, and just have to post. A woman can say “men are assholes”, and bitches when a person says “some are, but not all”. But wait until someone says “women are bitches” and suddenly everyone loses their shit. Note the hypocrisy. This post is stupid. Know why? I’ve been bullied to the point of suicide. I’ve been raped. I’ve been treated like crap my entire life. I’ve been passed over time and time again. My struggle has been ignored time and time again. And you know what? I have a dick. I’m a guy. Nobody ever says shit about that. Nobody ever helped me. I’m laughed at and my pain is ignored. Why? Because apparently, just because some women suffer at the hands of men, all men don’t matter. “Oh but more women are raped, so men who have been raped can’t say shit because they’re men lol”. Oh yeah, totally man. My plight doesn’t matter because I’m just a fucking statistic minority. Yeah, I’m a man. And? I have never had any of these fucking ‘privileges’ everyone says I have. Before you give a shitty, self righteous reply, reread the comment. I’ve had a terrible life. I’ve had a life that led me to to attempt suicide before I was even in fucking high school. And it was due to men AND women who were cunts. Yes, some men are assholes. But that doesn’t mean you get to ignore women who are also assholes. Because like it or not, gender actually doesn’t matter. People are treated like shit regardless of gender. People treat others like shit regardless of gender. If you want to argue, read my comment again. Before you go “Oh but all men are bigger and stronger than all women and are at an advantage”, take note that I’m shorter than most people I know, male AND female, and that I weigh about 40 kilograms. Not because I’m anorexic, I’m not, but because that’s the ideal weight for my body frame. Please tell me again how I’m bigger and stronger than women. My size, the way I spoke, and my shyness had led me to be bullied by other guys, AS WELL AS GIRLS when I was in school. That’s right. I was bullied, verbally AND physically, by both genders, to the point that I was mute for 7 years. But I guess that doesn’t matter. Because more women have it rough, and so that makes me a statistic who doesn’t matter one fucking smidge, right? I’m in the minority of men, and minorities don’t matter when you’re trying to win an argument, right? Until you acknowledge that some men have it just as bad, if not worse, than some women(and yes, just some, I know more women who haven’t faced any of the problems feminists love bitching about), just shut up. Because that’s not equality, that’s favoritism. Until you complain about the bad things that happen to BOTH genders, like dumb stereotypes, bullying and things such as abuse, murder and rape, just shut up. Those things happen to men and women both. Just because it’s more common for one gender, does not discredit the pain the other feels. Why? Because gender doesn’t matter. People do. ‘Feminism’ and your sweeping generalizations and preference to focus on women’s problems have hurt me more than I can find the words to say. Because of everything I’ve pointed out here, I honestly fail to see how feminism is fighting for ‘equal’ rights.

      3. Justnoasshat has it completely correct. What he has been through has made him shut his mouth and THINK. Unlike, it seems, people who’ve been too busy mouthing-off about whatever, and/or reading other people’s [Feminist] ideas and conveniently agreeing with them because it suits them to be included in extra power or social benefits – whether that’s completely fallacious through the spectrum to completely reasonable isn’t the point. GIVING A SHIT BEYOND YOUR OWN SELFISH, “I CARE ONLY WHEN I CAN RELATE BASED ON GENDER OR RACE [etc]” EXPERIENCE is the point. Humanism, basically. I’m glad someone else got the point on this stupid divided planet. Christianity and Buddhism said the same thing, mind-you… Shame the cherry-picking fallacies spouted by many on here couldn’t have cherry-picked the sensible from religion, and followed THAT, instead. The way some intellectual-jokers blindly spout nonsense – they aren’t actually doing better as ostensible Atheists, than their so-called inferiors, religious people. At least the religious people admit their limitations and adjust their beliefs sensibly, to match! Don’t mistake regression for progression. Then you might actually progress in the end and not waste time in emnity with your own families and male co-habitants of Planet Earth. Just an idea… Not applicable to anyone who already has a clue and knows better. Just make sure you fucking do, before acting like it…

      4. Feminism is trying to lay new ground for gender based inequality against men and has, sadly, had some success. Some.
        Now that most people have caught on to the real agenda at play, feminism is in a death spiral. Fewer women want to be called feminists every time a poll is taken. The most fucked up thing of all is how feminists claim to speak and fight for women while fighting for and saying many things that the majority of women disagree with. I’m not “mansplaining” here (a very unclever term, btw). Do some research and you’ll see I’m just rephrasing what polls and interviews of women have reflected. Feminism is useless hate that speaks for and cares for no one except feminists. It’s a power grab trying to monopolize the dialogue on everything.

    2. Why? Because we want to have equal rights as human beings, and we actually want to be seen as individual human beings just like men? How is that possibly stupid? Did you even read the damn post?
      Ps: Feminist men exist too. Even heterosexual ones.

    3. @Tom pretty sure they are referring to the username, which is composed of sexist slurs, and not the ignorant insult against feminism. Hence the ‘and’.

  1. Can’t this argument be applied to any injustice/harm in the world?

    EX: “Well I don’t abuse animals” cool , but why aren’t you working at a shelter to help?
    EX “I’m not racist” cool, but why aren’t you joining a civil rights group”
    EX: ” I don’t litter and try to recycle when its possible” Cool but why aren’t you joining a conservation society?

    As a man who does his best to treat everyone with respect ,especially women I don’t need to be told that i’m guilty for not doing more. I could be doing more on hundreds of fronts but i’m not and neither are you. You have picked the causes you believe are important and are going above and beyond your call of duty. To tell other people who have tried their best to do well by others in general that they are guilty for being men. Well you are guilty for being human and not participating in every cause to ease human suffering. You are american. Why are you not going overseas or donating to every organization to help those in other countries? The answer is because there are just too many battles to fight. We all have the right and SHOULD fight for those causes which we have a passion for but do not try to guilt me because I am not doing exactly what you think I should be doing because odds are the same are true from my point of view for you.

    This post screams “with me or against me” and it’s a narrow and simplistic view which will only lead to frustration.

      1. So if I decide to criticize black people, everyone should just stop shinning and complaining?

  2. I’m not inherently guilty or at fault for male privilege. I AM responsible for recognizing it, and not taking advantage of it, and not standing by idle when other people are taking advantage and I’m in a position to say/do something about it.

    The men who are angry and resistant to this very simple point are assholes, and I draw the line with me on one side and them on the other.

    1. Wow, I kind of feel sorry for you dude. As a man, your far more likely to be the victim of violence. You’ll spend far more hours of your life working, but you’ll only controlled 20% of all household purchases. Even though men die younger, women’s health recieves 4 times more funding. If you ever lose your home, you’ll likely be sleeping on a park bench or in a jail cell because most shelters only give a damn about women and children. If your wife ever leaves you, she’ll be given the home you mostly paid for and you’ll have to support her. Hell, even at birth, you probably had 40% of your penis skin chopped off because girls prefer it. I don’t know about you, but none of that sounds like privilege to me.

      1. amen, alll weomen have bad are a bunch of idiot old male conservatives saying they are the weaker sex,big deal, if you want to SMASH THE PATRIARCHY (lol), prove to the traditional elders you can whoop a mans ass.

      2. “Critizing feminist is not sexism. Just like critizing the KKK isn’t racism against white people.”

        Except that you’ve got your analogy so totally wrong. Criticising MRAs isn’t sexist, whereas criticising NAACP would be deeply racist. Feminists, like NAACP, are working for the oppressed group, not the oppressor group.

        “Describe how women aren’t seen as human beings.”

        Page Three of the Sun (a British tabloid that shows sexualised photos of topless women on the third page); every time a woman is raped or battered by a man and then blamed for HIS behaviour; every time Phyllis Schiafly says that women don’t need wage equality or the vote; every time the GOP tries to make it yet harder for women to get abortions; every time someone like Hobby Lobby tries to claim that birth control isn’t preventative healthcare; every time someone in the GOP talks about “legitimate rape” or blames service women for being raped by their comrades; every time a university covers up a rape complaint… Do you need more examples?

        PS: blame your parents for your circumcision, not women. This elective (if you can call your parents choosing for you “elective”) circumcision thing seems to be uniquely American: we Brits don’t have it. The first time I saw a cut penis, I thought the owner had had some kind of freak accident or been born without a developed foreskin; as it happened, he’d had some kind of nasty infection under there when he was very small and it had been removed to make treatment easier, so it wasn’t parental preference. I still felt bad for him.

      3. Feminism believes in eliminating gender disparity – many of the problems Tom mentioned, such as home custody battles, etc, are part of the patriarchy and should be fixed. However, many of the other problems are complete bollocks. Your argument about women & children is misleading; many shelters are women & children only because of a disproportionately high level of risk (of rape, of violence, and of theft – caused by gender disparities – caused by the patriarchy – ADDRESSED BY FEMINISM) when taking in men. I’m pretty sure the “penis skin chopped off” argument is to do with circumcision? You mean the highly religious practice enforced by men in religious families, where the male is typically the head of the house? Please consider your facts.

        Incidentally, while you may consider white men to have many problems – and I agree completely, they do – they are still THE MOST PRIVILEGED GROUP. Take a moment to reflect on that. If you think that white men have it terribly and they are the most privileged group, how do you think being a part of a less privileged group can be?

        Recognise your privilege doesn’t mean “I have no problems or issues whatsoever”. It means “there are other people who don’t get to navigate the world as easily as me and I recognise this”.

    2. Good post. I just hope you realize that, to the loudest voices in feminism these days, you ARE at fault for male privilege and you CAN’T draw lines between yourself and men who are assholes. Us menz r all the same, whether you like it or not. Cos feminists decide what men are, and if they TELL you that you hate women…well, you have to agree and repent.

  3. This is the single most idiotic article I’ve ever read.

    No, we are not correcting you because our feelings are hurt. We’re correcting you because you’re wrong and covering your ears while screaming “LALALALALA I’M NOT LISTENINGGGGGG” when we tell you that your generalized claims are pure bullshit.

    Also, your “inaction is action” idea is a fallacy – you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem, right? Wrong. Read up. http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?FalseDichotomy

    Many oppressed SJW tears were shed today.

  4. No one gets to shut down discussion with the excuse, “but not all of us are like that,” because since some men at, we need to have the discussion. But your article appears to be saying that all men are de facto guilty of original sin and are thus disallowed from participating in the discussion. If this isn’t your intent I think you need to rewrite it; if it is, you’re the one who’s shutting down the discussion.

    1. Funny how even though the author went out of her way to say, “No, it’s true, obviously not all men are rapists, abusive, actively sexist,” etc., you still pretend like she didn’t do that. What’s the point if you’re just going to pretend she said something she didn’t say? Might as well just write in your journal. The offline one.

  5. I’m not surprised to see so many protestations in the comments. This article is neither insightful nor helpful. If I object to a generalisation about men, I am not rejecting my privilege. That’s ridiculous. The author lists out the harmful things that happen as women continue to be generalised. And that generalisations towards men merely ‘hurt their feelings’. First

  6. Accidentally hit ‘post’, oops!

    First, hurting people’s feelings is not okay! Second, you are pretending that men never ever suffer from patriarchal systems, which is false. The article deletes male victims of domestic violence and silences suicidal men, who often can’t speak out because they are expected to be emotionless robots. To make the distinction that all men are not like X is also essential in cases where mothers are assumed to be the better parent, and the father’s relationship with the child is curtailed or stopped. I recognize that women suffer from the patriarchy more than men. But I am not a cop out. I take quite a lot of feminist action and I try never to do harm. This article, conversely is harmful. Shame.

  7. I’m white. When people of color generalize about white people, I consider it an act of solidarity not to make it all about me and whine and complain about how “BUT I AM NOT LIKE THOSE OTHER WHITE PEOPLE!” I am like those other white people; the only salient difference is that I’m aware of my white privilege and therefore don’t consider it a valuable contribution to the conversation to try to make sure my personal feelings about being white aren’t getting hurt. Honestly, I can handle it.

    I guess a lot of men, who are posting here today, don’t have that amount of emotional strength. Chalk it up to the lousy way men are taught to deal with their emotions.

  8. “Generalizations about men cause hurt feelings.”

    Sexism to men is fine, sexism to women is a crime worth offensive blog posts about, apparently. Instead of generalizing right back as though it were some righteous crusade, why not cure the problem at the root in attempting to spread equality for all instead of venom for those on the other side. This article comes off as bitter and hateful towards all things phallic, and you should be ashamed of being so opinionated while not being willing to take a more diplomatic and productive route.

    Feminists like you have and continue to ruin the progress that other feminists have succeeded at accomplishing – this will cause only hurt feelings, and not a single rational mind to change their stance or social outlook.

    1. The point is not that sexism against white men is fine, it’s that sexism against men doesn’t actually hurt the white man’s chance. It doesn’t hurt their privilege. It only hurts their feelings. In comparison, sexism against women actually boost the negative stereotypes that prevent women from getting jobs, equal pay, respect and can also cause violence against women in a large scale.

      1. You are employing a rhetoric device known as Fallacy of Relative Privation, where you minimize the issues of others simply because you don’t think those are important to the cause you’re fighting for.

        Which is a nice demonstration of feminism and their supposed fight for equality, not just to tip the balance in the other direction.

  9. How come generalizing BLACK Men is racist, but generalizing men, especially white men, as a whole is okay?

    Why is it acceptable that men are murdered and imprisoned at a higher rate than women and sent to war? Considering the fact that you said “Generalizations about men cause hurt feelings.” and nothing more. I guess the belief that men should be self-reliant means nothing to you.

    1. I mean in the sense that men are murdered and imprisoned at a higher rate than women and sent to war because of the GENERALIZATION that men can be self-reliant no matter what.

      1. Women don’t start wars, so don’t blame us for men being sent off to fight. Even Thatcher—much as I despise her—was retaliating to Argentine aggression, she didn’t start the Falklands War. Also consider that military women are much more likely to be raped than their civilian counterparts, even when not on combat duty. The armed forces is a dangerous place for women at ALL times, not just during times of war.

        Women commit jailable crime less often than men, so it stands to reason that we go to jail less. As to WHY men offend so much, maybe we should look at social constructs of hypermasculinity and “swot-shaming” that lead to academic under-achievement.

    2. She must be forgetting all the men that are separated from their children under the sexist notion that mommy always knows best. Or the men that are being kicked out of college because they had consensual sex with a class mate. Or the 18 year old boys who are labeled as sex offenders for having sex with their girl friends. But those are only hurt feelings. Telling dumb blonde jokes on the other had always end in rape and or murder

      1. As opposed to the victims who expelled for reporting rape and the college administrators who are told to cover rape up? http://jezebel.com/5986693/college-rape-survivor-faces-potential-expulsion-for-intimidating-her-rapist

        Men aren’t kicked out of college for having consensual sex. Men are—VERY RARELY—kicked out of college for raping. Plenty of research (eg by Lisak and Miller) has shown that rapists will happily admit to acts fitting the legal definition of rape as long as the word “rape” itself is never used: in other words, they are rapists but don’t like being called such. The guys online saying “I was kicked out of college because some bitch lied about me” are almost certainly rapists who don’t want to own up to that label.

  10. Sure, white men–you were brought up to feel entitled to anything you wanted and now you see anyone trying to have opportunities equal to yours as a threat.”.

    What the hell are you talking about. I’m a white man and I work outside 60 hours a week to ensure my family has everything they need. But please go on about how privileged my life is. Also you femnazis sure love bitching about white men, but women in Pro dominantly White countries are far better than anywhere else. So if you hate whitey so much, go somewhere else. I’m sure you’ll get much better treatment in the middle east or Africa.

      1. How do the actions of one person affect this post in any way? The boy did something terribly wrong, and was taken in by the authorities. Whatever punishment he gets, he deserves. Just because ONE stupid teenage boy did something, doesn’t mean that I, being a white male. am going to go and do the same damn thing. So no, not all men are like that, and neither are all women.

  11. ‘Having to preface every discussion about men with “some men” is also really irritating.’

    You mean you have to type seven extra letters into your claims in order to make them even remotely correct? You poor oppressed thing.

    ‘However, generalizations about women–along with misogyny as a whole–can lead to rape, murder, abuse, belittling, harassment, wage gaps, and handfuls of other harmful things.  Generalizations about men cause hurt feelings.’

    This fucking misandry annoys, misogyny kills bullshit again. You know who might disagree? Men who die in war for a government who sees them as cattle and women who think men owe it to them to be on the draft. You know who else might disagree? A falsely accused rapist who was tortured and raped by prison security. And of course, the big feminist issues of the Western world are men taking up too much space on public transport and Robin Thicke’s latest hit single.

    ‘Having to point out that not every man exhibits explicitly harmful behavior allows for oppression to continue because having to say “some men do harmful things” gives oppressors peace of mind.’

    But not all feminists hate men and how dare anyone make such radical claims!

    ‘Sure, white men–you were brought up to feel entitled to anything you wanted and now you see anyone trying to have opportunities equal to yours as a threat.’

    No – no we don’t. This is a completely baseless claim made to generalise a group you don’t like. Do you know how white men are raised? To respect women, treasure diversity, share our privileges and be generous to the poor, to our guests and to the people we love. Granted, a sizeable (although far from majority) portion of white men don’t express these values that modern society instills on us. This in no way demonizes white men.

  12. This post and it’s strong inequality message has depressed me and I want to die.

    Can you come over to Canary Islands to kill me in person? Don’t worry about expenses, I’ll cover them.

  13. I’m a white guy and I find the “not all men” meme to be problematic. Whilst that’s probably not surprising, I want to try to explain why (which is also unsurprising, so I can only hope this is taken as a genuine attempt to be helpful rather than mansplaining).

    In past debates about problems caused for women by men, I have found it helpful to talk about male behaviour – things that men do, can be observed doing, and can be challenged on. Sexist comments, assumptions about female suitability for certain roles, everything from micro-aggressions to more serious abuse. In that scenario, saying “not all men treat women as sex objects” is really about saying “not all men treat women as sex objects, so you really have no excuse when you do it”. It’s not some innate thing that men *have* to do, it’s not justified by genetics or fundamental male attitudes. You don’t *have* to be that way. We do all have tendencies, but we don’t all have to act on them.

    At worst, arguing against “not all men” can end up justifying the bad behaviour – if all men do it, can it really be that wrong? It actually undermines the norm that harmful behaviour is the stuff we want to be rare and unusual. I can totally understand the problem that this causes – right now, harmful behaviour isn’t unusual at all. However, I’ve always thought that marginalising the behaviour we don’t like is the way to make it seem unacceptable, and whenever I’ve said “not all men” it has been in that spirit and not as a way of dodging personal responsibility for my own actions. I suspect that some confusion arises from the different way the phrase can be used, and there’s nothing worse than a disagreement which proceeds from a confusion.

    1. That use of “not all men” isn’t what’s being discussed here. However, you make some good points about how the non-universality of harmful behaviours means that there is no excuse to engage in such harmful behaviours. If, instead of saying “not all men do that”, men said “not all men do that, so there’s no excuse for the ones who do”, you’d be expressing allyship rather than defensiveness.

      1. Expressing allyship should extend to not generalising men. Creating an atmosphere of targeted unwelcomness is unhelpful.

  14. “However, generalizations about women–along with misogyny as a whole–can lead to rape, murder, abuse, belittling, harassment, wage gaps, and handfuls of other harmful things. Generalizations about men cause hurt feelings.”

    Prove it. Both parts. I swear this whole “generalizing men only cause hurt feelings” meme is just people trying to excuse their own generalizing behavior. There are stereotypes about men, there are gender roles men are put into, do you honestly think repeating the stereotype that men are violent is helping them?

    ” It reassures them, falsely, that only a small portion of men behave in a way that is detrimental to the liberation of groups outside of white men (so, most people). ”

    It is only a small group of men that rape and murder. If you want to say all men behave in different ways that are bad, say so.

    “When you say, “not all men are like that!” what you’re really saying is, ..”
    Yeah great idea, dismiss people for pointing out that you may be stereotyping. Heaven forbid you have self-reflection

  15. Lemme get this straight… It’s too much trouble to say “some men” instead of “men”…? By typing a SINGLE WORD, it would TOTALLY prevent ANYONE from ever saying “not all men” and that is irritating? It’s not more irritating to have people say “not all men” all the time?

    The only reason feminists say ‘men’ instead of ‘some men’ is because they intentionally want to insult men and start a fight. This is why I have such a hard time staying a feminist, since this kind of stuff just makes feminists look bad.

    ANY generalization is bad, and feminists are SUPPOSED to be fighting against those generalizations and for equality – and not pouring gas on the fire. Hey, people can hate and insult men night and day if that’s what they want to do. Just don’t complain when the ranks of MRAs get bigger and more people come out and say “not all men are like that” since – *I* say that, and I’m not even a man.

    If a person wouldn’t generalize about blacks or gays or Muslims or whatever, then they are being a hypocrite if they generalize about men. There are some men that are assholes – WE GET IT. Does anyone think they are telling ANYONE this for the first time? Like saying “men are sexist pigs” is going to make someone say, “Really?!? I never knew that! Thanks for the heads up…”

    No. Saying “men” instead of “some men” is just another way to drag down an entire sex over the actions of a minority. It’s no different than saying “Muslims are terrorists”. It’s a logical fallacy and intellectually dishonest.

    But hey, people will do whatever they want and that’s cool. Just don’t make a post asking “why aren’t more men feminists?” if you want to be this way. I don’t know about you, but if the roles were reversed I wouldn’t support someone who is spitting in my face.

    It’s stuff like this that will assure any time I say “I’m a feminist” – I will be mocked and ridiculed. Polls show feminist support is at its lowest levels EVER, and MRAs are at their highest levels ever. Clearly this “I want to be a bitch towards men and I don’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks” isn’t helping feminism. AT ALL.

    So do what you want, but don’t complain when the feminist movement collapses under the weight of all the prejudice and man-hate.

    1. “The only reason feminists say ‘men’ instead of ‘some men’ is because they intentionally want to insult men and start a fight.”

      Shouldn’t you say “SOME feminists”? After all, it’s only one extra word, and you do seem to have a big problem with generalizations…

  16. “Having to preface every discussion about men with “some men” is also really irritating.”

    It’s no more irritating than having to deal with your entire gender generalized. Grow a spine and stop whining, crybaby.

    “Generalizations about men cause hurt feelings.”

    Maybe so, but that doesn’t make it right. An adult issues those prefacing statements so that people will focus on the argument they are advancing instead of getting sidetracked over offensive generalizations. If you actually want productive dialogue, stop being a baby and learn how to formulate discussion like an adult.

  17. If you are getting a “not all men” response EVERY time you talk to a man about feminist issues, is the problem with ALL men, or with you?? How about engaging in some personal reflection? Obviously, you must be making it sound like you are, in fact, accusing ALL men of some pretty awful things. If you spoke more clearly, men wouldn’t feel the need to interject the “not all men” bit. Improve your communication skills.
    I guarantee you that anytime a man says “women hate men” some woman speaks up and says “not all women”. But, of course, many women seem to think the same behavior they decry in men is perfectly fine for women to engage in. That’s called hypocrisy, folks, and the fact that more women don’t seem to understand this is making females, as a whole, seem quite vapid. This is why men need to stop letting women constantly set the tone of these conversations about “women’s issues”.
    “Hijacking the conversation” is just code for “saying something positive or neutral about men in a zone clearly demarcated for male-bashing”.
    Furthermore, very few matters actually ARE “women’s issues”. Trying to get society to only focus on how these issues affect women is a feminist ploy to dehumanize men. Abortion? The choice is ultimately up to the pregnant woman, but whatever she chooses, there is a man who either loses a chance to raise a child or who will be held responsible for that child (I know some men flee their responsibilities, but there are legal ramifications for doing so). Rape? It happens to men and women, and it’s a terrible thing no matter what the gender of the victim. It’s also terrible when a man is falsely accused of rape. False rape charges do happen, although feminism has tried to paint anyone who treats a man accused of rape as though he is innocent until proven guilty (something ALL defendants are entitled to) as a misogynist. Domestic violence? Also not a “woman’s issue”. Feminists need to come into the modern era. Calling this a woman’s issue is basically pretending that all couples are heterosexual. There is no “battered woman” when domestic violence happens between 2 coupled gay males. There is no “abusive man” when it happens in a lesbian couple. And in heterosexual couples, women can be abusers too, though cops will often not believe this and arrest the man in the equation anyway. Oh, and there are far fewer resources and much less support available to battered men than battered women. Yet feminism claims ALL OF THE ABOVE as “women’s issues”, because the concerns of men have never been in feminism’s wheelhouse, except to be openly hostile to those concerns.

  18. You can preface your comments with “some men” or “many men” or “too many men” or however you want. But claiming it’s irritating to have to make it clear that you’re not painting all men with one brush is just weak. You’re basically saying “Why does it always bother people when I make myself sound like a bigot because I’m too lazy to put one extra word in my sentences?” Grow up. Responsible adults make the effort to be clear in what they’re saying and what they’re not.

  19. One more thing: When you go around acting like a hateful shrew, whining about all the things that “men”, as one unified whole, have done to you, and then claim that it’s our fault your life isn’t better? You can f–k right off with that sh!t. The reason a lot of men probably don’t care what happens to you in life is because you’re acting like a hateful, misandrist shrew. And that’s YOUR fault. Stop trashing and alienating people and then expecting them to be your allies. You don’t win people over by generalizing them and then acting like THEY are in the wrong for pointing out that it’s messed up to generalize. A lot of men out there are getting quite sick of the fact that so many feminists want “equality” except when it comes to having to take equal personal responsibility for their own words or actions.

    1. And so after apparently spending two weeks seething in bitterness, Jarvis returns to lecture us about the folly of harboring a grudge.

      1. Yes, I spent 2 weeks seething…it couldn’t POSSIBLY be that I got an email saying there were new replies, which brought me back out of curiosity. You’ve done a good job showing how catty and insipid you can be, but you haven’t done anything else. Oh, and btw, you have poor reading comprehension. I wasn’t talking about the folly of holding a grudge at all, I was talking about why it’s wrong to generalize. They’re 2 different things, although when you generalize all men, it certainly can lead you to “hold a grudge” against them for things you don’t even know if they’ve ever done or not.
        Keep letting the feminists train you to keep it tucked, buddy. Whatever brings you jollies.

      2. You’ve never experienced a coherent thought, have you? Every assertion you make is completely irrational, and apparently based on some hallucination you had, rather than anything anyone said. I don’t hold grudges against irrational feminists, I just feel bad for you. Every once in a while I try to engage you in conversation and find myself saddened all over by your shocking lack of intellectual substance, mental acuity or even a rudimentary grasp of the issues you’re trying to discuss.

  20. The issue is with how some of the tweets are framed. For example: if you tweeted something lazy and overgeneralized such as “Because men think they’re entitled to women’s bodies.” you’re opening yourself up to the not all men defense. Adding “some men” to make it factually correct only serves to diminish what you’re saying.

    Instead, if true, say something like “Because every women I know has been groped by a man”. That’s powerful, not offensive, factually correct, and is immune to the not all men defense. It’s also an eye opener for men, and women, who hadn’t considered this issue before.

    1. Such a response is not immune to the stock reply at all. I promise you’d still hear it nine times out of ten. That’s because the stock response is not really about the content of the comment, the way that it’s framed, or any notion of fairness or accuracy, it’s about the speaker’s discomfort and their instantaneous, knee-jerk desire to undermine and disqualify the source of that discomfort.

      1. How amazing that you can telepathically discern the reasons in each person’s mind when they reply to feminist overgeneralizations with “not all men”, and how your magical insight completely removes any responsibility on the feminist’s part to simply try and refrain from overgeneralizing. So…your brand of feminist is fighting for women to be equal, except when it comes to facing consequences for what they say, or having to risk being corrected when they generalize or otherwise conduct themselves in an ignorant fashion?
        MOST people, male or female, have a knee-jerk desire to see exceedingly stupid, hateful comments undermined, regardless of the gender or ideological bent of the person saying them. Feminists can (and should be) criticized when they overgeneralize and spew bullsh!t, just like everyone else. That’s what equality means. Equality DOESN’T mean everyone has to act like everything you say is brilliant and entirely accurate, or else you’ll call them a misogynist.

      2. Come on, you don’t need “magical insight” or “telepathy” to read people. Particularly not when they’re being so defensive.

      3. Calling a respondent “defensive” in a discussion about issues is a cheap ploy; just a knee-jerk, go-to response you can use anytime anyone challenges any of your assertions, especially when you have no other means of refuting those points. So, to remind everyone of the point, I’ve not seen the central questions addressed: Why can’t feminists be expected to take the same level of care and responsibility in their speech as is expected of all other reasonable people? Why do they get a pass in saying deliberately inflammatory things that don’t stand up to ANY scrutiny? Just calling the people who ask these questions “defensive” is not an answer,

      4. I can’t help but notice that the people who consider such talk “deliberately inflammatory” are the ones going out of their way to find a bone to pick.

        In any case, obviously they’re not getting a “free pass” because here you are complaining. If the results aren’t satisfactory then it seems your opinion is just not popular enough to affect the status quo.

      5. I’ll rephrase the question you’re still trying to avoid (because you have no answer). How come feminists get a free pass FROM YOU? Why don’t YOU hold feminists equally accountable for the things they say and do? Why do YOU think it’s productive for feminists to deliberately overgeneralize out of sheer intellectual laziness? Why do YOU think such behavior doesn’t reflect poorly on feminism?

      6. Again, this is a loaded question, along the lines of “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” To answer it in any way would be to confess to giving a “free pass.” It’s not really a question so much as an allegation, which is maybe why you find people aren’t swift to answer a non-question.

        Simple fact is, if a statement bothers me I’ll say something and if it doesn’t I won’t. Perhaps the difference is whether you care more about the issues or about just being butt-hurt on a personal level, the latter of which is, noticeably a convenient platform for never having to address the former.

      7. Adam Brinklow: “Again, this is a loaded question, along the lines of “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

        Nope, it’s not along the lines of that at all. See, you’ve demonstrated repeatedly in your comments that you give feminists a free pass to overgeneralize men. The whole reason you’re speaking up here in the first place is basically to argue that because women have been oppressed, they are now free to spread propaganda and exaggerations about men as a whole. Furthermore, not only have you argued that this behavior from feminists isn’t a problem, you’ve suggested that the problem is that some men occasionally step forward to correct these misconceptions. You’re making excuses for feminists and that’s your only real purpose here.

        Adam Brinklow: ” To answer it in any way would be to confess to giving a “free pass.”

        What choice do you have besides confessing it at this point? I guess you could try to play dumb (if it is indeed an act) but your comments speak for themselves. You have explicitly and implicitly given feminists a free pass numerous times here. Everyone can see it. You have essentially confessed already.

        IAdam Brinklow: “t’s not really a question so much as an allegation.”

        You’re right, in a way (enjoy that feeling, I doubt you’ll feel it again for a long time). I don’t need to ask IF you give feminists a free pass after witnessing first hand. Much like I wouldn’t have to ask you IF you were a murderer if I just watched you knife someone to death in an alley. But I am genuinely curious as to WHY feminists get a free pass from you when other groups apparently don’t. Unless there ARE other groups that you think also can’t be criticized or corrected when they misspeak or mislead. Is that what equality means to you? That some people can be criticized and others can’t? Why do you seem so uncertain that feminism can withstand the scrutiny?

        Adam Brinklow: “Simple fact is, if a statement bothers me I’ll say something and if it doesn’t I won’t.”

        Got it. You don’t care when damaging information is spread unless it is being spread by a man about a woman. You’re unworthy of your penis. Please leave it with the receptionist on your way out.

        Adam Brinklow: ” Perhaps the difference is whether you care more about the issues or about just being butt-hurt on a personal level”

        To be clear, you don’t care about “the issues”, you only care about “women’s issues”. Half of humanity (the half you belong to, oddly enough) is left out of your consideration entirely. If a woman is wrong about something and a man corrects her, you reflexively take the woman’s side. Because it’s misogynistic to admit a woman could ever be wrong about anything, apparently. And correcting a woman’s error means the man doing the correcting doesn’t care about “issues”. Do you see how none of that resembles logic? But then, you don’t seem to care about logic, you only seem to care about wanting to make women happy with you, to the extent of making a desperate fool of yourself by agreeing with and supporting things which are demonstrably false.

        Adam Brinklow: “the latter of which is, noticeably a convenient platform for never having to address the former.”

        “The issue” that this blog post was ORIGINALLY about was the use of “not all men” in correcting statements which the author even acknowledged were DELIBERATELY exaggerated simply because it’s “annoying” to have to put another word or two in there for the sake of accuracy. Please do explain how it was wrong of me to address the issue being written about instead of some other issue? If the author wanted something else to be addressed, that’s what they should have written about. I addressed the exact same thing they did.
        Are you a feminist just because you think it will get you laid? I ask because your “rebuttals” are so easily refuted it’s hard to believe you’re putting in actual effort.

      8. I agree with you, but my point is the stock reply to the first column is valid. If someone says: “Because men think they’re entitled to women’s bodies.”, and I don’t feel I’m entitled to women’s bodies, I can dismiss the comment. Feeling entitled to women’s bodies clearly is not included in the Y chromosome if I’m a man and I don’t feel that way.

        In the second example, “Because every women I know has been groped by a man”, I can’t dismiss that. It highlights an issue that I can’t refute by making claims about myself. The fact that some men with poor logic think that they can is disappointing, but you’re far more likely to garner support when you’re being factually correct.

      9. You can’t validly dismiss that, but that won’t stop many from trying anyway. And it’s the irrational, defensive, self-interested speakers (ie, those who won’t care if their objection makes sense or not) are the problem to begin with, I doubt you’d see the path of the discourse change significantly.

  21. Most men taking the time to read your article are at least willing to be your ally, just by the fact they are reading a feminist article. However if the way you put it puts them off like it’s the case here, imagine how men not even willing to be your ally would take it. Use your words to rally people men and women alike. Every great leader who created changed did so by rallying people to their cause. Can you be that leader?

  22. Women need to stop being such hormonal bitches.

    I mean, I know not all women are like that, but it’s so irritating to have to preface it with “some” all the time. Not doing so somehow absolves women, relieves them of any responsibility of changing their fellow women’s attitudes that make them think they can be raging assholes.

    Oh yes, I went there.

  23. “Sure, white men–you were brought up to feel entitled to anything you wanted and now you see anyone trying to have opportunities equal to yours as a threat.”

    I hate to break you out of your apparently ultra-sheltered life, but just because I’m a straight, white male doesn’t mean I’ve had the world handed to me on a silver platter. As a matter of fact, given how many more women are in college and how many minorities are given full rides through Affirmative Action, I can almost guarantee you that I’ve worked far harder than you to get what I have.

    Do I have it easier than a poor kid in Harlem? Of course. Am I lucky to have a loving family and good friends? Absolutely. But no one handed me a 3.8 GPA. No one came to my door and dropped a job off on the front step. I’ve had some advantages, but screw you for trying to diminish a lifetime’s worth of effort and struggle with my own personal demons and familial dysfunction. I’ve checked my privilege, have you? Methinks thou doth protest too much.

    Maybe next time, don’t fight fire with fire, because you sound just as bad as the misogynists you purport to hate. Take a little time and do some reflection, and maybe you’ll realize the best way to fight intolerance, sexism and evil is with compassion, understanding and a little bit of give and take. Good night, and good luck.

    It sounds like you’ll need it.

    1. “I hate to break you out of your apparently ultra-sheltered life, but just because I’m a straight, white male doesn’t mean I’ve had the world handed to me on a silver platter.”

      That is undoubtedly true. But it also wasn’t the argument, so I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up?

      “As a matter of fact, given how many more women are in college and how many minorities are given full rides through Affirmative Action, I can almost guarantee you that I’ve worked far harder than you to get what I have.”

      That doesn’t add up. First, how does more women being in college mean you worked harder than they did? Does the proximity of women make things more difficult for you i some way?

      And of course the old Affirmative Action canard. To hear certain people tell it, college boards are a virtual gauntlet staffed by militant ex-Black Panthers out to keep Whitey down by any means necessary. Were this true, we can imagine we’d see the white population on college campuses plummet over the last few decades. But in fact, the number of white kids in college has gone up 50% in the last 30 years, and there are five times as many white students in America’s colleges as black ones. Also five times as many white students as Latino ones, incidentally. It’s not hard to get into college if you’re white. In fact, do you even know a single white person who couldn’t get enrolled?

      “Do I have it easier than a poor kid in Harlem? Of course.”

      And there we have it: You’ve grasped and acknowledged the entire concept of social privilege in two brief sentences. That’s it, that was the whole thing. You get it already. Why are we arguing?

      “But no one handed me a 3.8 GPA.”

      No one handed it to the women or the poor kids from Harlem either. But they probably had to work a little harder to get it, because the odds of being discriminated against if you’re a woman or if you’re black or if you’re (God help you) Arab, or gay, or whatever demographic you want to pick, are much, much higher than if you’re a straight white man. So you see, those groups have all of the same problems you do, PLUS the potential for many, many more problems you never have to worry about. Again, I gather you get this already, so I’m not clear what you’re actually mad about here.

      1. 1. The author’s argument (in that particular paragraph) is that I don’t deserve what I’ve worked for, and that it was given to me, not earned. Or, that since I’ve had certain advantages, my accomplishments are unwarranted.

        2. More women in college means, by extension, fewer men in college. Ergo, I have to work even harder to secure one of those spots.

        3. Apparently you never went to college, because getting into one today is massively more difficult than it was even five years ago. My spot that I could potentially earn at a university can be easily dismissed for a minority with worse grades and less achievements, based solely on their skin color or status.

  24. Well, no, men get abused sometimes too, so making a generalisation about men is serious and not acceptable. It is equally bad to making a comment that generalises women. I am a woman and will not except men to generalise about my gender or accept it if they do without showing them it is wrong, and I will not generalise about theirs either.

  25. Yeah white heterosexual male feminist do exist and I am one of them. I agree 100% with this post. Feminist means that you believe in equal rights for both genders, not girls hating on men. Jeez people. I hate when people are like “Not all men are like that” yes we understand that but do you understand how you are belittling the subject? It’s ridiculous. White men have no idea what it’s like to not have privileges because we have had every damn privilege possible since the beginning of time. I sure don’t know what it’s like to be a woman but I sure the hell feel bad dealing with such assholes who don’t understand that not everyone has gotten the same privileges and sexism does exist because I see it happening all around me and it makes me sick to my stomach.

    1. Here’s the thing about the “Not All Men” argument: I think it’s normal for a person to feel a little defensive when they hear anecdotes that highlight their own privilege. It’s uncomfortable. We’re all just human, so it’s natural that some part of us wants to push back on that or distinguish ourselves from the behavior we’re hearing.

      What a lot of people don’t seem to get is that the most effective way to do that is just by making a statement of support. If a man hears a story about sexism and his response is to be critical of the sexist behavior, doing that makes the “Not all men” argument much more effectively than the “Not all men” argument does. After all, we can see that it’s “not all men” (although in most cases this is a point that hardly needed to be made, but see above point) if we see a man making a conscious effort to reject the standard in question. And of course, this does it in a way that doesn’t distract from the real (women’s) issue in play.

      And that’s the real problem with “Not all men”: It’s an argument in bad faith, meant not to prosecute the point it claims to make but instead to attack whatever the person offering it perceived as threatening.

      1. Not all feminists hate men. Not all feminists ignore the male disadvantages as eagerly as their privileges. Not all feminists unintentionally, may it be, advocate female-to-male abuse by cherry-picking appropriate tortured souls.

        The “not every”-prefix can be a real pain in the a.

  26. Analyse what prejudice is. Then don’t be like that. Ever. A real simple logic. Not applied by any fools who think individually fighting xxxxxxx-ISM Medusa’s snakes, is better than cutting-off Medusa’s head once and for all… Which of these options, assuming it is a dichotomy, takes the most effort and is the quickest-acting? That’s what I want to know. Oh, and there’s the rather significant factor of the once-and-for-all method helping protect currently-unknown prejudices and very minority groups. Otherwise it’s merely a form of might-is-might, as to who gets their prejudice cleansed from Western society… and that’s not good enough! Humanism. Not division. Peace.

  27. I agree that ‘not all men’ is not a valid reply but generalising in general is dangerous, for reasons you are obviously aware of but also the psychological phenomenon known as Self-fulfilling Prophecy.

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