#YesAllWomen, No to Misogyny

Cathryn Cearing and Cat Cearing

On Friday, May 23, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a shooting rampage in Isla Vista, California, that resulted in six injuries and seven deaths. While investigating, police discovered a video Rogers posted to Youtube the day before, titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution,” in which he detailed his objective: to make the female population pay for rejecting him romantically.

This incident sparked a wildfire. Women began to speak out against mindsets like Rodger’s, ones that include deeply-rooted misogyny. They took to social media sites like Tumblr and Facebook to spread their message: that this was not just someone who faced mental illness or “loneliness,” but someone who held such a deep enough disrespect towards women that he couldn’t fathom their right to say no.

On Sunday, the hashtag “#YesAllWomen” began trending on Twitter. Finally, there was an opportunity to talk about issues that seem so taboo, but also ones that girls face every day: clutching keys between their fingers on their walk home in fear of an attacker, compulsively defending their drinks at parties because they have heard so many stories of girls just like them being drugged, dealing with catcalls, name-calling, harassment and disgusting double-standards that often pick up speed when girls speak up and say “enough.”

This is a society that teaches that “feminism” is just another dirty word, one that equates women demanding basic human respect to women putting down men, who have lived with this respect essentially from the beginning of time. But why? Because of pride? Because fear is scary, or hard?

In a time where it is so emphasized to “be true to yourself,” why should we be so ashamed of something so basic as our gender?

No, the issue is not that all men are perpetrators of sexism, it’s that, yes, all women have faced it.