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Oppression Scholar Explains Psychology Behind Saying “Not All Men” And Even Guys Are Thanking Her

For anyone who is not a cisgender male, the phrase “not all men” is an instant tell. You know exactly the type of person you’re dealing with once “not all men” comes out of their mouth. They’re the kind of person who would rather go on the defense than take time to understand someone’s pain.

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We know saying “not all men” isn’t helpful, and a psychologist on TikTok is going viral for explaining exactly where the phrase arose from and what cisgender men truly mean when they say it to someone that is female, transgender, or nonbinary — the populations at the highest risk of gendered discrimination and violence.

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Evelyn has taken her expertise — which includes two master’s degrees from Harvard and studies in gender-based trauma — to TikTok, where she has gained 625.4k followers under @Herspective. Her content is primarily focused on educating her followers on intersectional feminism and how to be strong allies.

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Earlier this year, she posted a TikTok that has since picked up steam. It’s where she breaks down the real intentions behind saying “not all men.”

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In the video, she notes three key sources behind the phrase:

  1. The male “pick me” behavior
  2. The need to control women’s voices
  3. The male superiority complex

An example of the “pick me” behavior is when a man refuses to acknowledge gendered bias because he believes he is one of the good guys.

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Evelyn calls the male “pick me” behavior a “total delusion” because everyone — regardless of gender — is guilty of internalized gender bias. Everyone.

Bias is so systemically ingrained in our culture that people often perpetuate that bias without realizing it.

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The need to control women’s voices comes via “tone policing,” or being more upset at the person saying the information than at the information itself.

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“Not all men” hurts because there is no acknowledgment of the ongoing systemic bias happening at the hands of cisgender men.

Evelyn’s third source addresses the male superiority complex, which is connected to the “pick me” behavior.

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The complex fuels the false belief that women need a man in order to feel safe.

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And is harmful to a woman’s independence.

Evelyn’s other videos cover topics like “not all men,” “nice guy” behavior, and other ways to learn more about creating a more equitable society.