Stop asking me ‘what about men?’ 

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! 

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

  1. THANK YOU for raging about this with us (us being the other women who constantly turn every shade of red for this reason). I have lost count of the times I’ve been told that I’m frigid because I am a Life Coach for only women, which is like accusing a farmer of bestiality but looks somehow more acceptable. So acceptable in fact, that I’ve had more women than men tell me that. This is the first time I run into one of your articles, and I will be following you from now on. Congratulations on your job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I got raged on by other women for asking for a chance and space to center women when discussing #metoo. Like, seriously raged in and told I was all kinds of horrible things. BY MY LIBERAL woman friends.

      We have a long way to go.

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      1. hegemony supporting patriarchy – oppressed back the oppressor up (in hopes of getting a share of the goodies from the oppressors?)

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  2. Great rant, thank you! It’s so frustrating. It struck me recently when I heard the BBC report about the #MeToo Time magazine cover – predictably it reported that the hashtag campaign was about, ‘women and men’ who had suffered harassment. You wonder if they looked at the cover and thought – ‘ouch, they didn;t include a man, we’d better cover our backs though’.
    When you look at the comparative rape stats … but better not go there, likely to be accused of ignoring male rape of males. I was accused when i wrote about it of saying all men were rapists simply because I said it was men who were the problem in rape cases against women, not women. Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Every time. And when you get to the root; it’s men (males) doing the majority of harm. I don’t see them tackling *THAT* issue

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  4. I experienced exactly that this weekend when I happened to mention that I’d been to a women in technology event a couple of years ago when somebody had presented to encourage more women and ethnic minorities to apply for honours. “Isn’t that a bit sexist?” I was asked. “Well no not really, it was a women in technology event, most of the audience were women, so it made sense for the presenter to talk to us about encouraging women who are less frequently recognised in the honours system”.
    SO frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Whataboutery Brigade also harm causes focusing on men’s issues by bringing up “but what about the menz?” On every article discussing women’s issues. Women (and feminists! Shock horror!) care, they want to care, but they’re going to stop caring if they see “but what about the menz?” one more time on an article about women’s issues.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for this perspective 🙂

    So often I read how ‘things are going too far’ or hear doom and gloom stories over the way things are going to change ….especially by woman strong, male-centered industries coming to the defence of their colleagues and/or predominantly male fan base.

    We have a long way to go, sadly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for naming the phenomenon and raging on behalf of women who do not wish to be rendered invisible again now we have a voice. Aboutery – love it. Can we make sure it makes its way into the dictionary by using it in as many forums as possible. The cynic in me will watch for patriarchy to try and claim it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Whataboutery” (not “aboutery”) wasn’t named by the author; it’s been around as a term for a long while now. They didn’t actual claim to have named it either but as you note it’s a very useful term to have because it comes up in all walks of life. A bigot will use it to derail and generally a loser of an argument will use it as a smokescreen.

      Anyway, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/whataboutery

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  7. Completely agree! It does derail the issue being asked this. This has helped me form my response the next time I am inevitably asked. I tend to answer sarcastically that ‘EVERY day is men’s day’…

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      1. In this context that isn’t funny. You may have meant it well but it is badly judged, out of place and a nice illustration of just how deep the problem runs.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. @jane, it was sarcastic. I don’t think he was trying to be funny.

        But I do agree with this. I feel so horrible when almost every lady I know talks about the issues she has at work. I couldn’t believe it at first, but once I heard the same things happen to various women, at various companies, I learnt to believe.

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  8. I am always baffled as to why problems are divided by sex. A problem is a problem and yes some affect one sex more than the other, but no problem affects just one sex.
    When i hear about murder of women, i wonder whats the rate of murdered men. the problem is murder. The same with domestic violence, which I can attest affects both sexes but the narrative has been stolen in favour of one.
    That is I believe why people ask about the men.
    Now as a person who has worked for people I can say I am asked what about the women all the time. Sure its not phrased like that, its more ‘well women are the main victims’ or ‘its worse for women’ both of which are statements that cant be quantified at this time. try getting people interested in making services for abused women include some service for abused men and you’ll get a riot of womynz screaming for your head, because obviously men cause domestic violence not suffer it.
    I like to address problems and not regulate my thinking to how those problems affect anyone group over another, maybe this is a better way forward for egalitarians.

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      1. The narrative of domestic violence has been stolen in favour of women? What a turn of phrase. Nobody is denying that it happens to men. 30 men on average die in a year because of it, which is a tragedy. And 104 women on average die because of it. Which is also a tragedy. And it’s still worth focusing on why it happens to women.

        I disagree that ignoring gender is the best way forward ‘as an egalitarian.’

        Liked by 3 people

    1. When you hear about police killing black people in USA do you instantly think “well, it’s very unfortunate, but we shouldn’t focus on race, we should focus on stop killing in general”? Do you think police killing black people has nothing to do with race of the victims and so we should ignore it or maybe by tackling that specific instance of killing and getting to the core of why it happens we could help reducing killings in general?
      There are people in USA shouting “all lives matter” and they are doing to fighting against racism exactly what reactions mentioned in this article do to fighting against violence based on gender. They derail whole narratives so the problem is harder to grasp and dealt with. Just not cool.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The global issues that black lives matters is trying to highlight are racial profilling and police brutality. “Black” here is none inclusive just like “fem” in feminism. I think those issues (whataboutmen and all lives matters) exists only because when we fight for a cause we forget to be inclusive, and all this brings is rage. and then people rage about people raging about none inclusive slogan/names. This is just very dumb overall, just name things properly … :/

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      1. Bigoted anti man comment number 6 (from a man.) Neither men, nor women, need to “shut up, listen and learn”. And that is why I will keep interjecting “what about men” into these bigoted echo chambers.

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      2. Well you can’t learn unless you listen, and you can’t listen until you stop speaking. I know I don’t know, so I’m very happy to shut up listen and learn. It might be hard being a dude getting told youre not right, but I’m guessing it’s infinitely harder being the person trying to do that, so I’m very happy to take a back seat and learn.

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      3. You have done nothing wrong by being a man. Of course everyone should listen. but everyone also has a right to be heard. Telling people to shut up for being a man is rude and sexist.

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    2. Yeah but, no but… The underlying causes of violence against women or women being murder victims might be different from those relating to men.

      Your education may have taught you differently, but from my slender experience of law and criminology (4 years at university in 2 countries), it is helpful to discriminate in these matters.

      We don’t include violence against men with violence against women for the same reason that we don’t include violence suffered in the Bronx in our studies of violence in London: they are not the same thing at a particular level, even if they share some elements in common.

      It is worth pointing out that most men who are murdered are the victims of male perpetrators, as are most murdered women. However, the reasons might be vastly different, given (at a guess) that most women who are murdered are killed by their domestic partners, while most men who are murdered are killed in male-to-male rivalry outside of the family unit (I want to say “gang violence”, but am hedging my bet slightly). So there you have two very different sets of perpetrators, even if they are both male, and hence two very different areas of study, driven by vastly differing dynamics.

      If an area of need is being ignored, it makes sense to study that too, but not at the price of undermining perfectly reasonable research.

      PS If you have to use the term “womynz”, that kind of suggests that you’ve already lost the argument. We don’t ask services for abused women to consider the plight of abused men for the same reason that we don’t ask hospital emergency rooms to consider the plight of sharks, man-eating tigers or whatever else people get themselves injured by: because there is at some level a conflict of interest and one party is justifiably perceived as being deeply hostile and/or vulnerable to the other. Focusing on one or the other is key to success.

      There is a need for women’s abuse of men to be brought to light and dealt with, but asking organisations responsible for abused women to pick up the slack might be considered by some to be a violation of those organisations’ duty to some of society’s most vulnerable people, with consequent erosion of trust and a failure to fulfill their mission.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Splitting problems by sex reveals deeper cultural and systemic causes and we can’t fix the problem without addressing why it happens.

      Stop trying to equalize obviously asymmetric issues. It’s really THAT simple. To deny it is incredibly and astoundingly ignorant on your part.

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    4. @mawnx Do you not agree that the causes or instigating factors behind certain issues can be different based on gender? For example, in this article she mentions that suicide is the leading cause of death for young males, and goes on to highlight that a lot of the mental anguish that pushed these young men to suicide was society’s expectations of ‘manliness’ and not properly equiping boys to express emotion. This is likely, I’m guessing, a similar reason to why some young women may kill themselves, but it is more widespread in the male community. It seems to follow that we do a disservice to many when we try so hard for ‘equality’ or egalitarianism as you say that we ignore that underlying causes of some issues in our society are gender specific, same as they are racially specific, culturally specific, etc. Sometimes, I’m sure, it is best to remove these categories and look at the problem as a whole, but that is why people research the root causes and determine how best to examine and tackle it.

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      1. Ana, similar thing from a friend had started my change from a typical guy to one that thinks before he speaks and acts a little while ago. I’m still a sexist prick at heart, but I’m working on it, it’s so much easier to change how I speak and act than to change the thoughts. Your article reinforces the process, thank you Jessica Eaton.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “typical guy is a sexitst prick” – bigoted comment number 7 (also a man). It’s bigotry to generalise this way about 50% of the human race, and we must continue to challenge man hate and eradicate safe spaces for bigotry. Which is why men will continue to ask “what about men.”

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  9. Excellent article, whataboutery is real, and a distraction from the important topics, I refuse to engage. I’m going to print your article and hand it out whenever I get this, saves time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent blog post. Thank you Jessica.
    I represent a charity called Safe Haven Community. We help people fleeing abusive relationships by placing them in spare rooms donated by private home owners. It’s a little bit like Air BnB for people fleeing abuse. Notice that I use the word ‘PEOPLE’ not women, or men. PEOPLE.

    I also came under attack regularly by the ‘whatabouters’. We have a section about inclusivity on our website which lets people know that we help ALL people not just ones with vaginas. However, I found people (men and women) still jumped to conclusions and heckled me on Facebook posts because we were “clearly all about women”. I have changed the website images to make them gender non-specific and have included a ‘What about men” section on the home page to make it clear that we help PEOPLE. (which includes men).

    Despite the additional effort to appease these ‘whatabouters’, we have never placed a male into a Safe Haven accommodation. Simple because they do not ask us to.

    So. What ABOUT men?

    Thanks Jessica, keep up the great work 🙂

    If anyone is interested in reading more about this service, please visit www’safehavencommunity.com.au or find us on Facebook.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Thank you. You have eloquently put into words something that really bothers me. Until the what aboutery stops, we cannot claim to be moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The whole of feminism is “What about the women”. Conference/celebration about men in a field pioneered and dominated by men – “what about the women?” “why aren’t there more women on this panel?” “Why isn’t there more focus on women’s xxxx”?

    To pretend as if the media is not full of this stuff on a daily basis, and that this is not the cause of so called “whataboutery” and feelings that men are not given the attention women are is because you have an agenda.

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    1. The whole of feminism is about equality. Are you willing to concede that in a world where women actually outnumber men, it’s not slightly odd – reprehensible, even – that there aren’t more women on boards, gameshows, panels, in the media, in government?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Change does not happen overnight, but clearly it is happening on a large scale and future generations will see the benefits or effects of this positive discrimination. What is it, women are something like 35% more likely to go to university than white men already, even ethnic minorities are more likely to attend university than white male kids these days.

        Are you willing to concede that there will never be a time that you would roll up your banners and admit that the campaign for female equality is over ?

        What is “equality” do women seek to work in e.g. STEM (to name one feminist bug bear) at the same rate as men ? Should they ? Why should they ? Who decides what they should and shouldn’t do or what is equality ?

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      2. I’d love to reply to Paul below but as I can’t seem to, I’ll just stick my oar in here.
        Paul, it looks like you’re comparing apples and oranges. You say that white males are under-represented at university compared to women, but you don’t mention the ethnicity of the women. This post is not about ethnicity, it’s about equality between men and women, so you are using an example of whataboutery in order to attack a piece which is all about attacking whataboutery…
        Low educational attainment by working-class white boys is a massive societal issue, just one which belongs somewhere else.

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    2. But the low achievement of white working class boys is not a separate issue at all, it’s because of the incessant focus on women and girls and the message that boys need to check their privilege. On the one hand you dismiss “why isn’t there an initiative like this for boys/men?” as whataboutery but “why aren’t there more women doing this?” as perfectly fine. The unquestioned premise is that there *should* be more women interested in whatever it is that you feel they are underrepresented at. Like computing and not scaffolding. If men really did decide to get together and create men only workgroups and clubs you would be the first to say “what about the women?”.

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      1. Paul – Men did decide to get together and create men only workgroups and clubs. Women saying “this isn’t fair” started to change that. Your comment is a perfect example of what the author is highlighting. In that sense, you are perfectly on topic.

        Liked by 3 people

  13. I’ve been thinking about this one a lot recently. Not so much the victim-blaming angle, as the degree to which women are judged more harshly than men, by women as well as men. The rage and kneejerkiness of it seems atavistic to me. It was especially pointed in reading the experience of a trans (female-to-male) newsreader, who was startled that – once he was male – the number of emails, tweets etc pointing out a fault of grammar or arguing a point dropped sharply.

    I don’t think it’s as simple as patriarchy or sexism and I wonder whether it’s more to do with psychology and early bonding experiences. When we’re tiny, our mother is the centre of our world – literally responsible for our basic survival. A female is the pole star around which everything turns. And although we grow out of this, of course (an experience that is painful in itself – realising a parent is fallible and flawed), I wonder whether it gives us a lifelong hindbrain reaction if we think a woman is wrong about something. Very half-baked theory, obvs – I’d be interested to know whether this chimes with anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The stereotype of Irish people being thick emerged at the same time, and as a direct result of the potato famine? It was an unconscious way of that whole swathes of people can deflect collective blame away from themselves.
    It seems that something similar is going on here. If so, it is unlikely to fully subside until we get much, much closer to gender equality.
    This is an excellent piece that really drives the point home, especially useful because of the contrast between responses to helping men as opposed to helping women and girls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ” It was an unconscious way of that whole swathes of people can deflect collective blame away from themselves.”
      I think this is spot on. It’s part of our knee jerk reaction to defend ourselves even if we’re clearly in the wrong (especially if we’re clearly in the wrong?). I notice it in my kids when any pointing out of blame is deflected by pointing to someone else’s deficiencies (usually their sibling). It is about derailing the legitimate blame to get them off the hook and preserve privilege.
      I bet this happened during campaigns to abolish slavery and to get women the vote, etc, etc.
      I think it will help as people expose it as articulately as this and the phrase can become mainstream like mansplaining!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The anomaly concerning any exclusive group its that its so easy to deny access or deride anyone outside that group simply because they might not agree with a position, however mild the outsider’s views. Even if they want to comment on the world in general or a broader issue its so easy to exclude them because ‘you couldn’t possibly understand as your’re not one of us.’

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  16. You’ve probably heard this before, but I figure “what about men” responses to focused academic research that hones in on one subject group, in this case women, is akin to complaining to a marine biologist who focuses on whales that she is ignoring the giant squid or the albatross. It’s not what the study is about, so go do your own study if giant squids matter so much to you!

    Great essay. Gives me better inner balance when I run into this same “whataboutsim” in my own life. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are absolutely right! And I said this to one guy once. He did the ‘what about men?’ And I replied ‘what about electrical engineering? Why do you only focus on mechanical engineering?’

      Liked by 5 people

  17. Other than this article though do you write about Men. You cite a charity you’d husband runs and lots of writing on issues in regards to women but if you don’t write about issues regarding men it’s perfectly reasonable for people to think you only write about women. Also the ‘victim blaming’ attack slogan seems to have gone so far that people offering reasonable advice are attacked as victim blaiming. The notion some seem to have that once a person becomes a victim they take no responsibility for any of their own actions.

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    1. I set up the UK first male mental health centre from scratch, funded it, wrote all the policies, developed the services and trained all of the volunteers. Then when it was ready, my husband took over operations because I work full time in forensic psychology. I have volunteered unpaid for the male mental health charity for 5 years. I have also published 3 reports and one empirical study on male mental health and their understanding of masculinity and mental health.
      If that’s not enough to ‘let’ me write about the oppression, rape and violence against women and girls then that’s just tough mate.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. **sigh**
      What does it matter one way or the other if Jessica never wrote anything, ever, about men? You shouldn’t ask a butterfly expert why they never write about moths. You seem to be doing EXACTLY the Whataboutery that this whole article was about.
      As it happens Jessica makes it abundantly clear that she ALSO thinks about, writes about, is proactive about, men’s issues as well. (How did you miss that?) But even if she didn’t, why would that be relevant?
      Try reading the article again.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hey this was a friggin excellent text! It got me thinking about the literature on verbal abuse that I’ve been reading. I don’t have the time to go into it in detail here and now, but I recommend that you check out Patricia Evans’ books on verbal abuse. Her first book, Verbal abuse, and the third (I think..) called Controlling people might interest you in particular. There’s so many similarities between your ideas and hers and she explicitly discusses the societal and gendered aspects of verbal abuse in addition to familial relationships. Thank you for your great work and for being such a lovely person ❤

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  19. We all know why you get the what about men response because men think the world should revolve around them. My approach to this is simple let men write about men, i don’t give 2 hoots about what happens to men in this society except it directly affects me. Women are too kind in splintering their attention to focus on men’s issues, i frankly just don’t care and that is my response. Watch them flounder when you say that completely un unapologetically .

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  20. Fantastic article. I think you are highlighting something really important and your argument is unanswerable. All strength to you. (PS I’m a bloke but am totally on board.). I’ll be sharing this article on FB.

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  21. Thank you for this brilliant piece. And thank you for your work, which sounds fascinating, difficult and necessary. We need so many more voices like yours. I am very interested in the outcome of your research!

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  22. I proper enjoyed reading that. I can’t be bothered to talk about my life today or most days at the moment but this thing you have written is really good and well done by the way. The content was brilliant but there is a lot of rubbish out there but the thing that hooked me straight away was that you accepted that feeling rage/angry/high end passionate was when you could do something well and in my mind thus trying to prevent a need fuel it on a bigger scale or summat like that

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  23. Whattaboutery is as a device to ban almost any interjection by someone we don’t agree with.

    Every relationship argument, ‘we were on a break’ – dismissed with whataboutery. Lover’s using it to dismiss something from the dim distant past – and we all know how often that tactic is used in relationships.

    You might as well just say “anything you say, I don’t agree with, unless it agrees with my position wholeheartedly.”

    Non sequiturs are just that, the fact that people say them, doesn’t make the speakers less human. Whatever their gender.

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  24. This is so harmful. I understand how “whataboutery” would annoy you, as you are in the rare position of someone that has done actual work in helping men. The feminist pages that will be sharing this, and that word, can’t say the same, but they will use that word to further silence issues your farther experienced. Issues that will be ignored even more now.

    Men don’t have a place to talk about male issues, I thought we did when I was told “feminism is about equality”, but I was wrong. Feminist groups will attack, bully, blame and ignore any man that dares to mention anything. With words like “mansplaining” used to silence men, and now “whataboutery” I fear will be used to even silence woman who care about male issues, this will lead to less help and more suicide.

    Men don’t have a place yet in feminism to talk about their issues. And they can’t be a part of the MRA group, because that’s under attack by Feminists too.
    So, while I support talking about women’s issues, the “what about men” comes from the lack of talking about mens issues. It’s not supposed to be self centred thing to say, it’s just pointing out the desperation to talk about mens issues too. And if so many men and women are saying it, realise that it could be a cry for help from a lot of men. And making a new word (whataboutery) is very harmful and is going to be taken over by feminists to silence men ever further.

    I’m honestly shocked that you have personal experience with how little help there is for men (so much so you had to set up the first in the UK), and you believe “whataboutery” comes from misogynistic entitlement.

    That word will cost lives.

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    1. THANK YOU!
      You’re literally the only reasonable person in this entire page.
      Seriously, fuck this shitty article and everyone who agreed with it.

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      1. Actually, I thought the article was very interesting.
        My point was just that there could be reason why men are shouting “what about me”.

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    2. This is an interesting comment – it seems to me that you are saying that you would like to be involved with feminism because you see how much support it offers. You don’t want to be involved with MRA’s because they are attacked by women. You want groups set up specifically to support and fight for the rights of an oppressed group to not talk about issues that affect that group on the basis that it will silence issues faced by a non-oppressed group?? So, women! Stop talking about issues that affect you! You must put all your time, effort and resources into talking about and tackling issues that predominantly affect other people.

      Why? Why must women do that? Where are all the men fighting for greater support and resources to tackle the issue of male suicide? Why must women take on all the fights to be fought?? You are a member of a class that has the highest representation in politics, executive positions, the media…why can you not fight this particular battle yourselves?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Going to keep this simple. We’re saying “what about men” on feminist pages because feminism is supposed to be equal rights for men and women. If you personally don’t care about men’s issues, then PLEASE stop calling yourself a feminist, call yourself an WRA. All you’re doing is taking away from the true meaning of feminism, which is equality!

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    3. Why aren’t men creating these spaces for themselves just as women had to for themselves? You are effectively asking women who are indeed focused on female issues and inequality women face to while they’re at it also take on men’s issues. Men never did that for women. They never while they were fighting for the things they wanted also went, “Maybe we should also give women the vote”. Women had to create these spaces, had to fight for themselves. Still do quite frankly.

      It’s time for men to step up as well. Because until they do they will be represented by MRAs and Incels, and MGTOW and a whole host of irrational men who do little but complain and take no action. You want action, do it. Create it. Create safe spaces for men to talk about their feelings, to push for legislation that actively works to address the high suicide rate (heck it took a woman to create the first such charity in the UK evidently according to the very author of this piece), that works to remedy the isolation so many men find themselves in. Why are you guys constantly showing up in spaces that are already overwhelmed with work to demand that the people in them put aside what they are doing and focus on you instead? Why aren’t you stepping up and doing it for yourselves? Why is the most most men do is come to articles like these and complain? Where is the action? Where is the doing? Why is the most action I see men take online is to create groups about how women won’t have sex with them and to discuss how to trick women into just that? Why are those the loudest voices in your community?

      Stand up and act. Do what this woman did, she created the first charity of its kind in the UK for men. A woman. Not a man. Why can’t a man do that? Why aren’t men doing that? Why aren’t YOU doing that?

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    4. I was really glad to read this, Dan.

      Sadly I do see a lot of men shut down with “what about women?” on so many issues from domestic violence to sexual abuse and beyond.

      And there’s no room for men to be victims of anything other than… Men. If they’re committing suicide it’s the patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Everything is men’s fault.

      In Sweden they are talking about men having to prove innocence against allegations, meaning a mere threat is enough to silence them. Already we heavily protect women and name men of alleged crimes. But we want to take it further.

      So, what about men? What about women?
      What about children (who are also victim blamed in cases of assault and told not to dress “sexily” to avoid it)?

      What about all of us? Never ever shut down the conversation.

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    5. Hi Dan. Do men really not have a place to talk about men’s issues?

      I’m sympathetic to any man who has been abused – indeed I have met and helped a few, albeit in small ways.

      But we are in the internet age. In the time you took to complain that abused men have no platform, you could have started your own blog, Facebook page and website to campaign for those very issues.

      And I don’t see that feminists could silence them.

      Anyone who is seriously committed to making a stand on any issue can do so, and will at least reach somebody, even if they don’t reach everybody.

      It’s not opportunity that is lacking, but people with gumption to get up and get something done.

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  25. for the life of me i will never understand how sexism is a thing,i understand that society built on specific stereotypes for men and women to follow (god know if i know how hurtful they are), but what the hell? i have a penis, you have a vagina, big deal, all that matters is inside our heads, is our creation and what surrounds us, we all suffer and we all deserve to openly talk about our suffering without others spitting on it (and strangely i know how damaging that can be as well). All this men and women bullshit, just be kind try to get along and listen to what others have to say, just writing this makes me uncomfortable to point out examples of myself, i hate that but is how i communicate and it’s the perfect example of why i can’t understand how someone says stupid stuff like “what about men” or that bullshit.

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    1. Hey! Yeah it seems to be different for different people. It’s black if viewed on certain computers and tablets and iPhones but a light grey in others!? Dunno how to change it cos I dunno why it shows up so different on each platform.

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      1. (It’s explicitly set to gray (“color: #666”) in the body tag of the stylesheet. I don’t think wordpress.com gives you direct control over the stylesheet. The stylesheet for mobiles and tablets probably calls for black which is why that’s different. There is an extension, Virginia, that you can add to your browser that makes it easy to change colors and sizes of fonts. Called Nosquint for Firefox and Palemoon. There’s probably something similar for Chrome.)

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      2. Wow thanks. I’m not sure how to do that to be honest but I really appreciate you explaining why it keeps showing up differently everywhere!

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      3. That is weird as mine is grey also. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and the comments. I shared it on Facebook with an explanation of why you were so angry, (to prevent the haters).
        When I teach nurses at university and mention domestic violence, over the years, I invariably get females who say “what about men”! I even had a male student say that our course is biased against men, even though we mention male issues also, eg. suicide, the sociological pressure of masculinity etc. alongside women’s issues.
        I can so understand your anger and frustration at the inequity of the public response and funding between the men’s issues and the women’s issues.
        Here, in Australia, the general public are very critical of women, with higher expectations. Our first female Prime Minister was vilified from the Murdoch papers and press even though she was doing a good job. People, (including Germaine Greer), made fun of how she looked and dressed!. They even made a disgusting TV show on her and her partner which I have never seen against male politicians here.
        I get so angry, depressed and weary about everything to do with women’s issues. In Australia, up to 2 women per week is killed by a current or ex partner and it is the leading cause of death for women between 15 and 45! We still have so much work to do!

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  26. I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask “what about men” after reading about women’s issues. Just like when I read a post from a cancer charity, I demand to know what they are doing about oceanic plastic pollution; and when I read a post from a foundation educating the public on the dangers of alcohol and other drug abuse, I insult them for not doing more to prevent childhood obesity. How dare they not do everything all at once. Hypocrites!!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you. In all we either need to be able to educate boys to become great reasonable men who do not think parity is emasculation or…..

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