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How to respond to a ‘what about teh menz’?

(50 Posts)
Bloopbleep Tue 17-Oct-17 23:08:12

First post in feminism chat please excuse me if I lack the proper board etiquette.

A man responded to a fab post of mine discussing Me Too

Bloopbleep Tue 17-Oct-17 23:11:43

Damn pressed to soon sorry.

A man responded to a tv post of mine discussing me too with anecdote about his awareness of a man and women abusing boys and why are we all being so divisive when it comes to sexual assault.

SA is such an emotive topic but I felt he was trying to shut me down with a what about the men response and I’ll look a complete arsehole if I respond with anything other than ok you win...

So how does one respond to what about the men responses in an erudite and sensitive way on such sensitive matters without detracting from the fact that women are facing and fearing sexual assault daily?

Datun Tue 17-Oct-17 23:26:25

Take a look at this thread.

Specifically the post by fairyflaps at 12:37 today ( it will be yesterday soon).

There is one question to ask that shows up the power dynamic between the sexes.

Bloopbleep Tue 17-Oct-17 23:41:15

Thanks that was an informative thread. This guy is going on about how me too by women is othering men which according to him won’t solve the problem...

My stone heart weeps for him (not really)

MacaroonMama Tue 17-Oct-17 23:41:34

Wow Datun just read that post and it is so clear. Made me want to cry when I think of me and all the women I know who do some/lots of these things. And the men who have genuinely never considered any of it. Even the good men, which I like to think is most of them, they have just never had to consider it.

MacaroonMama Tue 17-Oct-17 23:44:00

Bloopbleep is there some guilty entitlement creeping in there, with what he is saying about othering? Is he - I wonder if other men are too - pissed off at being 'called' on their complicity? Easier to stick to the status quo than admit there is a serious imbalance of power.

Bloopbleep Tue 17-Oct-17 23:54:45

he’s using child sexual abuse anecdotally to silencea me. No one can stand against a claim of sexual abuse of children and say ‘but women’ without appearing like a right bastard. I have a point to make that fairy flaps articulated in the linked post but I can’t be seen belittling his experience as a CSA survivor or I’m the bad one.

Datun Tue 17-Oct-17 23:59:09

There are evidently many (most) men who simply have no clue about what women go through.

But there is another element creeping in that I have noticed.

Firstly, they have no clue, secondly they think women are making it up, and thirdly they clearly hate women.

Some of the tweets I have just seen under posts of women talking about their rape are simply appalling.

Then there are those men who are just terribly defensive. They know they have done things in the past which do not exactly cover them in glory and they are acting out.

Datun Wed 18-Oct-17 00:05:21


My advice would be to be incredibly sympathetic. Say you understand. (Because child abuse is awful).

But then say you’re not talking about child abuse. And if he’s not one of the men who you are talking about, then it doesn’t apply to him. Thank him for his support and say if there were more men like him it will be so much easier.

In other words remove him entirely from the narrative you are talking about.

Because, bear in mind, that you are not really talking to him now (it’s pointless, you won’t change hIs mind). You are now talking directly to anyone else who is listening.

You need to get rid of the derailer with grace and diplomacy.

Datun Wed 18-Oct-17 00:07:20

I saw a brilliant meme.

If you’re not talking about men, they say what about the menz. If you are talking about the men they say NAMALT.

MyNameIsLucyStone Wed 18-Oct-17 00:12:10

This post from Finally a Feminism 101 blog might be helpful.

Bloopbleep Wed 18-Oct-17 00:19:16

Datun thank you. I have written and deleted loads of responses along similar lines but each time I could see how he would turn it around. The more I read what he’s written the more uncomfortable I become about this part :

“A simplistic division of the population between oppressors and victims/survivors is unlikely to bring about any improvement, especially as it is widely recognised that former victims are more likely to become oppressers in turn.”

Is this, coming after his anecdote of knowing of a CSA situation, hinting at him being an abuser himself?

Bloopbleep Wed 18-Oct-17 00:28:18

mynameislucystone that was a great link with loads of useful statements to borrow from.

Datun Wed 18-Oct-17 00:36:18


You could just be very straightforward and upfront. Say 98% of sexually violent crimes are committed by men.

And since women can’t tell a predator from a decent man, you’re trying to raise awareness of quite how many women are affected.

Believing women is the first step to higher conviction rates.

If he still bangs on about when we are in charge we will oppress men just tell him that, if and when that happens, you’ll get back to him.

You can get into a certain habit of just not putting up with stupid stuff people say. You can actually just ignore it, and only address the points you want to.

If they keep trying to drag you back just say I don’t want to talk about that part, that’s not what I’m interested in.

Datun Wed 18-Oct-17 00:38:38

I’ve just re-read what he wrote. Is he talking about child abuse?

You might suggest he has counselling if he feels as though he’s going to turn into an abuser himself.

JeNeSuisPasVotreMiel Wed 18-Oct-17 00:39:28

What does NAMALT stand for?

Datun Wed 18-Oct-17 00:41:58

Not all men are like that.

It’s meant to be a gimmee when women talk about men. Because, like clockwork, some bloke will show up and say hang on a minute, not all men are like that in an effort to derail.

Bloopbleep Wed 18-Oct-17 00:46:55

Yes he’s talking about child abuse. He’s making the point that his observation/experience involved a man and a woman towards many boys. He doesn’t appear to understand that dynamic is likely more about power than sexual desire. It actually concerns me the more I think about His response.

Datun Wed 18-Oct-17 00:48:51

Well yes. He sounds a bit messed up. And very annoying. The two are not mutually exclusive.

trainedopossum Wed 18-Oct-17 01:43:44

But who is being divisive? Is there a divide between people re SA? Aren't we all broadly anti? It sounds a bit like when someone makes a statement on social media and someone replies something like 'Oh that's typical, politicising this subject instead of saying something useful' or whatever. Like by making a critical statement about men and SA you are taking a stand against this bloke.

I know this isn't addressing your question but can I say that I have found this thread very interesting and it teases out some if the feelings I've had about the whole #metoo thing. I have immense compassion for anyone who has been assaulted, but why do I feel so cross about the wave of male #metoo?

There is an aspect of wanting to inhabit female spaces (even that which is female only because of the unpleasant subject) and stepping up to volunteer as an Honorary Woman (in preference to stepping back and letting women tell their stories), it's like a dog whistle. Reminds me of how Keith Richards says in his autobiography that he is a black man inside. hmm

I think you know when the man is supporting/amplifying female voices. I understand it must be difficult to get it right, but I feel like you can spot the 'good' examples easily.

And the Rose McGowan thing, so many men in a hurry to be silent 'in support' but surely retweeting her (a la I am Spartacus) is more powerful than being silent?

Sorry to go OT, this subject makes me cross and ranty.

morningrunner Wed 18-Oct-17 07:20:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QuentinSummers Wed 18-Oct-17 07:56:26

A simplistic division of the population between oppressors and victims/survivors is unlikely to bring about any improvement, especially as it is widely recognised that former victims are more likely to become oppressers in turn

He's been reading MRA sites.
I wouldn't bother arguing t bh. Maybe say something like "#metoo is women sharing their experhence of sexual assault, abuse of children is horrible but not what we are talking about with #metoo" then ignore him.
If this is a public FB feed I would just ignore him entirely. If it's tour personal page I would unfriend or block

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Wed 18-Oct-17 10:20:49

I'm rather despairing this morning after seeing a twitter post - "I have a lot of male friends and it terrifies me that one of them could have a history of harassment or assault that I don't know about".

2 separate replies (sort of backwards NAMALT) asking what about her female friends then and why isn't she scared of them too?

Well FFS.... where to even start? angrysad

Datun Wed 18-Oct-17 10:26:05


Completely agree. This whole twisting of the power dynamic between men and women is rearing its ugly head.

There is a backlash, no doubt. Fortunately, because this has riled women up so much, they will start to find answers to refute these idiot men. This is a (sadly) fortuitous window of opportunity for well informed women to speak. And they are.

Although women are getting stupid reactions from men, they are speaking. And as more women do so, others will begin to understand exactly why this happens.

The trans-ideology has turned a lot of women onto feminism, I believe this kind of scandal will do the same.

Bloopbleep Wed 18-Oct-17 12:10:33

Thank you all. It was on a private feed - thankfully he’s no friend of mine but it’s just so ugh!

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