Twitter is the main source of the "not all men" discourse.
Ego-bruised males are taking to the platform to whine about being "painted with the same brush". One even likened the situation to a restaurant, claiming that just because someone might not enjoy eating there doesn't mean they should dislike every restaurant.
As these men try so desperately to prove that "not all men" are monsters, we urge them to back away from their keyboards as their point has already been proven by statistics.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2019 there were 26,892 victims of sexual assault in Australia, 83% of whom were women.
A report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed that the majority of sexual assault offenders were men (97%) and that males aged 15-19 had the highest offender rates of any age group.
While the statistics prove that not all men are guilty of sexual assault, they also quantify just how many males are. And when the numbers are accompanied by harrowing stories from survivors, it paints a picture that many men are uncomfortable with; a picture that highlights the very worst that their gender is capable of.
This picture leads many men to desperately try to prove their innocence. But guys, you’re missing the point, no one is accusing you; we’re merely asking for your support. And, believe it or not, a self-serving “not me” hashtag is not the best form of allyship.
It’s time to stop trying to convince us of your innocence and start proving you are playing an active role in dismantling this destructive culture of sexual violence.
Sitting defensively and complicity behind your keyboard achieves nothing; in fact, it’s severely counterproductive as it takes the spotlight away from the issue at hand.
It’s time to be a better ally. Here’s how.
Do your own research about sexual violence in Australia and around the world. You can’t fight for change when you don’t know what it is that needs changing.
Hold your friends accountable
If your mate makes a sexist comment or “rape joke” don’t brush it off, laugh uncomfortably or sit in silence, call them out on it. By letting these comments slide you’re contributing to their normalisation.
Listen to women
If a female friend expresses she is uncomfortable in a situation and wants help, for example when walking home at night, don’t invalidate her emotions by calling her “overdramatic”; listen to her and help her.
Protest with us
Ditch the #NotAllMen hashtags for #MeToo, #March4Justice and countless others which actually work to help women. But retweeting isn’t enough. Come and march alongside us, sign petitions and actively work for change.
#NotAllMen is unnecessary, counterproductive and retracting from the stories of survivors. It’s time for men to stop getting defensive on social media and start being active allies.
Not all men are responsible for sexual assault, but all men are responsible for making sure it doesn’t happen. It’s as simple as that.