Unfortunately, disproportionate violence against women exists online, too. As I write this, I'm anticipating at least several super-nasty comments about feminism or my gender. If I'm especially lucky, I'll get a few death threats. So to have these experiences played down with claims of insanity, trolling or "not all men" when one man has recently carried out such threats, is extremely troubling, and misses the point entirely.
Sure enough, Emma Woolley's piece has already received its share of vitriol from men who clearly feel defensive. She's touched a nerve, apparently.
My question is, why? Seriously - why on earth would a confident man feel any threat in a woman speaking her mind? Why would you feel the need to justify the fact that not all men are Elliot Rodger or Oscar Pistorius or Marc Lepine? You might as well be justifying the fact that not all men are Adolf Hitler or Saddam Hussein.
Take it the other way - as Toronto Mayoralty candidate John Tory said (infamously), men have a tendency to get ahead in business because they stand up for themselves. We want people to stand up for themselves, to be successful, to reach higher and take no guff- right?
We have a generally laissez-faire system of capitalism that promotes those who promote themselves. Lots of people who are great at sales, but nothing else, rise to the top because they bend ears. Top dogs don't have to do anything proactive like talent-scout or nurture talent; they want all the work to come from someone else, so they simply have to check the box that stands out the most for them.
The same, I would argue, holds true of any man who favours laws that force wives to have sex whenever their husbands want or forces girls to marry when they're told to.
This is abject laziness. Men who expect the world to revolve around them, whether it's because of a sense of entitlement or because they lack the actual skill to nurture the results they want aren't alpha males, they're parasites mooching off of the efforts of others.
Really strong people out there are dynamic, vibrant and adaptable. They want to be pushed and tested; they want opportunities to learn new skills and become better or better suited to the tasks they want to accomplish.
Women don't reject men romantically because they're mean any more than an employer rejects an applicant because they're cruel. If you're not what someone's looking for, that's not their problem.
The best leaders I know are confident, determined and seek the best out of everyone - not because it makes their lives easier, but because it serves the causes they believe in. Women leaders like Terri Chu, Susanna Kelley, Bianca Wylie, Trish Garner, Jenn Chan and countless others put themselves last, put their mission first and push everyone to be their best - so we can all reach higher together.
My business partner, Jen Li, is phenomenal at this. She challenges me constantly to hone my messaging and target my activity. It's tough, but that's a good thing, not a bad thing.
I don't feel threatened by any of these women, frankly, because I'm not worried about my own limitations. Since I don't feel threatened by them, I feel no reason to intimidate or attempt to power-trip them.
If you're a man confident in yourself, #YesAllWomen doesn't present a threat, but an opportunity. The stronger everyone is - be they allies or competition - the more they can challenge you to grow and vice-versa.
If you do feel threatened by #YesAllWomen and voices like Emma Woolley, you've got to ask yourself - if you find them intimidating and feel the need to lash out in response, what does that say about your own confidence in your ability?