How men can stop us getting raped.
I don't know how long we have to go around this circle before somebody comes and blows the damn thing up but I am sick and tired of women pleading year on year to feel safe. I've worked with youth and children since the age of 18 and have been brought to tears hearing stories of harassment, unsolicited pornography and assault. This isn't just happening to women, it's happening to our children and it has to stop.
There's nothing more women can do. We've already done it all. From a young age we're taught how to prevent an attack but it's not working. Women are still being raped. Women are still being murdered. The narrative has always been on US but it's over to you lads, because the responsibility should never have been on us in the first place. It's not our job to make sure we don't get attacked - it's on you to not attack us.
We need you. We need you to do more than be the hero willing to beat up anyone who attacks us. We need you to do more than walk us home when it's dark. We need you to catch it early. We need your words and your deeds when we're not around.
"85,000 women are raped every year. EVERY year. 97% of women have experienced some form of sexual assault or harassment"
We need you to call it out early. To end the way women are talked about and viewed. To challenge the males in your life when they behave inappropriately. What I am asking is not an easy thing - we know what it means to raise your head above the parapet and say 'enough is enough', but if you don't then this cycle will never end. I don't want to have to teach my daughters how to prepare for being attacked. I don't want my daughters to be sexually assaulted. Raped. Murdered. My blood boils and my heart hurts thinking about the 85,000 women that experience rape every year. The 97% of women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed. This has to end and here's what you can do:
1. I'm not an object, don't talk about me like I am one
Society may have groomed me from an early age to focus all of my attention on attracting a mate, but funnily enough that's not my sole desire in life. I am not something to be owned. You don't get to take me or make me anything. Don't discuss what you'd do to me to your mates, and call it out when your mates do it too. If you wouldn't want someone talking about your grandma or daughter like that, then it's probably not appropriate to be chatting to your mates about it.
2. Keep pictures of your dick in your own phone. I'll ask for one if I want one
They're generally not pretty, so when you randomly send one before asking my normal response is to find the nearest toilet and barf in it. If I want one I'll ask. TRUST ME, we're not revelling in the beauty of your appendage, and we're certainly not gearing up to be worshipping at your feet in awe of your member. Keep it to yourself.
3. If I say no, I mean no
No to a car ride. No to a phone call. No to a date. Don't keep asking. It's creepy and weird and just straight up wrong. It doesn't matter what movies depict, a man who constantly chases us after we say no is not considered romantic - it's harassment.
4. Call out your friends
If you hear your friends speaking in a way that seems odd when they discuss women CALL IT OUT. We need to change the way women are spoken about. If you hear about your friend doing something dodgy CALL IT OUT. And please, PLEASE, if you know your mate has done something that needs reporting then report it. It's not 'males before jails'.
5. I don't have to respond to your comment. Don't keep trying.
Since becoming a blogger I have had a total of 24 men obsessively messaging me. They may start innocently, but very quickly I'm asked if I fancy marrying them, sleeping with them or sending them pictures. Some are persistent, choosing to message regularly throughout the day in the hopes of wooing me. Most of them choose to then throw slander at me because I have dared to offend their ego. All of them get blocked. Don't be that guy - if a woman doesn't show interest, then keep the conversation platonic.
6. Don't put the blame on us
It doesn't matter what we were wearing, what time of night it was, whether we'd had enough to drink or whether we had messaged someone to tell them where we were. GETTING ATTACKED IS NOT OUR FAULT. This crap needs to stop.
7. Teach your sons this stuff too
It's your job to continue to educate. Educate your mates, educate your relatives, educate your sons. Keep educating yourselves too - listen to our stories. Invest in our futures and the futures of your daughters. You have as much responsibility in ensuring this madness ends.
I believe and have hope for a world where women don't have to carry keys in between their fingers. Where 97% of women don't have their own story to tell.
One day I will live in a world where a woman can simply walk home.