In feminist discussions, the plaintive cry of "Not all men are like that!" is possibly the most commonly used derailing tactic of all.
- ME: Men and boys are socially instructed to not listen to us. They are taught to interrupt us when we- RANDOM MAN: Excuse me. Not ALL men.
This received over 4,000 retweets (as of May 2014).
"Not all men" became a meme around April-May 2014, eg:
This Time magazine article (April 28, 2014) says the origins of the meme are "shrouded in mystery", noting that although the general idea was around before 2013, it didn't show up with that exact, meme-style phrasing. For instance, the article claims that it doesn't appear in Bingo cards or derailing guides from the last few years. However, it doesn't identify @sassycrass's tweet as the source.
As of May 11th, 2014, this tweet by @cavalorn and others began to circulate, asking that people credit @sassycrass as the originator of the meme.
Pop culture blog Vox, reporting on May 15th, identifies @sassycrass as the originator.
Similar complaints/catchphrases from feminist discussion, many predating the meme, include:
- Patriarchy hurts men too
- Not My Nigel
- What about the mens?
- I can't believe that happens
- and the generalised "not all men are like that"
- Annalee: ‘Not All White People’ and Derailing Conversations
- Kat Howard: Not all men (trigger warning for violence against women)
- Miri: Not All Men™ Categorize People Into Unhelpful Categories (the "bowl of M&Ms" analogy)