Dear Some Men

Dear Some Men.

I cannot just say men, because ‘not all men’, for which I am profoundly grateful. Let me define the kind of men I’m talking to.

The man I don’t know who called me a stupid ‘split arse cunt’ just for going on a march.

The man who wanted a plane full of marchers going to the Washington DC march to crash and burn to rid the world of ugly, feminist people. And the people who cheered him on.

The men who said that feminism is only for ugly, fat dykes who haven’t got anything better to do. Let’s include the ones who said, ‘thank fuck that fat women finally got off their arses to exercise’. Only fat women are feminists apparently, and lesbians. Remind me to tell Mark Gatiss. I stood next to him on Saturday. He’ll be delighted to know he’s a fat lesbian.

And body shaming? It’s so 2016. Who gives a fuck what size you are or what you look like? And if we want to go down that route, the USA have just elected a man that looks like a shrivelled satsuma with a combover and a cat’s arse instead of a mouth.

And lesbianism is an insult? Ha!

The men who said that if women only had a cock inside them they’d learn how to shut the fuck up. We can cluster that with the one who said that we should all be forcibly impregnated and the one who said we should get back to the fucking kitchen and learn our place.

The men who said that women don’t deserve safe, legal abortions because they should learn not to be slags/keep their legs shut/stop fucking around. The same men who denied any responsibility for any part of the sexual act, who denied that contraception fails, who denied that rapes happen.

The men who said that children who think feminism is a good idea are brainwashed. This goes with the one who told me this morning that he didn’t believe my 13 year old had asked to go on the march because it’s a fact that ‘children can’t think for themselves’.

The men who wished all women on the march to die horribly.

The men who kept shouting about how we were all wasting our time marching and didn’t see the irony of wasting their time spending hours repeatedly telling women what to do and how to think about things. I include the men who deliberately joined a women’s group page to tell the women on their own page to shut the fuck up.

The men who wished all women who were on the march to be raped repeatedly. There were several variations on this. The  word ‘skank’ got used a lot, along  with repeated use of the word ‘cunt’ and threats of cutting and other acts of violence, sexual and just downright physical. I expect they don’t believe in safe, legal abortion either.

The men who said: ‘Why are you bothering to march, you have no problems. Tell me what problems you have. You are equal,’ while conveniently ignoring the death threats, rape threats, insults, slurs and defamation they were posting their ‘you are equal’ comments in the middle of. That doesn’t include their ignoring of the gender pay gap, the glass ceiling, the lack of representation in many career choices, the cutting of refuges for victims of domestic violence, the woman killed every three days by a man in this country.

The men who asked why we weren’t protesting sharia law, Saudi Arabian politics, cruelty to animals etc, because apparently you can only do, be and think one thing or your tiny, female brain overheats.

This is from Tony. Tony wants to know why we didn’t march to protect girls in Rotherham being raped. He won’t accept that people did. He won’t march himself because, ‘I’m not a woman, duh.’ And this: ‘I only march for serious issues, not with a load of stupid slags who don’t know what they want.’ When you tell Tony you did march he tells you you’re a fucking liar. When you tell him exactly what you want, he calls you a slag. Tony thinks we’re all munters except his wife who thinks we’re all cunts. Tony doesn’t march. Tony doesn’t do anything but dictate to women what they should and shouldn’t do and then repeatedly refers to their vaginas when they don’t. Apparently Tony doesn’t have any problems finding pussy. He’s ‘dipped a few.’ I bet his wife is happy about that.

Fred posted just now. Apparently he gave some chips to homeless people in Skegness on Sunday. Why can’t we be more like Fred instead of being women with ‘ a filthy mouth and are crude too. There is no demure lady in you. Your prob the dopey bird who walked around with the fanny on her head. You carry on your march , your protest . We just laugh at , birds, like you’. Fred doesn’t think women are capable of doing more than one thing. Fred is superior because he fed chips to a homeless person. Fred thinks women come from eggs because he keeps repeatedly referring to their avian ancestry. Fred doesn’t believe in multi tasking, or spelling, or punctuation.

Tony can’t support women’s lib because he’s still mad about World War I. Apparently we mention ‘Nothing at all about sending millions of men to their death during world war 1, the women’s lib took up the white feather issue to help men win wars’. Tony is a man who holds a grudge, and demonstrates publicly a spectacular failure to grasp historical facts.

These are the tame quotes. I’ll spare you the rest.

The men who cried ‘fake’ news at the numbers of people, the diversity of people, the lack of violence and damage done despite the evidence pouring in minute after minute on social media for the last three days from every possible source.

To the men who persistently call us feminazis, because wanting equality of opportunity for all is exactly the same as sending six million people to their deaths because you believe blonde hair and blue eyes look nicer in the photographs.

To the man who said to me this morning in response to seeing my daughter marching under a WEP banner saying no to hate. ‘What hate?’ I respectfully point to the above.

To the men who denied the government report that 1 in 3 girls experience some kind of sexual misconduct in school from groping to verbal abuse to rape. To the man in particular who told me I was stupid to think that girls in schools get raped.

To the men who have called us foul mouthed for using the word pussy and cunt while advocating violence to all fucking, ugly cunts. Apparently you can rape a woman to death and that’s fine because you’re just showing her her place, but if a woman says cunt, the world literally ends.

To these men and all the others who have come crawling, and I use the words advisedly, out from the woodpile in their thousands since Saturday I have this to say.

Your mother, believe it or not, is one of us. She is a woman. She has a vagina or a ‘cunt’ as you might prefer to say. When she conceived you, she was having hot, sweaty, sex with a man. She carried you in her womb for forty weeks, during which time you were responsible for many ravages on her poor body from stretch marks to swollen boobs to piles. Then she probably pushed you out of her vagina. She’s probably not someone you’d say was beautiful in the way you expect women to be. She doesn’t have to be. She’s your mum. If she marched,  would you call her an ugly, fat slag for marching?

Your sister, believe it or not, is one of us. She has tits and a cunt and an ass. She has holes that men like you think it’s their right to violate any way they like. They want to push her up against a wall and fuck her till she bleeds. They want to rape her and leave her ruined and sobbing and guilty, possibly diseased, possibly carrying the baby that you want to deny her the right to abort. She walks down the street avoiding cat calls from people like you. She goes to school wearing leggings and PE shorts over her knickers, praying that today, boys like you won’t put their hands up her skirt. She knows men who look at her like they’re banging her every which way from Sunday and it makes her skin crawl.

Your wife, believe it or not, is one of us. She probably let other men fuck her before you. She bleeds from her vagina every month, just like we do. She probably doesn’t look like a supermodel either. Is it alright with you if someone like you calls her a lesbian bull dyke because she doesn’t look like Cyndi Crawford, because there are men that want to? She has to think about how safe she is when she goes out at nights with her mates, just like we do. She probably carries her keys splayed through her knuckles just in case someone jumps her. She might walk down the middle of the road when she’s alone, just in case someone jumps out of a hedge and tries to rape her. She thinks about this all the time, even if she doesn’t tell you. She might not even consciously think she thinks it, because it’s second nature most of the time for a woman to try to keep herself out of harm’s way, and by harm, I mean men’s way. Men like you.

And this goes for your grandmothers who are also women just like us, and who, if they live alone, probably panic when the door bell rings in case it’s men like you who pretend they’re there to read the meter but force their way into her house because they like to fuck and beat up old ladies, and don’t say it doesn’t happen. It happens. It happens all the time.

And it goes for your daughters and nieces, your beautiful baby daughters and toddlers and little girls, the little girls who sit on your knee and make you feel like a million dollars as you burst with protective pride. The little girls whose tiny hand fits inside your large one like it was always meant to be there and who believe you are keeping her safe, until they find out you aren’t.

They are us. We are them. They will grow into women like us and they will be used and abused by men like you. And don’t say they don’t. 1 in 3 women in the UK experiences harassment and worse.

I know it’s fear that drives you. That’s what hate is at bottom, just fear. And I understand why you fear us. You’ve been doing this to us for so long you fear that when (and I use this word advisedly), we get equality, we’ll use our power to do this to you, to take revenge, because it’s what you would do.

Well think again. We’ve got better things to do with our time and our energy. We’re about building, not destroying. We’re about inclusion and fairness and tolerance and love for ALL, and that includes you. It worked on Saturday. It will work again. Why not try working with us. It will work for you.

In the meantime.

The rapists, the perverts, the abusers, the murderers, the men who think it’s acceptable to troll women to the point of a nervous break down, the stalkers, the men who deny responsibility, the men who say women deserve what they get, the men who say only bad girls get their just deserts. The domestic abusers. The gas lighters. Those men. They don’t know that those women are ‘YOUR’ women. They don’t know not to touch your wife on the street. They don’t see the sign round your daughter’s neck that says ‘hands off.’ They don’t think your grandmother is exempt from their attentions because she’s related to you. They see what you see. They see minge, cunt, pussy. They see bodies up for grabs, dumb fuck, asking for it, uptight girls who need to be shown their place and that place is under a man either physically or emotionally or both.

Every time you post the stuff you do,  every time you open your mouth and spew hatred, advocate violence, turn a blind eye, make it a woman’s fault or responsibility you are giving men like you permission to do this to women like us, and one day it will be your woman.

And when she’s broken, and battered and full of shame and bloodied and bruised we won’t ostracise her because she’s your woman. We’ll accept her. We will support her, love her, stand up for her, give her comfort, reach out to her, make her welcome in an unwelcome world, because despite what you say and think, she was always and will always be one of us and we are one with her.

67 responses to “Dear Some Men

  1. Thank you for this incredible post. I have been trying so hard to avoid the negative comments on the march; quite frankly anyone who has an issue with people coming together to fight hate is an absolute turd. I know men who have some of the opinions that you have listed above and it honestly has made me question being friends with them as I just don’t know how I can power through knowing that they feel like this. I feel so sad but also pretty angry. It would be so nice to be listened to as a man is listened to.

  2. oh, well said. Wish I was as eloquent

  3. Excellent Katy, just excellent. Fuck but it was an amazing march.

    We are discussing it on the Remain pages. How come it was so successful? Why aren’t people out marching for liberal ways on the Brexit issue?
    How do we get them out? They came out after the referendum but now 6 months on they are silent. We came out on Saturday because the orange defiler was inaugurated on the Friday. Just like the first marches against Brexit. This march was well advertised on all the news channels. But it just had wings. Everyone related.
    How do we do this for our marches. We have a rally on the 4th of February outside Downing Street. We need numbers. We need to tell Mayham that she doesn’t have a mandate of the people, that she is going down roads that had no box on the ballot paper.
    We have a March on the 25th March. It is on the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. We need numbers. There is talk of knitting hats with blue and gold stars, a sea of blue and gold hats for Europe. Or just wearing snowflake badges as a kind of pride issue. We maybe snowflakes but put enough of us together you get an avalanche.
    The EU citizens are having a strike so we can see how important a part of our society they are, on the 20th February. I’m not sure how I feel about this action. It feels like they are taking on the heat of the strike but if we join them they aren’t getting their message across. How do we tell the people what is happening? Main Stream Media are just wiping us from history. Question Time is always in a strong Leave area with strong Leave speakers and a strong Leave audience. It is a rare occurrence that a Remainer can get their point across. It is always “When we Brexit…” not “If we Brexit….” on the BBC. We, 50% of the voters have just been scrubbed from the public eye.

    So yes Katy it was a fabulous march full of energetic, imaginative, creative, joyful, happy people joined in a common cause. How do we get the people to march against Brexit in the same way. It isn’t a done deal. It doesn’t have to happen. We do not have to leave the European Union.

    (For those who say it is democracy, can I point you toward the Referendum Bill, clause 5 where it says that the referendum was an opinion poll, that Parliament does not have to abide by the result, that is was an advisory non binding referendum for Parliament to get a feel of how the country feels about an issue. Can I also point you to Hansard that has a word for word report of what was said in Parliament when Salmond asked for Thresholds to be placed on the referendum, you now something like 75% turnout with a 60% majority, and he was laughed at (yes it was in Hansard how they laughed) and told “why do we need thresholds for a non binding advisory referendum” – democracy my arse.)

    • I don’t know to be honest. I think it has something to do with the energy of it, and maybe the inclusivity? Perhaps some way of making it really clear that this is not about division. Also make it not angry. There were angry people there on Saturday, but they were coming together with joy. I’m not sure how that would work. Have a disco maybe? It’s a serious thought.

      • I don’t know either, but I’m extremely happy to hear about a strike by EU citizens. I’ve been thinking that a strike would really open the public’s eyes to how integral a part of the UK our European (and other) friends are. I will pass this info around. Do you have a website that people can turn to? I think that’s important – we all need a place to find the information and to refer other people for answers.

  4. Charlotte Bassett-Chan

    Dear Katyboo, thank you for writing so powerfully and honestly. You are brave and profound. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

  5. What all these pathetic individuals don’t realise is that no matter how much they whinge and verbally abuse WE are not going away. Women have had enough – women are demanding change and I have high hopes complete equality is not only one day possible but inevitable. Won’t be easy but assaulting people on the internet is not going to stop it.

  6. Well said Katy. If only these sad, unhappy men could harness all this energy and redirect it to do something positive and worthwhile. They might find they could even experience an emotion called ‘happiness’.

  7. Hands out to you sister xxxx

  8. Katy, words fail.
    It genuinely scares me the venomous comments and outright threats that some people feel it is acceptable to spew at complete strangers for having a differing opinion.
    I was going to say “the few” but, in this world gone crazy, I worry that the problem doesn’t lie with the few but terrifyingly with the majority.
    I have deleted a few acquaintances from my Facebook account today, because of comments made that made me feel genuinely upset, angry or uncomfortable and I should imagine having shared your post, and my thoughts, on my page that I will lose a few more by the end of the day.
    I hope that you are planning on holding these people to account and are making the police aware of the threatening comments that you are receiving?
    Thank you for keeping on going, but I wish you didn’t have to run the gauntlet of such vitriol just for having a voice.

    • My great succour in all of this is that things are always darkest before the dawn. What we are doing, what we are saying is working. Things are changing. If they weren’t, these people would not be so vile. And they’re where we can see them and trace them and have evidence of them and this is also good, if distressing. We are wining. Still we rise. xx

  9. Wow. Truly powerful stuff. Thank you.

  10. Brilliant, thank you.

  11. my heart breaks with the truth of this xx

  12. Well said, Katy!

  13. Thank you for your articulate, thoughtful energy and research. I shall quote from you when I get more stupid questions, rather than just exploding with incoherent rage.

  14. Dear Katy, I am a man. I am appalled at the abuse and sentiments aimed towards women who dare to have an opinion. I can only hope you believe me when I say that the majority of men are not like these abusers. Unfortunately, a noisy few can create the impression that such views are prevalent. I am embarrassed for my gender that I even feel the need to say this.

    • Dear Colin. Your comment means a great deal. It really does. Thank you. I am lucky to have a wonderful father, great husband, brilliant son and lots of male friends like you. On Saturday there were also so many men sharing the march and the thought of people like you really makes me feel very hopeful. Thanks again. x

      • As an aside, I took your list of Books of 2016 and my Christmas Waterstone’s tokens into town on Saturday. Unbelievably, I couldn’t get the Curtis Sittenfeldnand the Barbara Comyns you recommended but I’ve come away with earlier books by both – American Wife and Sisters By a River respectively. Half term reading sorted along with Primo Levi (seems like an appropriate time) and Sweet Caress by William Boyd. X

      • Ooh, let me know how you get on. x

  15. We swapped messages after one of your superb post-Brexit posts, Katy; you’ve “nailed it” once again. As a white, middle/working-class, ‘liberal’ man, I’ve not ended up where I hoped I would but still, compared to most of the world, enjoyed enormous privilege. I pay a comparatively small price for this, rendered in guilt. White, middle/working-class men can be such arseholes, can’t they? Dare I say,, “cunts”, actually. If I have the right to apologise to you and women everywhere for the extreme stupidity of “some men” (way, way too many at that) then I offer it to you now, with complete sincerity. p.s. keep up the good work.

  16. So much hatred, so much anger and so much intolerance, was it always there or has the ability to rage, abuse and wilfully misunderstand from behind the relative safety of a username unleashed some kind of monster?

    I don’t want to believe so many men (or women for that matter) are intrinsically bitter, twisted and frustrated and have seized on the internet as an outlet. That it has broadened their horizons only enough to provide them with new targets for their bile and given them the opportunity to reinforce and validate sickening views through contact with like minded people but sometimes…..

    I’m so sorry you were subjected to a demonstration of what the worst of these cowardly trolls are capable of. It must have been such a kick in the teeth after the euphoria and optimism of the march, there couldn’t be a greater contrast between the demonstrators standing up for decency, respect and human rights and these destructive, malevolent bigots. However I know you are strong and we both know that they are very damaged people who should be pitied, because all that hatred and distrust must poison so much of their lives.

    I do want to believe that if we keep defending what we believe in and fighting for a better, fairer, kinder world we will overwhelm those that seem to be fighting for precisely the opposite. I also believe you are a great warrior and I’m glad we’re on the same side 🙂

  17. Katy, your writing is as eloquent and moving as usual. But I think it is so incredibly depressing that you have to respond to such vile and contemptible abuse (albeit from a small but vociferous minority) in this, the 21st century. And, for what its worth, I echo Colins apology.

  18. I have nothing more to add to all the comments above, but I can reiterate them. This was harrowing to read, but beautifully and eloquently written. Thank you for articulating so well the things that matter. I’m sharing far and wide.

  19. Thank you for this–eloquent and powerful. And thank you for marching.

  20. Powerful words Katy, thank you. Shared with my colleagues and students, for those I know who asked ‘why bother marching?’ or ‘why should I care?’ Hope your writing reaches them x

  21. An absolutely amazing, oh-so-eloquent post, Katy! Thank you for putting it all into words! xoxo

  22. I bet Tony’s wife doesn’t actually exist. I bet Tony’s married to his own hand. And now I plan to share this.

  23. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve read in years! Thank you! J

  24. That was sterling. I am always saddened to see such vitriol aimed at people. I think much of it is designed to bypass rational argument and just to win by breaking the other person’s will to debate, in this case by fear. They won’t win if people like you keep showing how not to be bowed.

  25. That’s very well said Katy, however I believe you’ve left something out. Those women who said that it wasn’t their march, that they didn’t NEED feminism and so on, they need addressing too.

  26. Thank you for expressing this so eloquently. Feminism isn’t finished yet.

  27. Amazing, eloquent. So so powerful. I wish l could have been on the march – as a single Mum, it was out of my reach. Know l was there in spirit and thinking all that you say.
    Xx

  28. This is amazing. Thank you.

  29. Thank you for such eloquent expression, Katy. You make me proud to be a woman, and thankful that the women in my family were all born fighters, too 🙂
    One day, I hope my daughter will see a genuine equality with the men that surround her and, on that day, I’ll know it’s because women like you gave us all a voice, and helped us to deny the roles being dictated to us by that virulent minority of men who can’t see in front of themselves.

  30. This post resonated in so many ways. There is hardly a woman on this planet who has not been subject to some abuse in some form or the other, and it is the same if she is attractive and young, or not, or any combination of the two. You very effectively put into words what a lot of women think and feel. I always look forward to your posts.

  31. Well said Katy – as always. Well said.
    It’s going to take an awful lot of lousy men to keep one good woman down.
    And still we rise.

  32. Wow, that’s just made me cry…

  33. Beautifully said…. thank you for sharing. Please check out my blog. I would love your feedback!

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