On #YesAllWomen

Hey Dad,

Have you been following this #YesAllWomen trend on Twitter? Pretty cool, right?

I mean, not cool like, “It’s awesome that all women have to deal with this stuff,” but, “It’s awesome that people are uniting to tell their stories and amplify their voices and speak out against everyday misogyny.”

It’s really heartening as someone who has been trying to have this conversation to varying degrees of success for years. Finally, women of all ages, nationalities and walks of life are getting international attention for the violence and prejudice they have to face on a daily basis. Some of my favorites include a discussion of the backlash women have faced entering science fields, a take on the trend and the oft-used-insult-for-Internet-social-justice “hacktivism” (by Forbes of all publications), and why “Not all men are like that” is an unhelpful response when facing misogyny.

I’ll admit, this Twitter trend has given me some ups and downs, emotionally. I was shaken by the shootings in Isla Vista (I won’t rehash them here; you already know) and by the revelation of the killer’s deep misogyny. And while #YesAllWomen has followed up on that with more stories of daily misogyny and violence, there’s something comforting about it.

Dare I even say it gives me hope?

Do you remember when I went off to college and you offered to buy me a gun? I declined because I’m not fond of weapons, but I’ll admit there were days when, walking across campus late at night, I thought I might need one. You know it’s not safe for women out there. As a woman, I have seen this firsthand. But the attention that #YesAllWomen has been getting, the power of the hashtag as a unifying force, galvanizing a movement, makes me almost giddy with the thought that it doesn’t have to be like this.

Please, go read some of the tweets, Dad. Just spend twenty minutes scrolling through the 140-character stories. I know you care about women and our safety. I want you to take a moment to understand how wide the sexism we face is.

And then maybe pitch in to end it.

Love ya,

Victoria

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2 thoughts on “On #YesAllWomen

  1. I have read many of the “yes all women” tweets. A couple of comments: (1) Actually I offered to pay for self-defense classes. Later when you express concern I made several suggestions including possibly buying a gun. (2) I am glad to see that there are a variety of comments on “yesforallwomen” because often when people say things like “yes for all women” they really mean “yes for all women who think like we do”. (3) Again it is interesting how many men in service clubs, churches, health clubs, schools, business organizations work hard to treat women with respect and deference. After reading your blog I took the time to ask several of the women at my congregation, all actively pursuing a career if they have faced misogyny. While all have faced some mild form of sexism none of them, none of them talked about any sort of rabid misogyny that you describe. I write this not to try to invalidate your experience but to give you hope that many women do not experience what you describe in your post. (4) Let me end this comment with what I was I taught. You are right that I care for women, that partly comes from my up bring, which was not unique. I was taught back in the 1960’s that we should treat women with respect no matter what. My father also model that attitude. It had little to do with feminism and more to do with morals born out of our Judeo-Christian heritage

    • Hi Dad! The solution isn’t to buy every woman a gun, though. That’s not my point. It’s that women shouldn’t need guns, and shouldn’t have to live in fear.

      And as for a Judeo-Christian heritage leading to a respect for women, that’s simply not true for every Christian. Think of my high school boyfriend’s church, their attitude toward woman in leadership positions and their attitude toward me. They would argue that their Judeo-Christian heritage is what guides them and that barring women from teaching and preaching is perfectly righteous, but you and I both agree that that’s sexist.

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