Would you drink from a glass if you knew there was a 10% chance you would be drinking poison?

The absurdity of a #NotAllMen or #NotAllWhitePeople response to a generalised statement (something usually becomes a generalisation because of how it is generally true) can be compared to me standing you in front of a table containing 100 glasses of liquid and saying, “Don’t drink from the glasses because they are filled with poison!” and someone who knows that 10 of the glasses do not contain any poison at all shouts out “Not All the glasses contain poison!” #NotAllGlasses

Now, secure with the knowledge that 10 glasses do not contain poison, do you take a drink?

The majority of glasses are harmful to you and so something needs to be done to deal with the poison in the glasses. While that is being done it will not affect the 10 glasses that continue to be unharmful to you. Carry on, little glasses, you are doing well. But you doing well doesn’t have any impact on the glasses that are still containing poison.

This, like any analogy, is only as strong as the point it is trying to make and the reality is in fact even stronger because the men who are “Not All” and the white people who are “Not All” have a responsibility and opportunity to step up and call out and make a difference in the lives of those who are more of the problem.

Unless, as a man, you are saying it’s okay for other men to be trashy then stop worrying that people might think it’s you and live boldly as not trash but also do the work of detrashing the men around you who you have influence or relationship with where you are not likely to be taken seriously. If you lose friendships because of it, then bullet dodged because you lost a friendship with a trashy man. Much of the response to the Gillette ad showed us just how much of a problem exists.

Are kids being bullied? Are women being cat-called, groped, insinuated upon? Are people telling sexist, anti-woman, rape jokes? If the answer is yes, and it is, then there is much work to be done. Recognise that, acknowledge it and put your hand up to start doing the work. Don’t worry so much about people mistakenly thinking you are one of those kinds of men and worry more about not being one of those kinds of men. Not even a little bit. And then call out others in your circles who are. Let them know that is not okay. It never was, but now you’re no longer going to let them get away with it.

White people, same idea, different scenario.

When you see the tag that brings some kind of an angry, defensive reaction, take a moment to breathe, deeply, and then ask some questions as to how that tag got there. Why are women sharing stories with #MeToo? What happened and to how many people that it felt like a #MenAreTrash tag was valid and necessary?

What am i doing to help prevent and root out the behaviours and actions and words that have caused so much pain and fear and trauma that it got such a huge collective group of people to that place?

If you’re not prepared to drink the poison, don’t promote the idea that there are some glasses in there that don’t contain it.