As an intersectional feminist I try not to engage with anyone who isn't one. It's a a true act of self love to ensure that I don't have toxic, damaging people in my life which has lead me to living in a bit of a bubble, surrounded by likeminded people who are working hard to smash the patriarchy and fight for true and lasting equality.
That being said, I've read some truly ridiculous opinion pieces regarding the 'Men Are Trash' movement recently, and so, because I truly believe that knowledge is power, lets get a few things straight...
#MenAreTrash is an important hashtag that originated in South Africa. It was created in response to the overwhelming instances of gender-based violence against womxn at the hands of men, globally. It has now evolved into a movement, and used as a battle cry against injustice.
What 'Men Are Trash' is NOT...
'Men Are Trash' is not a complete sentence but the start of a larger conversation about the overwhelming majority of men who uphold the tenets of an unequal, violent, racist patriarchal society.
'Men Are Trash' does not mean ALL men, it is not a direct comment on your brother, your son, your dad or your dog walker... (unless they uphold the tenets of a patriarchal society in which case they are TRASH!)
Every time you say ‘not all men!’ You Are derailing an important conversation. By centring 'Men Are Trash' on how it makes YOU feel hurt or insulted instead of listening to the voices of the oppressed, you are forcing people to continually re-traumatise themselves. You are minimising their pain, you are invalidating their trauma, and you are subjecting them to further disenfranchisement in an already cruel world that operates to the benefits of men. Full stop.
'Men Are Trash' is for men too! Men are more likely to be the victims of violence at the hands of other men. Men are more likely to be raped by other men, they are more likely to be murdered by other men. Also, equally as important; Men are more likely to to kill themselves because Trashy Men perpetuate the toxic masculinity which makes men unable to be vulnerable, to cry, to talk about their emotions, to seek help, heal and grow.
If your brother, boyfriend, husband or artisan baker is good to you...WHO FUCKING CARES!? No but seriously...I’m happy for you. If all the men in your life are wonderful and are committed to ensuring that you live your best life then good for you, you deserve it, you are a QUEEN but seriously who fucking cares? If the men in your life are not dedicated to the eradication and dismantling of an institution that exists to their ultimate benefit and the detriment of so so many, who cares?
If he’s not actively committed to making the world a better, safer and more equal place for ALL marginalised people but takes care of all YOUR needs, then good for you...he’s not trash, but he’s problematic AS FUCK! And it’s probably best you don’t derail a whole conversation about the systematic rape, murder, oppression and marginalisation of a group of people with ‘Not All Men’ because he makes you a cup of tea in the morning...
When we say MEN ARE TRASH! and you silence us, and cut us off, delete our posts, unfollow us on social media, and force us to accommodate the 'feelings' of our oppressors, you are silencing the people who are already so marginalised and underrepresented in all aspects of life from popular culture to government, that YOU become part of the problem. YOU become the oppressor. YOU in this way uphold the tenets of an unequal, racist, patriarchal society...YOU ARE TRASH!
If you are not part of the solution...you ARE the problem. Know better, do better.