So, yesterday I grabbed some markers, paper, duct tape and push pins and headed out the door with an idea.
I rode the train and watched the stops until I saw the first one: ‘All Men Must Die’.
For those who do not know this is a Game of Thrones advertisement. The saying in the story/show in high Valyrian is ‘Valar Morghulis’. I have read up to book 4 right now moving onto book 5. Jaqen H’ghar gives a coin to Arya Stark and tells her to use the words ‘Valar Morghulis’ if she wants to find him by handing the coin to any man from Bravos and saying those words. It is a saying used several times. Arya uses it to open the temple of the Many-Faced Gods, a slave says it to Daeneyrs and she replies ‘But we are not men’.
Yes, I know this is supposed to be in reference to a book. But what words are left all over the subways and passing by on buses? ‘All Men Must Die’.
Would this be taken so lightly if it said ‘All Women Must Die’? No. It wouldn’t. I’m not calling for it to be taken down but I will not support their clothing line and I will use my own freedom of speech to share how I feel. So, I covered as many as I could- I covered 7 of these signs yesterday- and decided to counteract men seeing these hurtful words with men seeing women share their love of men. For those who don’t know there is a campaign of women on twitter called ‘Kill All Men’. It’s hateful and disgusting. Instead, it’s important for men to see how loved they really are.
I took out my supplies from my bag and would kneel or crouch before each one, some people would be watching me and wondering what I was up to. Some lingering further back. I also wrote ‘I Love Men’ on a paper and had women take photos with it. It also referred to the page itself, the admins being: myself, a humanist and non-feminist. We run the page ‘The Return of Femininity’ [ find us here: https://www.facebook.com/returnofwomen ] . The three of us women working to heal relationships between women and men and shed light on the truth of feminism. Goal of a healthy sisterhood, no hierarchy, a strong basis of loving men and supporting each other.
Several women posed with the sign ‘I Love Men’. I went up to the women and asked them if they had seen the Game of Thrones ‘All Men Must Die’ billboards. They said they hadn’t but were horrified to hear of it. I told them I was counteracting the sign with some love sharing so men would feel appreciated especially considering the lack of loved shared for men in our society. I asked these women if they would pose with the ‘I Love Men’ sign to share love for men and they said yes.
One of the billboards I was covering up a woman came over with a sour face asking what I was doing. I told her I was covering it up the hurtful words with some love as men see this every day when they come off the trains. She looked like she was sucking on lemons but couldn’t say anything. What was she going to say? Be blatant about her upset? I finished putting up the sign and asked her if she would take a photo with the ‘I Love Men’ sign she said no. I decided then to post it on the billboard as well. Meanwhile, a gal next to me was taking a photo of what I had done and was smiling. So I told her what I was up to and she said she would take a photo. The train came and the three of us were getting on the train, them two before me I was making sure I had my duct tape and markers and phone. So the gal says back to me she just broke up with her boyfriend and the sour faced lady jumped in with ‘So you liked the sign before she covered it huh?’ And they both had a jolly good laugh with that. Yeah. Nice. Yuck. I said to the young gal well you’re moving past that feeling right? She just kinda nodded and they didn’t say anything. Lemons wasn’t having fun with the convo anymore. I drew a new ‘I Love Men’ sign but the gal didn’t know I meant take an actual photo with holding the sign so refused. I found it interesting how lemon lady just couldn’t wait to jump in with her misandry.
A few signs later I approach another woman, Hello, not sure if you’ve seen the Game of Thrones Campaign that says ‘Kill All Men’? We at The Return of Femininity are trying to counteract it with some love -she interrupts ‘Oh no that’s not what it means, it’s referring to a Game of Thrones’. I let her know, yes, I know that, I read the books. I then ask her if she has ever seen ‘Kill All Women’ plastered around. She says, no but in Criminal Minds you can see it. I ask her again, Have you seen ‘Kill All Women’ all over the subways? She says no and again goes into how we can see it in anywhere. I again ask, you see ‘Kill All Women’ on the subways?
We enter the train and continue. She mentions how there is not just one kind of Femininity. I reply, I understand that and share with her the goal of The Return of Femininity [TROF]. She then asks why am I saying that femininity has to have a basis of loving men…I shit you not. I had a moment. A moment of jaw dropping. I said incredulously, ‘Uhh because they are human?!’ We then moved onto discussing the anti-male agenda of feminism her reply was that the Men’s Human Rights Movement began as a reaction to Feminism and I told her no. It did not. The concept began before feminism existed. She then said there are different brands of feminism to which I let her know that doesn’t matter, they all fuel the same thing. Feminism in action is anti-male. She said no it’s equality, I then asked, well then why are they not working with the Men’s Human Rights Movement. Her answer? In her own words that I can’t remember verbatim – the movement is unnecessary and a joke. To which I jumped, how can you say you stand for equality when you minimize men’s human rights? Do you hear yourself? She said, well, the MRM is like a white power movement arising because of the black panther movement.
I shit you not. But there was too much to address there so I just simply stated, not true, at all.
As I went through the list of explaining the ridiculous that we have a VAWA instead of anti-violence campaign for all humans, and listing other feminist hypocrisies she continued to get irritated until she finally erupted into hand gesticulations telling me I can’t talk about feminism as if it’s a thing. I can’t reach out and touch feminism. To which I replied: No, I can’t reach out and touch feminism but it reaches out and touches all of us especially men. It affects our viewpoints with it’s anti-male agenda and influences laws.
I shocked her for a moment and the guy sitting next to where she was standing must have laughed because she gave him a dirty look. She was then asking me what the Men’s Human Right’s Movement was and as I was explaining she kept asking me questions. She was very frustrated with what I was saying and no matter how short each of her questions were, I had the beginning of an answer that she would promptly interrupt with the next question. Now, I’m not saying I’m such a completely well versed MRA but I read and I’m doing my homework and for a daily conversation with a feminist I can bring some information to the table. The fact that I could keep up with her questions and not rage quit was clearly annoying her. She was finally so frustrated she hollered, what is the point what is the Men’s Right’s Movement doing? Crossing her arms and getting huffy. So, I started with male domestic violence victims not having shelter. Finally she agreed on that. Great! Headway, BUT then stated some inconsistent fact about female domestic violence victims which dismissed the amount of male DV victims. I went on to share how the court systems favor the mother even when she’s abusive and she rolled her eyes to that. She then asked me how old the men were that were attacked in domestic violence cases….@.@ wha? I said, what does it matter they are being attacked? She holwed ‘It does matter! It does matter!’ then she had to get off.
I sat down across from the man who was sitting there, he just shook his head smiled and winked. I laughed and said something about leading feminists to water…can’t remember, long day lol The guy next to him was red in the face reading his book. But no one said anything, not a word which was interesting. But I can understand, never know when a fembot might pop up with a scalpel. I still hold onto hope though, I think if her and I had time she may have been able to get some of what I was sharing…maybe. The fact that she agreed with men having domestic violence shelters was a start.
So, I rode the train and would get off when I saw the billboards and do my thing and get some photos. The last one was the stop near me and the black marker was dying and the phone just made it to take the last photo. Perfect timing.
That was yesterday. Glad to have started the ‘All Men Must Be Loved’ and ‘I love men’ campaign around NYC. It’s not over yet either…