We Need To Stop Saying All Men Are Bad (Like, Right Now)

woman smoking
Catarina Carvalho

We all have that friend who’s constantly saying that all men suck and all men do this or that—hell, maybe we’ve even been that person. In reality, of course, it’s just not true. There’s no way that every single man on the planet sucks. Although I refuse to believe that, I also want to take the time to acknowledge those with trauma and a history of violence from men. That can make this a sticky topic, but try to read on through. I’m not advocating for men, I’m advocating for healing women’s hearts.

You focus on just the bad men when you say “all men.”

I don’t so much believe in the law of attraction, but I do believe that if you’re focusing on something in particular, it’s all you see. Kind of like tunnel vision—if you’re only focusing on the “bad” men, that’s all you’ll see. You’ll be on a bus and you’ll see the one man who’s catcalling you while missing the other 75 men. This can be quite disturbing in dating, leaving you only seeing the men who are problematic.

Sour attitudes attract sour men.

Catcalling is definitely nothing that women attract, but we definitely attract the type of men we’re in relationships with. If you continue to find yourself with men who treat you awful, it’s time to do a self-assessment of where you’re at and how you’re thinking about men. When you’re expecting them to suck, that’s the sort of behavior that you’re going to accept when it comes to love.

How does it feel when someone says “all women…” anything?

I know, I know, it’s different. I’m a raging feminist so I get the limitations of this idea, but let’s roll with it for a second. How do we like it when a man (or even a woman/anyone else) says “all women are super sensitive” or “all women are crazy.” We hate it because it’s total BS. There’s no way that all women are anything, just as every single man isn’t the same in one of the ridiculous ways we can make up.

Generalizing at all is seldom a good idea.

How about when you’re in a fight with your partner and you use the word “always?” That’s a huge no-no because it’s just not true. Although it may seem like it, especially when angry, there are very few cases where someone does something 100 percent of the time. There may be some scientific instances where generalizing is useful, but on the whole, it’s just not helpful.

There are plenty of good men in the world.

The reality is that there ARE lots of good men in the world. I know because I experienced thinking that all men were bad, then I opened myself up to the idea that maybe they aren’t all so awful. Then, I started to see all of the lovely men who are respectful, kind, and caring. Think of someone’s dad who’s just the best or your friend’s dreamy partner who treats them with so much care. There are more men out there like this in the world!

It’s still important to acknowledge there are men who act like jerks too.

Okay, so before my frisky feminist friends get too angry, I have some backtracking to do. Yes, there are good men in the world and it’s helpful for us to start acknowledging them. However, there are still plenty of men who do super crappy things and this can’t be swept under the rug. There’s often a reason that many women say that all men suck, like the fact that they’ve experienced assault or violence from men and this is not to be wiped out.

We do need to be sensitive to sexism and trauma.

Another reality is that sexism still exists. Men still rape—often. These are terrible and unfortunate realities that need to be acknowledged. While it’s impossible to talk about feelings towards men without addressing these, I want to say that I’m trying to take a look at the way we think on the whole. Even for those who have dealt with violence, it’s not useful to think that the entire planet of men are bad, though I realize how difficult this change of mindset is and I acknowledge that.

Men do still have work to do.

Sure, there are good men in the world. The reality is, though, that these men have a ton of work to do in lifting up the other men who aren’t acting so well. Men have an obligation to help each other snap out of whatever shit they’re doing. Men have a responsibility to actively fight sexism and violence.

I acknowledge that personal and societal trauma makes this hard.

Even as I’m writing this, I’m questioning if it’s going to make some people very angry. I’ve been there with trauma too. It causes searing anger and sadness, which needs to be felt for as long as it does. Though, for those of us who have some wiggle room, it’s important to make peace while still leaving room for our feelings and to heal.

You can be open to new experiences while still protecting yourself.

If what I’m saying doesn’t seem too far out, know that you’re allowed to be mad and at the same time think about changing how you feel. You’re allowed to take baby steps, slowly opening up to new experiences, while still keeping your heart safely guarded. You can do this how you need to.

Saying “all men are bad” just doesn’t help anyone.

For those healing from trauma and those who just are fed up of men, saying that “all men are bad” isn’t useful to you. Let’s forget men for a second and how saying this makes them feel. Focusing on you—it isn’t helpful. It causes you to only see the bad and it keeps you from making meaningful connections that may be healing after all. TC mark

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