Monday, May 26, 2014

#YesAllWomen Deserve To Feel Safe.

Earlier this weekend, we were all shocked and horrified to hear of the tragic murders in Isla Vista. There is no person that ever deserves to be senselessly murdered, and there is absolutely no excuse or justification for the lives that were lost.
The killer had a history of misogyny- in the 140ish paged paper he wrote entitled ‘My Twisted World’, he talks about the hatred he has toward women for not having sex with him. For not showering him with attention. For rejecting him.
There are videos posted of him talking about his hatred toward the female gender, and talking about how he was going to go and kill them all.
Friday night, he did.
When the news spread, most people were horrified to hear about it.
But there were some who sympathized.
Sympathized because he was a guy, and had been rejected by girls.
Sympathized because apparently, women should never reject a guy, ever.

There is no reason to be sympathetic of someone who intentionally ended the lives of people because someone rejected him. Absolutely no reason at all.

As it so often happens, people were talking about it on Twitter. How heartbreaking it was that this many more innocent people were murdered because of misogyny. 

The #NotAllMen meme was brought up.

And then it happened: Someone tweeted about how even though #NotAllMen, there were things that all women dealt with.

And thus started the #YesAllWomen hashtag.

The #YesAllWomen hashtag started as a response to the murder of people due to misogyny. It was created as a way for women to talk about the things they routinely go through due to misogyny. The tweets are heartbreaking and brave, with hundreds and thousands of women tweeting about themselves, about their stories, about their survival.

But as all hashtags do, things spin out of control.

The trolls show up, harassing the women who tweeted about their attacks. About their constant fear of safety. Telling them that it was actually their fault, that they asked for it. And worse.
There were people who got defensive. There were people who said all the women who were tweeting hated men. (Nope.)

#YesAllWomen has been trending for a few days at this point, and it has reached people and places nobody ever dreamed it would. And when things get this big, the media wants to talk about it.

All the media.

Now, this is the same media that is plastering pictures of a girl in her bikini, saying that she’s the one responsible for all of this. Because that’s what he had said, that she had rejected him as a child (though she has no recollection of this at all), so obviously it must be true. It makes perfect sense to plaster her name, her picture, the place of her employment all over the internet and newspapers, because ‘it’s the story!’


Absolutely not.

By posting things like that, the media has proven that they have learned nothing from this weekend. Nothing from the hundreds of thousands of tweets on the #YesAllWomen hashtag. And frankly, that is revolting.
So, when the media that has no problem doing things like that wants to talk, it’s enough to make any women nervous.

Especially the women who started the hashtag, who has NO CONTROL over what is going on now. The number of people who have been harassing her on Twitter is nightmarish. And with the current coverage of the murder, of the hashtag, of everything, she did not want to have her name mentioned.

As she has the right to do.

She made her Twitter private.

As she has the right to do.

Every women deserves to feel safe. Every women deserves to feel safe. Every. Women. Deserves. To. Feel. Safe.

And you, internet, media, trolls, non-trolls, you are making her not feel safe.

She is my friend, and even if I didn’t know her from a hole in the wall, my responsibility as a human being is to make sure others feel safe.

If you see anyone mentioning her name, her Twitter handle, her blog, or any other information, please ask them to remove it. She does not want her name to be publicized, she does not want people obtaining her contact information, and she does not want to talk to the media.

At all.

I know that as a fabulous human being, you want to help. You want to make a difference.

Please, show your support for all women. Show your support for just one. Please help my friend feel safe.
Please help the women you know feel safe. Speak up when people are not treating each other well. Speak up when you don’t feel safe. Speak up when others don’t feel safe.

Speak. Up.

You deserve to feel safe.

I deserve to feel safe.

Every. Person. Deserves. To. Feel. Safe.

Please make a difference. It would mean the world.