Alina Mogilyanskaya Jun 12, 2014

Men often do things that make women feel uncomfortable, or worse. Following the shootings in Isla Vista, California on May 23 — perpetrated by Elliot Rodger, a young man with a deeply misogynistic worldview — thousands of women took to Twitter to speak out about their experiences of fear, harassment and gender-based violence under the hashtag #YesAllWomen. The sentiments expressed are well summarized in this tweet by @AdelaideKane: “Not ALL men harass women. But ALL women have, at some point, been harassed by men. Food for thought.”

Within just a few days, #YesAllWomen had gotten over a million tweets. In their totality, the 140-character testimonies detail the presence of deep-seated and systemic violence against women in the United States and beyond. Male responses have included, as might be expected, ones of vitriol (see #NotAllMen) but also ones of solidarity and support, written under the spin-off hashtag #AllMenCan. Here are some of the most poignant comments.

Because I wore a fake wedding ring when I waitressed. “Belonging” to another man was the only way to get customers to back off. #YesAllWomen

I’d like to recommend every guy read the #YesAllWomen posts. Don’t comment, don’t defend. Just read and think about living in fear.

Because we cannot preach equality if we only tell the women to show less skin but never tell the men to show more respect #YesAllWomen

Why do we have to remind everyone that “She’s someone’s daughter” or “She’s someone’s wife”? “She is someone” should be enough. #yesallwomen

Because, no means no, and I shouldn’t have to explain myself, ever. #yesallwomen

#yesallwomen because reading some responses from some men so full of disdain and vitriol is exactly the reason we need this conversation.

#YesAllWomen because after a stranger sexually harassed me in a bar, I told him the bartender was my husband, and they guy apologized TO HIM.

#yesallwomen made me feel attacked for being male. I don’t like it but it’s fair and it’s right. Read the posts. It’ll make you a better man

A man on the street told me I needed to cover up cause I was making him think impure thoughts. I was wearing a t-shirt & jeans. #yesallwomen

Because the friendzone is the fictional exile of the entitled. “Sexual partner” is not a woman’s default mode. #yesallwomen

My wife has had a self defense/escape plan since she was a teen. I cannot fathom how it feels to live like that. No man can.

#YesAllWomen know what it’s to be constantly interrupted, mocked for voicing legitimate concerns, called crazy for resisting oppression

#YesAllWomen because even a taped confession admitting to raping me wasn’t enough to put him in jail.

Because men don’t text each other that they got home safe. #YesAllWomen

Because I now wear shorts under dresses in crowded bars after being groped and even penetrated by unseen hands. #YesAllWomen

Because women serving in the military shouldn’t fear getting raped by their colleagues more than they fear the enemy #YesAllWomen

Because every single woman I know has a story about a man feeling entitled to access to her body. Every. Single. One. #YesAllWomen

In college, we’d regularly find girls who had been roofie’d and left passed out in the parking lot next to our dorm. REGULARLY. #YesAllWomen

Why does the suggestion that half the human race be treated with respect by the other half arouse such fury in the latter half?#YesAllWomen

In college, a police officer told us to scream FIRE if we were in danger of being assaulted otherwise people won’t get involved #YesAllWomen

Because a mans biggest blind date fear is her BMI and a woman’s is never making it home #YesAllWomen

Because when girls go to college they’re buying pepper spray and rape whistles while guys are buying condoms #yesallwomen

The cops who asked me “Well, what were you wearing?” when I reported an attack and attempted rape. #YesAllWomen

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” -Margaret Atwood #YesAllWomen

#yesallwomen because “you’re starting to sound like a feminist” should not be an insult

The #yesallwomen hashtag is filled with hard, true, sad and angry things. I can empathise & try to understand & know I never entirely will.

Because as a man who writes feminist articles, I’ve never received death or rape threats. My female colleagues? EVERY DAY. #YesAllWomen

#YesAllWomen Because there’s such a thing as a rape whistle.

I’ve spent 19 yrs teaching my daughter how not to be raped. How long have you spent teaching your son not to rape? #yesallwomen

Because a smile back can get you followed, but no response can get you killed. And neither one guarantees the harassment ends. #yesallwomen

#AllMenCan stop calling women the b-word. In music, in life, in general. Fellas, we know better and must be better.

#AllMenCan seek to understand how their actions/words either perpetuate or challenge oppressive attitudes/systems

#AllMenCan listen and believe when they are told their words and actions are causing harm. You may not have “meant” to, but you still did.

#AllMenCan understand that a dress is not a yes. Women don’t owe you anything.

#AllMenCan Refuse to accept “boys will be boys” as an excuse for sexist or violent behavior from themselves or others. 

#AllMenCan Know that yelling at women on the street is not flirting. It’s harassment. And “flirting” after she says stop is also harassment.

#AllMenCan listen to a woman’s story and resist the urge to challenge and unpick it in the hope that she’s exaggerating. She probably isn’t.

#AllMenCan accept that it’s our job, not womens’, to end violence against women. Challenge sexism and misogyny in all-dude conversations.

Because when I was raped my own father told me “women have been getting raped for centuries, don’t make a big deal of it” #YesAllWomen

#YesAllWomen because I can’t go running at night without being absolutely terrified

Because a lot of you are reading these and thinking “ugh yeah, we get it. Calm down.” #YesAllWomen

I shouldn’t have to hold my car keys in hand like a weapon & check over my shoulder every few seconds when I walk at night #YesAllWomen

Because my friend got roofed at my Halloween party and we didn’t report it because “he’s friends with everyone” #YesAllWomen

Here’s to the day when I can pump gas at 10pm and not be absolutely terrified #yesallwomen

Because we all know someone who’s been made to feel like it wasn’t assault when it was. #yesallwomen

#YesAllWomen because our bodies and reproduction are regulated like public property

Because part of growing up was learning how to reject a man without hurting his ego so he wouldn’t come back & do something. #yesallwomen

BC when my husband asks me to slow down when we walk together I realize he hasn’t spent his life avoiding street harassment #YesAllomen

#YesAllWomen have learned how to defend themselves with their keys if they are assaulted in a parking lot

#yesallwomen because the media will mourn the lives of ruined high school football players, but not of the girls they assaulted

Girls grow up knowing that it’s safer to give a fake phone number than to turn a guy down. #yesallwomen

#YesAllWomen who have participated in this hashtag have steeled themselves for inevitable backlash and possible threats.

#YesAllWomen because when a girl is harassed or even groped by a stranger in public, we’re told to “take it as a compliment”

What is male privilege? You can choose to take a break from thinking about this. I never can. #YesAllWomen

#YesAllWomen because your right to your Walmart gun doesn’t trump my right to BE ALIVE. #backgroundchecksSTAT

Because I used to tip car drivers 40% for “not raping and killing me” when I was in high school. #YesAllWomen

#yesallwomen because feminism and women’s rights aren’t a women’s issue. They’re human issues.

#AllMenCan listen and respect women’s problems because we have NO IDEA. 

#AllMenCan use their privilege to fight the patriarchy.

#AllMenCan call other men out on their sexist comments, jokes, and behaviors.


'There Was No One for Me To Turn To' by Alina Mogilyanskaya

Now All Men by Nicholas Powers

Explained by Eleanor J. Bader