By Jonathon Van Maren
Like me, some of you probably still remember the days of yore, when the hashtag #BelieveAllWomen trended regularly across social media platforms. A partner of #MeToo, the slogan demanded that a patriarchal culture which frequently ignored or invalidated the experiences of women should smarten up and start taking women seriously. Some pointed out that #BelieveAllWomen was premised on a presumption of guilt, but this was brushed aside. It was time for people — specifically, men — to listen.
That all seems so very long ago. These days, the hashtag seems to be #BelieveAllMen. Let’s look at a few recent examples.
There’s the story of the guy posing as a cheerleader who got booted from the squad for attacking one of the girls.
A biological male, calling himself Averie Chanel Medlock, identifying as female who had joined a Texas cheerleading camp allegedly choked a female teammate, earning him a criminal citation. “Well guys I’m officially retired as a cheerleader as of last night at 5:30 AM,” he wrote on Facebook last week.
“A girl on the team was being very disrespectful and told me I am a MAN with a PENIS and that [guys] should not be on the team. I stood up for myself and she called her mom and dad because she was scared…Her father said ‘she still has testosterone and a penis and I will kill anyone who comes after my daughter.’”
It is natural for a father to be furious that his daughter and other girls had to lock themselves in a room while a delusional, angry man shouted profanities outside the door. It is unnatural for a grown man to pose as a cheerleader and expect to be taken seriously.
There’s also the recent story in the New York Times about Marceline Harvey, who turns out to actually be a man — a transgender serial killer. In 1963 he murdered a girlfriend with a gun; in 1985 he stabbed another and left her corpse in a bag in Central Park.