It’s time for abuse of men and women to stop. Photo: File
It’s time for abuse of men and women to stop. Photo: File

‘Not all men’: Why the tired phrase is dangerous


WHEN listening to the chorus of those who comment on the recent abuse of women, you can trust there is one voice that rises above.

"Not all men."

They say not all men are rapists, or not all men set fire to their wives and children.

It's true, but it's not even close to the point.

When we shift the conversation from the physical or sexual abuse of women to the protection of men's images, we're undermining the very real issues both genders face.

I think it's important to note that these discussions aren't attacking men in general, but a society that still allows this behaviour to exist.

When a man is quick to say that not all men attack women, it insinuates that he's more concerned with how it affects his privilege than the person who is suffering.

The same voices are the first to point out that men and boys are also victims of sexual or domestic abuse, and they're not wrong.

Arguably, the stigma for male survivors is actually exacerbated by toxic masculinity, or the idea that men are unable to be "weak".

Yet starting the conversation that this issue disproportionately affects women does not cancel out the fact it happens to men too.

The very existence of "not all men" was created to subvert "me too", and only dilutes the very real impact that this culture of violence has on women every single day.

Not all men rape or kill their partners, but all women can recall a time where they felt degraded by a man.

If this makes you uncomfortable, maybe it's time for some self reflection.

Because if you're a man reading this, can you honestly say you've done your part to end this culture of abuse?

Not all men can.

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