There was a recent video made by AskMen India, stating and titled #NotAllMen, because even though they could contribute their energy in trying to educate men on their apathetic attitude towards the systemic oppression that women face on a daily basis, they would rather make a video stating that they should be patted on the back for not harassing women.
The video starts off by showcasing the men who are unjustly stereotyped since men are now being called out on harassment and assault even though they didn’t ‘mean it’ in that way. The most recent example is the instance of Shamir Reuben, a prominent spoken word poet within the poetry circles.
According to AskMen India, their justification for making the video – stated on their website is:
“Two simple words and two hashtags – #Timesup and #Metoo – became the voice for women across the world to share their personal stories of sexual assault.
However, what about those who never really had the voice? The Men!
We get it. We know that they’re misogynistic, sexist, drug addicts, rapists…you name it. Well, we’re here to say it’s NOT OKAY to label ALL men that.
#NotAllMen, a first-of-its-kind digital campaign, is here to break these brutal male stereotypes, very often overlooked. It’s time to acknowledge that patriarchy screws them too. It’s time to stand up for their rights.
AskMen India proudly presents #NotAllMen.”
With over a million views, this video caters primarily to men’s egos, even though the video claims that #NotAllMen are egoistic. Ignoring the fact that men do feel emasculated when their wives earn more than they do, or even when their wives work a job that isn’t a patriarchally traditional job for a woman.
Most women have to give up their dreams and aspirations because they are expected to take care of a household, raise their children and be good housewives in the eyes of society. Since we are looking into toxic masculinity and fragile male egos, let us also remember that women have been hurt and in extreme cases, murdered for rejecting a man’s advances because he felt so entitled to a woman’s body.
Also Read: 11 Ways How Toxic Masculinity Hurts Men
A majority of the comments stem from men who think they’ve been wrongly clubbed together, that no one speaks on men’s issues and that men are always portrayed as the so-called “villains”. I am applauding this revolutionary concept of making the issue once again about men, and not the crimes perpetrated by a majority of men which make it harder to be a woman who exists outside of the limitations made by patriarchy.
This is not to say that patriarchy does not affect men. However, the video doesn’t even bring to light the actual problems that men do face because patriarchy affects them as well. This video glorifies men for what they should have been doing anyway, which is childish and takes away from the #MeToo movement. Men can now just say #NotAllMen and their responsibility in fueling the toxicity of patriarchy is suddenly absolved.
After all, not all men are rapists, at least not in a conventional sense that makes it easier for men to dissociate themselves from being complicit. Most men are rape apologists, slut-shame women, perpetuate a rape culture which they claim does not exist, they are complicit and take part in micro-aggressions. You won’t find men who scream #NotAllMen while speaking out against the men perpetuating this violence.
men can now just say #NotAllMen and their responsibility in fueling the toxicity of patriarchy is suddenly absolved.
The video focuses on how #NotAllMen want war, are cheats, egoistic, players, or rapists. Except the thing is, no groups have ever stated #YesAllMen because they know that will be encompassing and blaming a significant chunk of the population for committing heinous crimes. Rather they ignore the fact that men have a distinct social, political, and economic advantage because of such a patriarchal system.
A parody video made by Arré shows how ignorant AskMen India was being with their video: The Truth Behind the #NotAllMen Campaign.
The video, a satire piece shows us the blatantly obvious fact about how ignorant and self-centred the #NotAllMen movement and AskMen India‘s video is. Concluding with “We are #NotAllMen, every day we hit the basic standard of civility, someday we will be recognised for it”.
#NotAllMen is an attempt to silence women when they speak up on the injustices they face on a daily basis. A vapid attempt at derailment while simultaneously not taking into consideration the actual problems faced by men.
All it does is coddle men and make them seem like they are not mature enough to understand the complexity of the situation. Consequently handing them even more power to be complicit in various forms of harassment.
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