Deep-rooted misogyny appeared to play some role in Elliot Rodger’s shooting rampage that left seven people dead near Santa Barbara University on Friday night. A video showed Rodger wanted to “punish” the women “who’ve ignored or rejected him over the past eight years.”
In the online reaction to the tragedy, nothing has matched the conversation that began with a simple hashtag, #YesAllWomen.
The hashtag is a response to a “Not all men” meme that’s surfaced over the past few months. “Not all men” is an objection that’s used to dismiss the issue of violence against women and misogyny in society, simply because not all men are like that. Turning that language around with #yesallwomen refocuses the conversation on the fact that all women, at some point, face objectification. This occurs on a daily basis, but stories about women who are victims of domestic violence or street harassment don’t attract national attention.
The person who created the hashtag hoped to show that even though not all men are violent, objectification is widespread:
Guys, I'm going to be tweeting under the #YesAllWomen hashtag. Let's discuss what "not all men" might do, but women must fear.
— Kaye M. (@gildedspine) May 24, 2014
At its peak, 51,000 tweets an hour called out the harassment, threats, and abuse that women face from men who are taught to feel entitled to women’s bodies.
#YesAllWomen BC on campuses all over the US women are leaving their schools because their confirmed rapists are not expelled.
— Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly) May 25, 2014
Because the friendzone is the fictional exile of the entitled. “Sexual partner” is not a woman’s default mode. #yesallwomen
— Harrison Mooney (@HarrisonMooney) May 25, 2014
Because women are forced to monitor the way they dress, act, and exist so the male attention they receive doesn't turn violent. #YesAllWomen
— Elizabeth May (@_ElizabethMay) May 25, 2014
Girls grow up knowing that it's safer to give a fake phone number than to turn a guy down. #yesallwomen
— Kate Tuttle (@katekilla) May 24, 2014
I've spent 19 yrs teaching my daughter how not to be raped. How long have you spent teaching your son not to rape? #yesallwomen
— Deanna Raybourn (@deannaraybourn) May 24, 2014
The #yesallwomen hashtag is filled with hard, true, sad and angry things. I can empathise & try to understand & know I never entirely will.
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) May 25, 2014