Stop asking me ‘what about men?’ 

Everyone who follows my blog knows that my best work is written in rage, or port. But Christmas has gone now so no more port. 
Well, at least I still have rage. So back to that. 

Recently I have been getting increasingly frustrated with ‘whataboutery’ every single time I write or speak about women or girls. 
For those of you who don’t know what that word means, ‘whataboutery’ is when someone responds to a difficult issue or question with a counter issue or question that completely derails the conversation. 

Example:
Mai: My research focussed on the murder of women in Yemen 
Randomer: uh, this is a bit sexist. What about the murder of men in Yemen? Don’t you care about men? 


Example 2
Pam: I’m really upset with you for stealing from my purse 
Mel: What about that time you stole from the local shop? You’re not innocent either, you know! 
Pam: I was 9. 
(Haha) 

Familiar with that? Yep? Thought you might be. Sometimes reminds me of gaslighting. 
Okay, so back to the rage. Rage that I need to put in context for this blog to make a jot of sense. 

Almost 5 years ago, my father in law died after we had tried everything to help him and begged every agency and service for help. We got the dreaded phone call from police to say they had found a body. It was his. We had to go and identify him. He was a very vulnerable adult struggling with addiction, homelessness and a very complicated trauma history. 

At his wake, my Husband and I decided to set up a charity for male mental health and well-being and we named it ‘The Eaton Foundation’ (TEF).

(Someone once laughed at me, ‘Bit narcissistic of you isn’t it, naming a foundation after yourself?’ and then went every shade of red whilst I told them it was my late Father in Law’s name.) 

So in 2013 we founded the charity, of which I am still the Chairperson. The charity only supports adult men. We grew exponentially. I mean – from like 10 men to 150 men in one year. In the second year of operation I managed to secure over £270k of funding and funded the renovation of a huge old derelict building which we turned into the first male mental health and well-being centre in the UK. 

My husband runs it on the day-to-day, along with his staff and volunteers. We now employ 6 people and have a further 9 volunteers. We see hundreds of men a year who benefit from completely free, lifelong support including counselling, benefits advice, food parcels, housing advocacy, legal advice, IT suite, music and band practice, employment clubs and training courses, fitness clubs, art therapy and so on. Some guys have been coming every day for years. Our clientele is between 18 and 85 years old from every walk of life you can imagine. 

Why am I telling you this? 

Because in those 5 years, I have NEVER received the amount of abuse and ‘whataboutery’ that I get for my work and research with women and girls. 
Most of you know me for my work with women and girls and my controversial tumble into CSE. My PhD focusses on the victim blaming of women and girls in society which includes one of the largest ever literature reviews of every factor in society that supports victim blaming of women and girls (I do mean every factor I could find evidence for – from porn to Hinduism). 

I have a career history in rape centre management and criminal justice management of vulnerable and intimidated witness programmes, which is where I built my experience and knowledge of sexual violence, homicides, trafficking and other serious crimes across my courts. 

I launched a study last year, exploring the many different forms of victim blaming women and girls can experience. Over 700 people responded. My other recent studies have included interviewing women who have been blamed for rape and abuse, interviewing therapists and support workers who work with women who blame themselves for being abused or attacked and a complex study in which I developed and validated a new psychometric measure of victim blaming of women. 
I honestly cannot express how much whataboutery I get. 

Here are some real examples: 

‘Don’t you think you’re being sexist by only writing about women in this article?’

‘This article is good but where are your studies on men?’ 

‘I don’t condone murder but don’t you think you are gender biased, only caring about the murders of women?’ 

‘You can tell the psychologist who wrote this study is a sexist bitch who hates men’

‘This study was ridiculous. All you care about is women! What about men?’

‘You should have your PhD removed. This is so sexist. None of your research is about men.’

‘By only caring about women, you basically say that all men are rapists.’

‘This is great Jessica! But I wonder if you can now build one of these for boys and men and why they aren’t included in the first place?’

‘Why do you only focus on women? Men can get abused as well, you know!’

‘What about men, cunt?’

Honestly, I could go on forever and ever. 

In fact, I did one study where there was a free text question at the end and a whopping 9% of respondents chose to use that box to criticise me for not researching men. I say whopping because the free text box didn’t even ask them a question about that and 63 people still managed to use the box to whack in some ‘whataboutery’. 
Not only that but a further 14% (over 90 people) left comments that were just plain nasty or abusive. One guy told me that my work was shit and he hopes I fail my PhD. And then left his full name and job title. He was an academic at a university. In my field. He even put some kisses on. 
And what perplexes me about all of this, is that I have no such experiences of running TEF. 

I can’t tell you about the hundreds of messages or tweets we get asking ‘what about women?’ – because it’s never happened. 

I don’t have any stories about the times we got sent a tonne of abuse when we conducted research with general public in the community about male mental health stigma – because it’s never happened. 
I can switch over to the TEF twitter account right now and write literally anything about men and nothing bad will ever happen. Our Facebook page has thousands of followers and we never get threats, abuse or whataboutery. 

Fair enough, my Twitter is currently at about 4.5k followers but my teeny tiny Facebook page is only on a few hundred followers and I get between 10-20 abusive messages and comments a week – almost exclusively comments about me focusing on women and girls – which usually results in me being called a ‘fat, ugly feminist cunt’ or something along those eloquent lines. 


Recently this has all caused me to reflect. 

Why don’t I get any abuse when I speak and write about men and boys? 
Why am I hailed? 

Why did we win 6 charity awards and over £300k in the first 18 months of operation? 

Why did I end up on every TV channel and radio in the UK? Why can I launch studies and campaigns and videos and appeals for TEF about male mental health and receive ZERO whataboutery comments?

And why do I get shouted down if I even dare post one tweet about violence against women or rape statistics or murders of women by partners? 

Why do I get hundreds of messages and tweets every week asking me:
‘But what about men?’ 

And actually, this isn’t rocket science. This is uncomfortable but it’s real talk:

Women are socialised into their gender roles (gender roles are harmful, narrow, stereotypical characteristics and expectations assigned to males and females to conform to a societal norm) to not even possess a shred of the sense of entitlement that men have. Women do not read a campaign about male mental health or male abuse or male cancers and furiously tweet back ‘what about women, you cunt?!’ because they didn’t think about themselves when they read it. They didn’t see the campaign as two fingers up to women.

Perfect example: Movember. 


Have you EVER in your life seen women kicking off that Movember is sexist? Or that the campaign should include women? Or that focusing on testicular cancer is exclusionary? No. Have you fuck. 

Second perfect example: Male suicide rates. 

We know that the leading cause of death in young men aged 18-35 is suicide. This is the strongest symptom of a patriarchal society where emotionless males struggle to cope with trauma and feelings, can’t open up, don’t feel safe to talk and become completely overwhelmed by emotions they are taught are ‘feminine’, which further induces shame and stigma. 
In all my years I have never seen women jump on those campaigns yelling ‘women commit suicide too, you know!!’ Or ‘what about women?’ 

Switch it over. Women’s marches. Pussy hats. IWD. Counting dead women. VAWG strategies. Women’s health screening. Women’s reproductive health. Women’s mental health. Rape campaigns. #metoo. 

There is ALWAYS someone saying ‘what about men though?’ under all of those issues. It’s as sure as taxes and death. 

Like a depressing new catchphrase nobody wants:

There’s only three things you can be certain of in life: taxes, death and some randomer yelling ‘what about men?’ every time you talk about women’s issues.’



‘Whataboutery’ comes from a place of misogyny. An arrogant, derailing technique used to respond to a campaign, video, research study, intervention, organisation or communication that screams ‘I don’t care about women, talk about men!!’ 
And the proof is in the pudding for me. Because when I do all those things with a focus on boys and men, I’m a fucking hero. But when I do all of those things and focus on girls and women, I’m a fat, ugly feminist cunt. 

So I need to explain something else. This is not about equality. ‘Whataboutery’ has nothing to do with equality. It’s not about reminding us that men suffer too. Social issues aren’t equal. 

When I write a tweet about women being murdered or raped, I didn’t forget men. I didn’t forget they could be murdered or raped. I didn’t accidentally miss them off my tweet. I simply CHOSE to talk about the experiences of females. It is not helpful, or clever, or promoting ‘equality’ to write to a researcher specialising in women’s studies and tell her in three paragraphs why she should focus on men. 

It is not useful to ‘send a gentle reminder than men can get raped too, you know’. 
If you’re reading this and you know you have done this to someone, please think twice before doing it again. It’s not helpful. It’s derailing. 
We do not need to centre men in every conversation we have. Women and girls are valid entities, independent from men.
We need to get to a point where we can talk about women’s issues and get the same level of respect we get when we talk about men’s issues. 
Until then, your ‘Whataboutery’ is unwelcome here. 


What about that? 




Written by Jessica Eaton 

@JessicaE13Eaton 

My free videos at http://www.victimfocus.org.uk

My new book is out in September 2018 – go to http://www.victimfocus.org.uk/thelittleorangebook for the teaser! 

847 thoughts on “Stop asking me ‘what about men?’ 

  1. Can’t imagine there’s anything I can say that you don’t already know but –

    Perpetrators invariably accuse their victims of abuse. Victim blaming is the same thing on a bigger scale. As with abusers, the only way to deal with them is to not respond. Eventually they get bored and find a new victim.

    Keep up the good work!

    Ps would be good if your blog was mobile responsive.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. If you publicly state a view, Jessica, people will challenge you. You’ve created a forum. Expect debate.

    I don’t say “what about” to undermine your cause, I say it because we are both of equal value as people. I will help you and respect you to the same extent as any man. No more, though.

    Feminists tell men they struggle to cope with emotion and talking about how they feel because they don’t express it. Well here they are, and you tell them basically to shut up. “Open up guys. Express it. You might kill yourselves less if you emote like us ”
    “Ok I don’t like being judged for being born male. Nor do I like being treated as suspect because I happen to share a gender with some predatory psychopaths”
    “Oh man up and grow up, we have our own problems. We’re not here to listen to you whiners. Now let’s try to understand why Aileen Wournos killed and how she’s a victim too…”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We ARE putting in as much work, and you are calling us woman haters for it. We are trying to get attention to these problems. Feminists and women are telling us to shut up and using gaslighting and shaming.
    How do you get this stuff looked at? By making noise. And now you slam us.
    We’ll stop coming to these sites when you stop abusing MRA’s and lying about them, on their forums.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kaye,

    If I wasn’t clear, this entire blog is for women to discuss issues to do with being victims of male wrongdoing and wider social issues. Your comment would suggest that a good number of these women are projecting, and are actually abusers. Care to restate your position? It actually makes these people look bad.

    Like

    1. FFS Josh.

      Just shut up now please.

      You’re making us men look really clueless, stupid and self centered

      Go and look up irony in the dictionary whilst you are at it.

      Like

      1. White knighting is pathetic.

        Men have a right to counter ignorant statements about them.
        He’s not embarrassing men, you are.

        Like

      2. Come up with a counter argument, if you think he is wrong.

        Ad hominems just prove you have no ground.

        You may be scared of women’s disapproval, some of us arent.

        Grow up. I support the protection of women and decent rights for them, but I won’t throw myself under a bus for them. Nor will I do it to other men. How about you?

        Me, Josh, and anyone else will say what we damn well like.

        We have as much right as anyone else.

        Like

      3. I wasn’t going to bother, but as you dropped this clanger. Don’t reply, I won’t.

        Feminists keep attacking ALL men. And making demands of them. They minimise every abuse committed by women, and simply condemn males by association.

        We owe them nothing.

        I have not hurt anyone and I refuse to see the decent majority of men be demonized for the 1% that do blatant harm. Or for oppression that happened historically.

        Feminism is formalised bigotry.

        I will not be shamed for being born male. It’s the feminist version of “Original Sin”

        My ancestors were eastern European. Shall I hate the Turks living today for the slaves the Ottomans took? No, because that’s racist. People today are not responsible for their ancestors. Likewise women lecturing 20 yr olds about 50+ yr old grievances is BS.

        Supporting women is fine. When they are right, I do. Like I do with men.
        You White Knight because their judgment scares you. And as a simp or cuck, you hope it will improve your chances, through your obsequious virtue signalling.

        You are worse than them. Feminists I understand, it’s victimhood leveraged for power. You…
        One person’s crime does not condemn all people of their group.

        I will always support women with legitimate causes.
        I will never support feminism or its bigoted methods.

        Like

  5. I can understand where you are coming from with getting frustrated with trying to focus on female problems, and having men interject to include themselves into conversation….. however.

    Feminism is a movement bent on helping BOTH sexes, and their issues. And many issues overlap between the sexes. Domestic violence, rape, abuse, etc.

    So if Feminism is on the table as an ideology trying to help BOTH sexes, as they say it’s all about— then you shouldn’t be getting mad when men try to include themselves into conversation— you should be celebrating it.

    Also: Feminists always say: “men, open up— give a good cry— tell us how you feel— we’re here to listen and to help you too”.

    And when men do— by including this “whataboutery” you write about—- you go on a rant and tell everyone how much that pisses you off.

    So um….. which is it? You care about both sexes, or you don’t?
    You want men to talk about their problems, or you don’t?
    You want to make a focus on the issues (rape, domestic violence, victim shaming) that BOTH sexes experiences, or you don’t?

    You know— for someone who claims she is an expert in dealing with the trauma of victim shaming of others— you sure do a lot of victim shaming onto others.

    👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John, feminism is not a movement for both sexes. It’s a liberation movement for females, hence the name.
      Feminism is about the liberation of females all over the world from oppression and abuse.

      You know – for someone who is mansplaining on my blog, you sure know very little about feminism

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Then can you tell this to all the feminists who try to trap men into becoming feminists by saying that feminism just means equality and is for everyone?
        Also, John and I have been studying feminism and its lies for YEARS.

        Like

      2. If you had been ‘studying feminism’ for years you would know there are different waves that define it differently and you are only referring to neo liberal feminism

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Jessica, you’re doing a good thing. There are a few of us males (sadly, too few) who stand behind feminism and are glad to see women empowering each other. The only people who think feminism is solely about hate are intimidated by it. Personally, I can see why women have hate, fear, disgust, and rage towards men. All you have to do is look at history and see that men have consistently hurt, oppressed, and defiled women across most (if not all) cultures. Naturally, you know this to be true much better than I ever will because you are a woman. I am not trying to explain it to you, just letting you know I understand. I’ll never know the feeling because I’m a male and have been privileged in terms of gender issues because of it. For this, I could never call myself a feminist because I’m not female, but I am certainly 100% a feminist ally. I despise the patriarchy for many reasons. Mostly because it oppresses every shred of decency in humanity. Like you said, it oppresses males too, but nowhere near as much as it oppresses females. I understand this and I absolutely hate seeing women treated the way they are. I enjoy feminist articles and POV. I hate to see how badly women are treated. They are treated as second class citizens, objects, and less-than-human. They are pitted against each other to keep them divided because if they were united, the patriarchy would die. But it seems that we draw nearer to the time for women to stand up and take their place at the top of societies, and a better time that would be. I’m glad there are women out there who don’t bow their heads and walk away from men who challenge feminism. Keep up the good fight. Some of us on the side of feminism.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Did you read the part about her opening up a men’s mental health centre?
      So she clearly does care about both sexes.
      Why does it push your buttons so damn much to see or hear of anyone advocating for Women? Even this article has triggered you.
      GET.A.GRIP!!
      Please examine your (probably white or white passing) male privilege and entitlement!!
      That’s what the whole article is about ffs.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m not a white man btw.
        Feminism damaged my community, we didn’t need privileged whites telling us how to live, whoever they were.
        Oh yeah, believing women got my grandfather lynched.

        Like

  6. “Have you EVER in your life seen women kicking off that Movember is sexist? Or that the campaign should include women? Or that focusing on testicular cancer is exclusionary?”
    Yes. Yes I have, I see it every year.
    https://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/2013/11/why-movember-isnt-all-its-cracked-be for example
    I also see women whatabouting with regards to other male issues such as the male birth control pill, claiming it takes agency away from women (http://www.ifeminists.net/introduction/editorials/2005/0420sacks.html)

    Like

      1. And? Probably a male feminist or some PC genuflector. What’s your point?
        That your virtue signalling orbiters exist?

        The gender of the feminist is irrelevant. The ideology is the problem, along with the sexism it’s camouflaging.

        A tip: when you criticise men, be sure you aren’t projecting, otherwise many will never listen.

        Like

  7. I’m scratching my head at all the positional posturing by people criticising this post and the replies. The OP showed us a problem so …
    Just everyone stop asking ‘But what about men?’

    (and while we’re about it – any whataboutery at all)

    Like

  8. Internalised misandry.

    If you virtue signal to them, do you think they won’t see you as inherently predatory? You are a man, therefore you are suspect unless you undermine your male identity.

    Feminism is sexist bigotry, masquerading as a rights movement.

    #Killallmen
    #cucks/and/simps/never/learn

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My grandmother was a very wise woman and lived in times when there was no feminism as such. She would often say about her much beloved husband (my lovely grandad) “if I have a pimple on my fanny you’ve got to have one too” she was right. Thank you for this interesting and thought provoking message.

    Like

  10. I don’t have to do crap for you.

    Women love to say “you should respect women because one gave birth to you”

    Yes, one.
    Not any of you. You didn’t push me out. She has my gratitude. I owe YOU jack.

    Like

  11. Reblogged this on silverapplequeen and commented:
    I stopped seeing a man (we were just friends) a month ago because of JUST THIS. His constant “What about men” … & that women who talk about #MeToo are largely making it up or “looking for attention”. & we should focus on the “good guys” out there. OK! WHATEVER YOU SAY.

    Like

  12. I love the comments from all the men who are proving your points so perfectly. Mansplaining, flooding the comment section, narcissism, whataboutism, gaslighting reversals, accusations of racism (aka white feminism) because someone’s grandfather was allegedly hurt by a woman (and who acts like women of color don’t exist)…. It doesn’t get any better than this for demonstrating your claims. Thank you for this article and for leaving the comments open to the rude boys.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Jesus… and I oh so hoped there’d be less of it right here on the blog. But what am I thinking? They’ve literally lined up to make sure nobody missed the fact that she’s right on.

      Maybe I should be amazed at their utter lack of self-awareness? LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your white knighting lacks self awareness.

        They don’t fall for it.
        And frankly it shows your sexism.

        Like

  13. Jessica: “this is how you should help women” in one article.🤔

    Also Jessica: “I’m not asking anything of you.” In another🤨

    How did you get a degree?😂

    Like

  14. Ah, another sexist feminist using gendered insults…😂 Mansplaining…how oppressive. How dare a man point out your inconsistencies.

    LS, you ridicule without having an argument, like most feminists in general. Again, more projection.

    Women are easily as capable of evil as men, and as capable of good. Feminists criticise men in general, then complain about men generalising.🤨

    To quote Karen Straughan: “oh no no, feminists don’t hate men, they just named everything bad after them”😏

    You are so ridiculous, that most women would never call themselves feminists, these days. You would be better off saying you’ve got Chlamydia.🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Definition:
    “a PhD is the highest degree offered by universities in western speaking countries”
    Look it up. Frankly, you should know.

    Epic fail🤣😂

    Like

  16. You can talk about it all you like, just stop trying to guilt trip an entire gender.

    I’m with you 100% until you say things like”why are MEN like this?” “Men treat us so badly”
    And yes we know many of you are directing it at all of us. Like we are all somehow responsible for the man that hurt you, because we are also male. Would you act the same way if race was the common factor? That would be despicable.

    If I was abused by my mother, would you accept me asking why women abuse kids? No, it’s an unfair question, so you shouldn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. An argument? A point?
        Nope, more shaming language.
        You as a man are embarrassing, because you are supporting your own demonisation. I am for women’s freedom but not at cost to mine.
        Cuck.

        Like

  17. Jess…I would not care to comment on your intelligence.🙄

    People can make their own minds up.😏

    Maturity on the other hand…well, best not, eh?

    I AM childish at times, but you’ll have to forgive me, I’m only male.😉

    Like

  18. I love this article Jessica. It’s been a talking point on the topics of whataboutery and feminism for me and my husband. Very kind of the MRAs to turn up in your comments for an hilarious masterclass in misunderstanding feminism and unironic whataboutery. Budgies at mirrors comes to mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Anthony, men like you end up hating women more than I ever will, because you put them on a pedestal they could never stay on. You are one divorce away from mysogyny, because you don’t see women as flawed people capable of being assholes, just like men. I never put them up there, so when they screw up, I shrug.

    You use shaming language because you can’t argue a point. Your opinion is based on your male mother need, to virtue signal to your other half, and all these other women. ” Look I’m a good guy. Please like me” Sad…

    White knights always have a motive. Female approval, because it increases your sexual success in the back of your mind.

    Newsflash: women can see through it, hence “nice guys” finish last, because these men are just slightly devious leches deep down.

    Like

  20. There is no war, only a lack of balance that needs to be addressed.
    Not all men are rapists, not all women are victims. Not all women are abusers, not all men are victims.
    Not all women are liars, not all men tell the truth. Not all men are liars, not all women tell the truth.

    March for paternity rights, then you can talk to me. We need to work together.
    If you think everyone deserves rights, then act like it.

    Like

  21. “Begging the question” a form of “whataboutism”…used by people to draw you away from your original point. It has never been a valid argument and it never will be! Asking questions like “Well don’t you care about men?” is pointless.

    Like

  22. Empathy is reciprocal, friend, if the other side can’t show it how long do they expect to get it?

    How can people dismiss a man like Alex Skeel who was tortured and nearly murdered, and then expect men to selflessly sympathize forever?

    How about that for what-about-ism.
    It’s a perfectly valid position, which is why you see it in Jessica’s articles.

    At least she actually helps men, even if her politics could be questioned.
    What do YOU do for your fellow men? How many men being killed would it take. Arguing for a balanced position is not arguing against helping women. FFS.

    Like

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