How to be a #NotAllMen Expert
In order to be an authentic #NotAllMen expert, you must belong to a humble, patriarchal background, be acutely unaware of your privilege, and, of course, ‘be a man’.
You start off by choosing what women to respect.
Pro tip: It is usually best to respect those who are sexually off-limits. Examples include your mother, your sister, your daughter, your grandmother, your aunts…
You are not required, by rules that govern the #NotAllMen alliance, to respect the rest of them – including but not limited to transgenders, sex-workers, women who willingly have sex with multiple partners, or even your boss.
Any event that inspires nation-wide outrage with respect to the treatment of a woman, should be appropriately appended with a set of rules to save women everywhere from future ‘shame’. The list of rules include:
Don’t wear short dresses outside. Cover your breasts, butt, thighs, legs, arms, shins, feet, fingers, neck, hair, ears, mouth, lips, eyes.
Don’t go out late at night.
Don’t loiter on the streets alone. Better yet don’t walk at all, take a cab. But the cab driver might rape, so own a vehicle. They might burn your vehicle down, so best, stay at home.
Don’t meet or talk to new people. Don’t leave your drink unattended. Don’t make eye-contact.
Listen to your father, brother, husband, boyfriend – basically people qualified to keep you safe.
You get the drift...
Next, you have to learn how to respond to any discourse affecting women around you, especially if they are talked about by women. Some of the best responses, besides, of course, #NotAllMen, are
“Women in other places have it worse”
“Why don’t you report to the police instead of complaining here?”
“At least you’re safer here, you see what happened to <enter sensational case here>?!”
“Just ignore. When you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.”
Remember to freely interject your opinion and mansplain* the f**k out of it. Remember, there’s no such thing as too much mansplaining.
Your next duty as a flag bearer of the #NotAllMen alliance is the defence of innocent locker room talk, including but in no way limited to, sexist jokes, body shaming, rape humour and gay bashing. Explain patronisingly, that jokes of a certain nature are bound to get tossed around when even the most well- meaning men get together.
And if they do at all make you uncomfortable, don’t say a thing cause only pussies are uncomfortable with misogyny.
But remember, a #NotAllMen expert is a liberal, an open minded chap.
And like all such chaps has an ideal lady type. “I like a girl who’s independent (until she refuses to take your last name), who speaks her mind (until she actually does), someone who’ll get along with my friends (but is not too ‘friendly’), a girl who drinks (but stops at the third glass of wine), someone who will help me succeed (by putting all of her ambitions aside). And oh and she should know how to cook, did I mention that already?”
“Yes Sir, you did.”
Do you detect a hint of anger in her voice? When any such situations arise, here’s a few pre-set templates in which you can respond.
Start with “I can’t deal with all this drama, please be practical” and follow it up with “Why are you getting so emotional? And then with a quick shrug “it’s that time of the month, isn’t it! That’s your closing argument. The one diagnosis for whatever it is that ails her. Why else would any woman in the ‘right frame of mind’ need to get angry, period?
Lastly, whenever any woman, exhausted from all the harmless eve-teasing, catcalling, molestation, and discrimination aimed at her, begins to say she’s tired of all this and men are shit-jobs for being so ridiculous and vile, take offence at being generalized, interject while she’s talking and say, “but surely Not All Men...”
Kejal is a feminist, writer and educator. Besides smashing the patriarchy, and sarcastic comebacks, her interests lie in gender-equal parenting, and books.