Comic Exposes a Sexist Hypocrisy You May Not Have Noticed

A comic originally published on Everyday Feminism makes a solid case for why the "not all men" argument is "just sexist hypocrisy."

"Not all men"

TIME magazine called the "not all men" defense "every dude's favorite argument" in April 2014. It is an argument against feminism that is so prevalent it became an internet meme.

The basic idea is that when a woman explains an issue such as street harassment, rather than listen to her explanation, some men instead reflexively respond that "not all men" are like that or do that.

"There seem to be a lot of people out there who are upset by generalizations about men," illustrator Alli Kirkham wrote in the first panel of her comic:

"Here's why it's a bit unsettling when someone is totally OK with generalizing about women, but can't handle it when they hear generalizations about men."

at all men

not all men

not all men

The issue is it's "not all men" but seemingly "yes all women," Kirkham's comic argues.

Blogger Phil Plait argued in Slate why the "not all men" argument is flawed. "Why is it not helpful to say 'not all men are like that'?" Plait asked. "For lots of reasons. For one, women know this. They already know not every man is a rapist, or a murderer, or violent. They don't need you to tell them."

"Second," Plait added, "it's defensive. When people are defensive, they aren't listening to the other person; they're busy thinking of ways to defend themselves. I watched this happen on Twitter, over and again."

"People saying it aren't furthering the conversation: They're sidetracking it," Plait said. "The discussion isn't about the men who aren't a problem."

The next time you run into a tortured "not all men" discussion online, at least now you have a handy illustrated guide as to why that argument doesn't work.

You can read the full comic here.