Aftermath and beyond

by fmhilton

While the #YesAllWomen ‘campaign’ (if you can call it that) is still raging on, it has become depressingly obvious that many, many people would like to shut it down at any cost.

People claim :

That it’s all about nothing.
That it’s #NotAllMen who rape/abuse/kill women.
That women don’t deserve rights.
That rape/abuse/death is all right under some circumstances.
That women don’t get raped/abused/killed.
That it’s a ‘first-world’ problem.

The list of deniers, denigrators and apologists is endless: racists, women who hate other women, men who hate women, women who hate men, the WoC claim it’s not a white woman’s thing…you get the idea.

If the issues weren’t so serious it would be funny-but because they are so important, reading the twitter feed becomes infuriating when you consider that the entire thing has been co-opted by others for just existing and turned into a free-for-all of trivialities of ‘who can make the silliest excuse for tweeting”.

For instance, I wrote a irony-filled tweet: “Because men don’t get fired for being pregnant” and that unleashed a torrent of personal abuse the likes of which I’ve never experienced before. I was cat-called, called an idiot for making a statement like that, told it doesn’t happen, that I was a lousy and pretentious writer, that I should just shut up.

Way to get the point, people! I wrote it because the issue of women having a job and then being fired for getting pregnant is a valid one. It happens, and the EOC has sued countless companies and employers for doing it. The problem is real but nobody wants to hear it. It’s one of many that #YesAllWomen is meant to discuss.

It would be wonderful if this actually leads somewhere-and while I have hopes it might raise some people’s awareness of the many problems women face, it will indeed drift away into utter meaninglessness, because nobody wants to hear about them.

Many people are offended and angry to have their beliefs challenged in any way. There’s no reasoning with some and others just want to totally ignore the point of the #YesAllWomen trend by making it into a running joke at the cost of others.

After 40 years it’s become glaringly obvious that we still have a very long way to go before equality between men and women gets achieved. Unfortunately that won’t happen until both men and women understand that it’s everyone’s problem.

And that it’s not a joke.