Men should stop dismissing women’s concerns by saying “Not All Men,” listen, support them instead


Kruti Subbannavar

About six months ago, I was mindlessly scrolling down Instagram when this reel caught my eye. It was about a male Tik-Toker asking his female followers what they would do if the world had no men for an entire day. 

The simplicity of the responses made them extremely relatable, but also sad. The fact that women weren’t safe to go out on a run, or travel alone, or simply walk down a street without being catcalled was eye-opening for me and terrifying as a female.

Living in a Carmel-bubble, I have never truly seen the extent of danger a lone woman can be in, especially in a city. Living in the suburbs is an insulation against the scary reality that I will be part of in a couple of years. 

With the recent resurgence of the MeToo Movement in New York and the growing response of people to diminish the importance and the existence of feminism is worrying. Even more worrying is the excuse that men shoot back at women when they speak out about their troubles with men. Yes, I said excuse. And I’m speaking of the ever-iconic, “Not All Men”.

Not All Men, which shifts the blame while simultaneously dismissing everything that women have to say. Not All Men, which is the response to a feigned accusation when all women are asking for really is a little support to live our lives the way we want to. 

Recent spikes of violence against women is even more disheartening to think of. Thinking of Sarah Everard, a British woman who was found dead, makes me more apprehensive towards my future of living in a city. It gets to the point where I question if all the safety measures drilled into our heads as young girls are more for decoration than actual use.

And men not claiming “Not All Men” would help so much, they have no idea.

To all the men, boys, males reading this: when a woman posts about her difficulties with men, we are NOT accusing all of you as a species. We want YOUR support. We want you all to understand that being a bystander is not helping. That all we want is for you all to understand that some of us live in fear every second of every day, especially those of us living in big cities. Some of us are preyed on as children. Most of us go anywhere in pairs because, as futile of a measure it may seem, almost everything is centered around our safety.

This seems extremely dark and existential, but as someone that worries about these kinds of things constantly, these are my concerns spilled on the page for you to see. I have dreams of going far and achieving things, of traveling alone and seeing the sights around the world, and I really don’t want to keep an eye out for my safety 24/7 everywhere I go. So please, retire the “Not All Men” excuse, and instead, call the problematic men out for a safer future for all the women around the world.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Kruti Subbannavar at [email protected] To read more of her works click here. To see more works by the HiLite, click here.