#YesAllWomen is a Twitter hashtag and social media campaign in which users share examples or stories of misogyny and violence against women. First used in online conversations about misogyny following the 2014 Isla Vista killings, the hashtag was popular in May 2014, and was created partly in response to the Twitter hashtag #NotAllMen. #YesAllWomen reflected a grassroots campaign in which women shared their personal stories about harassment and discrimination. The campaign attempted to raise awareness of sexism that women experience, often from people they know.
Following a killing spree in Isla Vista, California that left six people dead and fourteen others wounded, the killer's Internet activity was described as misogynistic, and hatred of women was cited as a factor in his crimes. In the wake of the killings, some Twitter users made the argument that "not all men" are like this, or would commit such crimes. Others responded by satirizing those arguments and deeming them defensive and an attempt to deflect from uncomfortable topics such as violence and sexism.
In reaction to the hashtag "#NotAllMen," an anonymous female Twitter user then created "#YesAllWomen" to express that all women are affected by sexism and misogyny, even though not all men are sexist. Some sources have reported that the hashtag creator appears to be twitter user @gildedspine, which was confirmed when The Toast published a reflection piece by her on the hashtag's anniversary in 2015. The hashtag quickly became used by women throughout social media to share their experiences of sexism and harassment. Some tweets included "'I have a boyfriend' is the easiest way to get a man to leave you alone. Because he respects another man more than you. #yesallwomen", "I shouldn't have to hold my car keys in hand like a weapon & check over my shoulder every few seconds when I walk at night #YesAllWomen", and "Because every single woman I know has a story about a man feeling entitled to access to her body. Every. Single. One. #YesAllWomen."
Reach and impact
Within four days of the first use of #YesAllWomen, the hashtag had been tweeted 1.2 million times, surpassing predecessors that also drew attention to violence and sexism toward women. Four days after its first use, The Guardian commentator Jessica Valenti wrote that the YesAllWomen hashtag helped illustrate the prevalence of everyday sexism against women. Rebecca Solnit described it as a watershed moment "in which you could see change happen" and credited it for popularizing the concept of "sexual entitlement", which she characterized as male fury at women for not having met their emotional or sexual needs. In an interview with Democracy Now!, Solnit stated that the hashtag helped change the way that society talks about rape. Cynthia Calkins Mercado, an associate professor of psychology, told The Kansas City Star that the hashtag changed her mind about the prevalence of misogyny in American society, and has raised awareness of women's experiences. Writing in The New Yorker, Sasha Weiss called the campaign "a kind of memorial, a stern demand for a more just society", and praised Twitter as a powerful vehicle for activism.
On June 1, 2014, cartoonists Michael Kupperman and David Rees were scheduled to release a political cartoon entitled "Testosterone Entitlement Theatre Presents: The Man-Babies in 'Hashtag Harassment!'" for The New York Times's Sunday installment's "See Something, Say Something" that satirized the Men's rights movement's response to the hashtag. However, the newspaper believed that "the subject matter (male rage, online bullying & the hashtag #yesallwomen) was 'too sensitive'" to publish and refused to print it. In response to the editorial decision, both Kupperman and Rees uploaded the comic strip independently. That weekend, The New York Times published a different comic by Brian McFadden that tackled similar issues.
Samantha Levine, a columnist at The Daily Beast, wrote that conflating dress code restrictions and men whistling at women with the Isla Vista killings risks women who have been victims of violence not being taken seriously when they use the hashtag. Emily Shire criticized some #YesAllWomen tweets as trivial in the context of the Isla Vista killings, citing examples such as "I've never seen a hot husband with a fat wife on a sitcom."
- Medina, Jennifer (27 May 2014). "Campus Killings Set Off Anguished Conversation About the Treatment of Women". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Grinberg, Emanuella. "Why #YesAllWomen took off on Twitter". CNN. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Pearce, Matt. "#YesAllWomen: Isla Vista attack puts a spotlight on gender violence". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Lee, Jolie. "#YesAllWomen: Killing spree sparks furor about misogyny". USA Today. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Shu, Catherine. "#YesAllWomen Shows That Misogyny Is Everyone's Problem". TechCrunch. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- "A Killer's Manifesto Reveals Wide Reach Of Misogyny Online". NPR. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- Carmon, Irin (24 May 2014). "Elliot Rodger's war on women". MSNBC. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- Dvorak, Petula (26 May 2014). "#YesAllWomen: Elliot Rodger's misogynistic ravings inspire a powerful response on Twitter". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- Buxton, Ryan (29 May 2014). "Elliot Rodger's Misogynist Manifesto Is 'Familiar' To All Women, Professor Says". Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
- Plait, Phil (27 May 2014). "Not all men: How discussing women's issues gets derailed". Slate. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Dempsey, Amy (26 May 2014). "#YesAllWomen hashtag sparks revelations, anger, debate in wake of California killing spree". Toronto Star. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Bailey, Jasmine (25 May 2014). "What's up with the #YesAllWomen and #NotAllMen hashtags?". Springfield Sun-Times. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Weiss, Sasha (26 May 2014). "The Power Of #YesAllWomen". The New Yorker. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- M, Kaye (26 May 2015). "On #YesAllWomen, One Year Later". The Toast. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- "Why everyone should read #YesAllWomen on Twitter after Elliot Rodger's rampage in Santa Barbara". NewsComAu.
- "More than a hashtag: #YesAllWomen". HLNtv.com. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- Zimmerman, Jess (28 April 2014). "Not All Men Meme Rise of Defense Against Sexism Misogyny". TIME. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- Bridges, Jeff (2 June 2014). "#NotAllMen Don't Get It". TIME. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- "Your Guide to 'Not All Men,' the Best Meme on the Internet". Jezebel.
- Vendituoli, Monica (28 May 2014). "#NotAllMen, but #YesAllWomen: Campus Tragedy Spurs Debate on Sexual Violence - Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education". Chronicle.com. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- Pachal, Pete (26 May 2014). "How the #YesAllWomen Hashtag Began". Mashable. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Valenti, Jessica. "#YesAllWomen reveals the constant barrage of sexism that women face". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- "#YesAllWomen Puts Spotlight On Misogyny". NPR. 28 May 2014.
- Feeney, Nolan (25 May 2014). "The Most Powerful #YesAllWomen Tweets". Time. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Solnit, Rebecca (3 June 2014). "Why #Yesallwomen Matters". Mother Jones. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- "#YesAllWomen: Rebecca Solnit on the Santa Barbara Massacre & Viral Response to Misogynist Violence". Democracy Now!. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Adler, Eric; Williams, Mara Rose; Klein, Kaitlyn (3 June 2014). "After California killings, Twitter's #YesAllWomen reveals the vast extent of misogyny". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
- Kupperman, Michael (June 6, 2014). "The Comic Not Fit to Print". Squarespace. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- McDonough, Katie. "This is the #YesAllWomen comic the New York Times wouldn't publish". Salon. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
- Levine, Samantha (27 May 2014). "Not All Sexism is Equal". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Shire, Emily (27 May 2014). "#YesAllWomen Has Jumped the Shark". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Postings to #YesAllWomen on Twitter
- Cartoon: Testosterone Entitlement Theatre Presents: The Man-Babies in 'Hashtag Harassment!' - Political cartoon by Michael Kupperman and David Rees inspired by #YesAllWomwn
- Cartoon: Entitled manchildren magazine - Political cartoon by Brian McFadden satirizing "not all men" - Featured in New York Times on June 1, 2014