#AllMenCan Hashtag Goes Viral In Support Of #YesAllWomen

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In the wake of the Santa Barbara shooting where a young gunman shot and killed 6 people (including 2 sorority girls who he was specifically targeting because girls like them didn’t want to have sex with him) the incident opened up massive amounts of dialog online about the issue of gender violence.

Being a platform where information is shared in an instant, twitter fast became the social media network which was sharing information and engaging people from all over America and other parts of the world, because this isn’t a geographical problem.

At first men started using the hashtag #notallmen in reference to the fact that not all men who are rejected are rapists and killers like Elliot Rodgers, the young college student who was part of an online community dedicated to fueling their hate against women. Women everywhere became furious that all of a sudden the incident was used as a way to defend men in general, and ignore the bigger issue that women are more likely to be targets of domestic violence than men.

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A twitter user started the hashtag #Yesallwomen which quickly went viral and enabled everyday women to talk about the sexism that they have experienced on a daily basis. It proved to be somewhat of a watershed moment in that people felt safe telling their stories to the online community, stories about rape, violence and misogyny that they had been holding in for years, and empower each other.

Because it has been such a prominent story and hashtag which had over a million uses throughout the days after the shooting (it even got more attention than the Kimye wedding – hallelujah people are normal!) that it forced many men to be part of the conversation to support women. Instead of making it a segregated issue where men’s and women’s rights were mutually exclusive, some men decided it was a great opportunity to use their voice to tell other men that this is an issue which affects us all.

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With the shocking gender violence statistics out there and knowledge that a lot of people have about it (as clearly seen by some of these photos) why aren’t more men standing up for women? All men CAN have a huge impact on other men in their community, so why does it take a shooting or an incident of viral proportion for them to speak up about something that they pretty much knew all along? It’s not as if they haven’t witnessed misogynistic behavior in their own lives. It is everywhere, it is inescapable.

That they too are affected by the violent shootings that happen in our countries, and they don’t want to be part of a negative imagery portrayed by society. Policy Mic compiled a series of photos of men holding up their #Allmencan signs which gave some compelling reasons as to why they want to stand up and be counted among the men and women who denounce sexism, misogyny, entitlement, and gender discrimination.

We thought we would share some of our fave’s because they say some pretty powerful stuff.

Statements such as:

“#Allmencan treat women as equals.”

“Because Alpha Males lead by example, not by force.”

“Real men don’t define themselves against women.”

“Women’s empowerment is not a threat.”

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One of the pictures included in the post was of Michael Kimmel, executive director, Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities and his son Zachary, who says for him, gender equality begins at home, how they treat the women in their lives, how they treat their friends and family, amd how men treat each other.

“The term ‘real men’ has become so fraught, and using it is layered with so many different meanings. But since anti-feminists believe that pro-feminist men cannot be real men, we decided take back the notion that supporting women’s equality does not in any way diminish our manhood.”

If this is something you feel strongly about and want to contribute to the conversation, we encourage you to use the hashtag #allmencan and #yesallwomen and show your support for an issue that needs to be discussed and needs to be put into action. Let’s not just allow killers to act upon their own sick impetus, we as everyday citizens who are affected by this issue in one way or another should also be just as bold in acting upon what we believe in and what we stand for.

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50 Comments

  1. Pingback: #AllMenCan, How Support Solves Problems | MUIPR Blog

  2. I’m a survivor of sexual assault. And a mom. And I have a PhD. These photos made me cry. I’m not sure if it’s relief, or happiness, or hope…. But I’m having a visceral reaction. Thank you.

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