one of the things that bothers me most about posts which imply (or outright state) that all men are inherently abusive, aside from the fact that it’s objectively untrue, is that it normalises and excuses abuse – if abusiveness is inseparable from maleness and masculinity, then abusive men aren’t really accountable for their actions, because by that logic they can’t help it. this also falsely implies that there is no alternative male behaviour, which is incredibly dangerous and absolutely contributes to victim blaming where the perpetrator was a man. men can be gentle! men can be loving! if you’re attracted to men, accept nothing less, and never place the blame on your own attraction to men if you are poorly treated rather than on the man in question for actively choosing to mistreat you.
When I reblog posts about men being abusive fucks, I don’t mean all men. Of course I don’t. What I mean is enough men. Enough men have been raised to believe their abusive behavior is normal or natural or right that it’s a problem. Enough men have been abusive towards me in my life that I’ll always be wary of it. Qualifying it every time with “not all men but a whole fucking lot of men” shouldn’t be necessary, when addressing such a widespread issue.
Yes, it is. Because a lot of people really do believe that those posts are directed at all men. Both good and bad people, including:
- Misogynist gender-essentialist men, who regularly argue that you can’t expect any better from them because it’s in their nature as men to be abusive dickheads.
- Autistic people, and people with related neurodivergences, because taking language literally is one of the diagnostic features of autism.
- Biphobes and anti-het people, who argue that women should eschew romantic relationships with men and become lesbians as a political statement, because all men are shit.
- Trans people struggling with internalized transphobia – trans men who are struggling to accept being part of a category that is so often equated with abusive behaviour; transfeminine people who are afraid of being misgendered and assumed to be one of those awful men; and nonbinary people for a pile of complicated and varied reasons. Plus, since TERFs are especially likely to make “all men are X” statements, many trans people have learned to be rightfully suspicious of those statements.
- Speaking of which, TERFs also take those statements literally. The ideology positions all ‘males’ (ie people with penises) as aggressors against all ‘females’ (people with wombs).
- Men (and some non-men) with low self-esteem, scrupulousity obsessions, or other related mental health challenges, who tend to assume that criticism is directed at them if it’s at all vague who the target is.
- And lastly, I suspect, people who say these kinds of things. If you don’t get into the habit of noticing and acknowledging the exceptions, in my experience, stereotypical thinking starts to creep in implicitly. Repeat an idea often enough and you might start to believe it.