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What's Up With The #YesAllWomen And #NotAllMen Hashtags?

The hashtage #YesAllWomen has become popular on Twitter after information about shooting suspect Elliot Rodger surfaced over the weekend.
Posted at 9:24 PM, May 25, 2014

The suspected misogynist motives behind Friday's killings in Isla Vista, California is bringing a Twitter hashtag movement to the forefront.

"I don’t know why you girls have never been attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. ... You throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men, instead of me, the supreme gentleman." (Via YouTube / Elliot Robert

Because Rodger seems to categorize all women under one label in his rant, the hashtag #YesAllWomen was born, but with a much different outlook touching on issues like harassment and gender relations. (Via Twitter)

"Every woman I know has been taught to not leave her drink unattended or we could be drugged and raped. #YesAllWomen" (Via Twitter / @film114

"Because the friendzone is the fictional exile of the entitled. 'Sexual partner' is not a woman’s default mode. #yesallwomen" (Via Twitter / @HarrisonMooney)

And many of the tweets tell jaw-dropping stories of abuse, harassment and more. So what's the point?

Well, in the opinion of a writer at the Examiner, the movement is meant to "instigate change, and open up the eyes of both women and men; women in a show of solidarity, ... men to make a strong statement that these are not isolated incidents we see on the news, but rather, ongoing problems that, if left unchecked, will ultimately lead to a much bleaker future."

In some ways, #YesAllWomen is also a response to the cliché "Not all men" argument — what Timecalls, a "defense against feminist arguments." This comic shows an exaggerated example, depicting a women saying "I'm just sick of how men-" when a man crashes through the window to defend his gender. 

Now, this is where it gets kind of confusing. Because even though the "not all men" argument seemingly began as a sincere way to counter feminist arguments, the #NotAllMen hashtag had been largely turned on its head by Sunday.

"#NotAllMen kill women, but all men have at times stood silent in the face of misogyny and violent language against women. #YesAllWomen" (Via Twitter / @semiotheque)

"#NotAllMen are the same but #YesAllWomen live in fear of not knowing the difference between a genuinely nice guy and a potential attacker." (Via Twitter / @JadeScanlon

It's a heavy topic to try and address in 140 characters, but it's gained a lot of attention. It sat near the top of Twitter's trending topics over the weekend.