When the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter showed up, another appeared soon enough
What is wrong with this hashtag? Nothing and yet everything.
You see, the people who use it are saying one very important thing. They are saying they aren't part of the group of people who harass and terrorize POC, but they are not going to do anything about it. They like their white privilege and in order to avoid having to talk about their privilege and risk losing it, they deflect from the real issue by talking about the sanctity of all life, "Everyone has the right to live." And so this watered down appeal falls on dead ears, for everyone has already heard about the sanctity of life from every pro-lifer who supports warfare.
But what about #NotAllMen? Surely it is true that not all men hate women and plot violence against them, but this hashtag says an equally important thing. It says that the brotherhood is more important than the safety of an individual woman. It's about avoiding the label without having to do anything that hurts the brotherhood. It lends credibility to the confession of a select number of college aged young men who admitted that they wouldn't mind sexually assaulting a woman if they could get away with it and avoid the label rapist. Male privilege runs deep.
So what should our response be?
Perhaps #NotAllMen but #AllWomen.
Women will, just by being women, experience harrasment, sexual assault, violence, belittling, catcalling. They will be ignored, patronized, pushed aside. The men who want to be part of the #NotAllMen minority should be vocal about their refusal to harass women and do something about it when it happens.
Yes to #AllLivesMatter as long as #AllIncludesEveryone.
#BlackLivesMatter. Yes, they matter. It is not something we get to talk about as an academic exercise while we protect our hurt white feelings. Black lives matter just as much as anyone else's life, and because they matter, every white person who has the opportunity should stand up and do something about it when it is apparent that black lives don't matter. It's not okay to say #AllLivesMatter unless you put the black in the all.
So next time you see a hashtag that says #AllLivesMatter an/or #NotAllMen, hold the people accountable for their claims.