Not All Men

Not All Men

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Updated Dec 14, 2014 at 04:22PM EST by Brad.

Added Apr 29, 2014 at 07:50PM EDT by Don.

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“Not All Men” is an expression used in rebuttal to generalized statements about men. Due to its frequent use in dating-related discussions, the phrase has been often mocked as a gender-specific cliche, in similar vein to the use of the expression “My Eyes are Up Here”.


The exact origin of the phrase “not all men” is unclear, and has possibly have been in use before the Internet. One of the earliest known uses of the phrase as a rebuttal was posted by several Puerto Rico[1] Forums members in response to a post titled “Why can’t men accept when its over?” on August 22nd, 2001.


On May 11th, 2004, eNotAlone Forums[11] member CandleInTheWind replied to a thread titled “Sick of men and their sex talk” by arguing that “not all men are like that.” On October 20th, 2011, a Yahoo Answers[9] question was submitted asking “Why do men reflexively use the namalt argument?” On June 15th, 2013, the “Not All Men Are Like That” Tumblr[6] blog was launched, featuring screenshots of online conversations in which men are shown making misogynistic statements. On September 29th, the men’s rights blog A Voice for Men[7] published an article titled “If NAWALT Then NAMALT,” which denounced using generalizations for both men and women. On March 18th, 2014, a post titled “I don’t care if ‘not all men are like that’” was published on the women’s interest blog Jezebel,[12] which argued that women should err on the side of caution when dealing with men. On March 26th, Twitter user Ann Boobus posted a tweet featuring a photoshopped Kool Aid comic with a speech bubble reading “not all men.” In the first month, the tweet gained over 860 favorites and 470 retweets.

On March 30th, the Tumblr[14] blog “Not All Men” was launched, which highlights images edited with “not all men” speech bubbles. On April 10th, the webcomic Listen to Me[5] posted a comic about a fedora-wearing superhero named “Not-All-Man” (shown below).

On April 23rd, Redditor askwomenthrowawayy submitted a post complaining about those who comment “not all men are like that” to the /r/AskWomen[2] subreddit. On April 28th, Time[3] published an article titled “Not All Men: A Brief History of Every Dude’s Favorite Argument,” which criticized those who use the phrase “not all men” in conversations about sexism, misogyny, rape culture and women’s rights. The same day, Redditor mrkaiser submitted the article to the /r/TumblrInAction[13] subreddit, where it gathered upwards of 190 upvotes and 150 comments in the following 24 hours.

The term “not all women are like that” (NAWALT) is often used in a similar fashion to discourage generalizations about women. On January 11th, 2011, Urban Dictionary[8] user tannerbanner submitted an entry for the acronym.

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