I'm breaking from my book promotion today to ask everyone to check out the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter. It's some harrowing stuff, both from the stories you read, and from people trying to turn the hashtag into a weapon against women.
It's risen to prominence following the shootings in Santa Barbara a few days ago.
Yesterday I spent some time trying to make my point in a thread on Facebook. It involved a particular bugbear of mine, which is when men respond to the topic of women's rights with comments that it's part of a "broader issue", as though the subject isn't deserving of attention on its own. It was exhausting, enraging, and resulted in the first case of me blocking another Facebook user.
It was everything that this article by Chuck Wendig says should not happen when someone points out that women are being treated badly. Maybe that wasn't the intent, but it's a perfect example of how even people who are well-meaning can contribute to the problem, because although a number of women liked my comments or sent me messages to thank me for what I'd said, none were willing to expose themselves to that kind of backlash. And I can't blame them.
Just read #YesAllWomen, please. Yeah, bad things happen to men. Yeah, the discrimination and abuse of women is part of a larger issue. But no, that does not mean we shouldn't take opportunities to highlight it and confront it. Because when you divert attention away from women, you disrespect the ones who've had the strength to stand up, and you convince the ones who haven't found their strength yet that it isn't worth trying.
#YesAllWomen deserve to be heard.