I’ve heard this counter-argument almost every single time I’ve tried to bring up a feminist issue with a man: “but not all men are like that!”
I know. Not all men are rapists. Not all men abuse their significant others. Not all men actively oppress women. I get it. Moving on.
Having your gender generalized is irritating, I know.
However, generalizations about women–along with misogyny as a whole–can lead to rape, murder, abuse, belittling, harassment, wage gaps, and handfuls of other harmful things. Generalizations about men cause hurt feelings.
Having to preface every discussion about men with “some men” is also really irritating.
Having to point out that not every man exhibits explicitly harmful behavior allows for oppression to continue because having to say “some men do harmful things” gives oppressors peace of mind. It reassures them, falsely, that only a small portion of men behave in a way that is detrimental to the liberation of groups outside of white men (so, most people). It reassures them that said white men don’t have to critique their own behavior or think long and hard about why their shitty behavior is damaging to everyone else.
And I’m sorry, but “it’s not my fault; I was socially conditioned to be like this and I can’t change!” isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Sure, white men–you were brought up to feel entitled to anything you wanted and now you see anyone trying to have opportunities equal to yours as a threat.
Guess what? It’s not a threat. Not everything belongs to you. I know that white men before you have socially conditioned you and the world to believe that white men deserve everything, but that’s not the case. It might not be your fault that things were systematically placed before you were even born, but it is your fault for not doing anything to change things now.
When you try to defend your stance as a man because you think you’re not at fault for how you act, you say, “not all men are like that!”
When you say, “not all men are like that!” what you’re really saying is, “I don’t want to have to think about my privilege as a white man, so I’m going to try to defer the blame to other guys because I clearly don’t act like that.”