, 25 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
For some of us, too, it /IS/ all men, or has BECOME all men. Saying “Not All Men,” then, is telling us our experience isn’t real, which— fun fact— makes you one of those men.

Instead — 👏🏼 ACTIONABLE ADVICE AHEAD 👏🏼 (thread)
Apologize for your gender (leave the part where you blame society for how you’re socialized until later— she may even bring it up herself! We know!), thereby acknowledging & validating her experience, and ask yourself or even her (!) How can I make THIS experience better?

Hang on, I have to get a beer.

And dinner— it’s not /just/ bc of this thread! 🤣
I may also throw some comments on this fantastic tweet, as well as @emrazz’s “What would women do if men disappeared for 24 hours” thread, AND share an insightful experience from over my holiday— so strap in, folks, for a “Gender-Based Trauma & Ways to Address It” #thread
Okay. I’m at the Druid in Cambridge thoroughly enjoying my Guinness and Irish trad, and the person I was drawing moved, so I’m back. Here we go:

The fear many women have of you as a group is real and it is learned. Last week, I was trying to explain this to someone.
He is a respectful, empathetic gentleman who responded by telling me something he has told almost no one (like, 2 other people. Ever.):

When he was 15 or so, a man tried to pick him up at a movie theater. It terrified him, & he was scared of unfamiliar men for a while too, BUT
(He said), he learned after he’d been socialized more uh unfamiliar company that gay people weren’t all scary AND older/unfamiliar men weren’t all scary either.

Here’s the thing: after being socialized he learned not to fear men.

For many women, we learn TO be scared.
Because that experience of being hit on by someone bigger and stronger than you? It’s not an isolated, 1 time experience. It happens over & over & over, from age 14 or 15 (if you’re lucky) until you die or become unattractive. Go read a thread abt invisibility of middle age women
I’ve asked a lot of women if they are more or less scared of men - consciously or unconsciously- from 25-35 than they were when they were 15-25.

It’s a complicated question, but many— MANY— say Yes.
We learn that we don’t have any power over who finds us attractive, when, when it’s okay to talk about or be talked about, how, how to say no to advances, how to ask for help...

I was IN assault therapy and being assaulted AT THE SAME TIME
It takes years, and so much work, to unlearn patterns of behavior, of thought. I have been doing this consistently for 5+ years and only after reliving my rape & processing it LAST WEEK am I even able to *mention* it. And I can b/c I punched him in the face & took my life back.
All of this is to try to help you understand how bad it gets, that we LEARN it really is All Men, and for all you Survivors out there: you are incredibly strong and you CAN do it. It will hurt and it’s hard but you’ve already survived it: you can beat it again ❤️ and it’s amazing
So, Men, what can you do to change this? If you’re finding yourself in the presence of a woman who may be scared even though you yourself haven’t done anything (which may really be true! In other cases you may just not know what you did), WHAT DO YOU DO?
Ok, I’m just gonna give this example bc it illustrates the above (sorry, this is what happens when you try to write a thread over the course of 2 hours, 2 locations, and 2 beers after running after kids all day. And by you I mean “I.”)
The first time @beland_matt and I talked about me working for him, I had a full blown panic attack (which I live tweeted AND got myself through on my own, and is my only “Twitter Moment.”).

Before that, I observed that I was feeling anxious via my ❤️beat & inability to breathe
I said this to Matt, & said “I need to stop this conversation for a second.”

“Absolutely,” said Matt.

I took some deep breaths & tried to figure out why my body was going into Panic Mode.
I realized it was bc the LAST time I was working for a man’s startup, he assaulted me.
Now, Matt and I live on opposite sides of the country— and he is a very amazing person and totally not the predatory or abusive type of person. I know this. He had been a confidant of mine for year-plus.

I observed these things aloud— not for his benefit but for mine, to try to slow down the panic attack— and @beland_matt said, “Okay. How can I make this as different as last time as possible?” And I realized there were concrete business actions he could take to make me feel safer
Like a goddamn contract.

So he and his lawyers wrote one up. It’s the only contract in 5 years of being a “Professional” that isn’t ‘at will.’ We are contractually bound to figure out any issues that may come up— like normal decent humans— instead of him just firing me.
Now, I’m 150% sure we’d do this anyway. Because see aforementioned comment about Matt being a decent human being.


I was freaking out because of a past experience (in reality MANY experiences), bc I’ve learned Men Abuse Power.
Honestly, y’all, I just released a breath I didn’t know I was holding as I was writing this. *That’s* how much 5 or 6 years of compounding experiences with men deciding to be sexual regardless of how I feel affects me. Affects many of us.
Don’t be like those men. Be like Matt. Ask how you can help. Call out toxicity. Speak up!! Ask questions, and listen to our answers.

You can make things different. don’t *say* Not All Men, BE Not All Men.

Hey everybody! If you liked this thread and found it useful, check out some of my other “Actionable Ways to be a Better Ally” here!

If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them as best I can. You have my permission to shoot me a DM w/ the understanding that yes, I do screen them; yes, I ID bots and trolls with some of the best (and ask them for help if I can’t); and yes, I am 250% done taking shit. 😊
Also, for anyone that didn’t stick all the way through the (admittedly long-ish) thread, I am happy to take any questions you may have either at the end of the thread (please) or in my DMs.

Let’s make 2019 better, for everyone ❤️
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