“All men are potential rapists, and definitely sexual deviants!” “Yeah! Those creeps!”
“Men are no longer necessary.” “Damn skippy! Those useless slobs!”
“Men are dominating privileged patriarchal oppressors, rule the world, and own all corporations.” “They oppress women! Smash the patriarchy!”
“Men are stoic and emotionless. They don’t feel things like women do.” “Why won’t they listen to me!?!?!?”
“Men are poisoned by testosterone and their chromosomes are going extinct.” “Good! Who needs them anyway?”
“Boys won’t sit still in the class and are hard to control.” “So annoying! Why can’t they be more like girls?”
“Men are sexually selfish and don’t care about pleasing their partners.” “Of course not! They’re men!”
“Men pollute Mother Earth and plunge penis pumps in her to extract oil to fuel male privilege.” “Yeah! Women are more sensible and compassionate!”
“Men are violent thugs, and start all wars.” “Yes! If women ruled the world, there would be no war.”
“Men are unnecessary for the raising of a family.” “That’s right! Women can do it all!!!”
“Husbands and fathers beset their wives and children with marital rape, domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect.” “Those assholes are sick!”
“Men force women into restrictive gender roles.” “Yeah! Down with patriarchy! Women hold up half the sky!”
“Don’t let your man cheat on you, all men are pigs.” “Men don’t do any housework.”
“Men abandon their children.” “Men are boorish and insensitive.” “Men don’t know how to treat ladies anymore.” “Men are failing in school.” “Men have Peter Pan syndrome.” “Men should act more like women.” “Men are afraid of commitment.” “Men think with their dicks.”
“Women have a serious lack of respect for men’s humanity.” “NOT ALL WOMEN ARE LIKE THAT! Stop generalizing!”
Hyperbole aside, does this not sound familiar?
Here’s how it goes: misandrists and other ignorant jerks utter bigoted nonsense, a few people agree, and everyone else just silently accepts it. Except for a few who protest, and are quickly shouted down or told to “man up.”
But woe betide any man or woman who dare speak a less-than-flattering thing about women. “Not all women are like that” (NAWALT) is the least of the recriminations.
I understand some of the criticisms of generalizing, and the spirit behind NAWALT. While I think the human race would have died out long long ago without the ability to generalize, and to a certain point it is intellectually necessary, I get that we should treat people as individuals as much as possible. Women and men are human beings. Some of them are saints, some are pure evil, and most are a balance of both. And we’re all just trying to live our lives.
But it is also glaringly obvious that when it comes to gender issues, it is regarded as hunky dory to generalize men in a horrible fashion. This should go without saying, but if Not All Women Are Like That, then Not All Men Are Like That.
If you’re reading this, you probably already speak against misandry and other forms of bigotry. And if you say NAWALT, or warn against a generalization, you should be taken seriously. But if you don’t speak against misandry and other bigotry, or you join in, then you have no right to utter NAWALT. That reveals a lack of courage and a broken moral compass. You can do better.
Remember: If NAWALT, then NAMALT.
* “Not All Women Are Like That”, or NAWALT, is the phrase/acronym for a very common phenomenon in gender-related discourse. Whenever anyone says something less-than-positive about a woman, or a group of women, some version of “Not All Women Are Like That” is uttered as a non-answer to stop the conversation, or to deflect an obvious truth from acceptance.