My face slowly morphs into a horrified expression as I scroll through Instagram; in 97 percent of all women have been sexually assaulted or harassed by men. When analyzing it more, I began to fear when the percentage would slowly increase to 100 percent.
Social media statistics are not always correct but according to UnWomen UK, 97 percent of women have faced different forms of sexual harassment from men. There has been a lot of attention regarding sexual harassment against womem due to a major case that has taken place in London. Sarah Everard was found murdered by Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan police officer, after walking home late at night. Her case had angered many women since it brought more awareness to the fact that not much is being done to prevent situations like this. With this information gaining recognition, men have decided to react to the data by spreading the hashtag, #notallmen, to invalidate the feelings many victims are experiencing. This renewed attention on the toxic (misogynistic) culture is warping sexual assault into a fad; in reality, many women live in constant fear of getting sexually violated by men on a daily basis.
Patriarchy is the system of society where men are held at a superior position than women. With patriarchy being implemented into society since 3100 B.C., its effects have impacted how many men treat women. Women are objectified and sexualized to the point that it is humiliating. This type of objectification can be found through America’s history where women have been classified as housewives and a man’s “possession.” It has even affected women’s appearances and their beauty standards. In Feminism in India’s article, the author explains how a man had insulted her by saying no man will want her once her physical appearance ages. This implies that a woman’s worth decreases when she is not seen as gorgeous to a man’s eye. Patriarchy has been a source for mens’ behavior in wanting to control women. Many women believe the anti-abortion laws created in different states is a way for men to continue controlling women.
In addition, misogyny ties in with the treatment women have to face. Patriarchy and misogyny are extremely similar since they refer to women as objects. In simple terms, misogyny means hatred towards women. This ideology has been the reason for suppressing women’s rights and their equality. Sexual harassment by men towards women prove that they do not see both genders as equal since they are lacking respect when forcing themselves onto nonconsenting women. For example, Japan has created separate train departments for female and male passengers due to the large amount of sexual assault victims that have been targeted on trains. The fact that men and women can not be put together in a small spaced area proves how problematic the situation is. Although the solution of separating seems promising, it does not stop the unnecessary sexualization of women.
The hashtag, #notallmen, that was spread around had made many women uncomfortable and disgusted. Instead of supporting the many victims who have suffered, they defend their unwanted actions by saying not all men are responsible. Men took their anger for social justice and made it about themselves. Although not all men are guilty of harassing women, actions made by other men is enough to make women scared to be around.
Many people have used the “infamous Skittle analogy” to help others understand their feelings of fear. For example, you go to the market to buy a bag of Skittles to cure your growing hunger. Once you open the bag, you are told there is one poisonous piece inside. Would you still be willing to eat any of the Skittles residing in the plastic bag? This analogy was featured on Tik Tok, a platform for young boys to harass women in their comment sections. In fact, “not all men” came from those Tik Tok boys who woud harass women who would post videos talking about their rape assault situations. There was a trend where girls would use hand paint and speak about their experiences getting raped from different people. Instead of receiving supportive comments, they had men mocking their trauma with jokes and laughter. There was another trend where Tik Tok boys would go onto girls’ videos, even if they were minors, and rate their appearances. They would include their body proportions as well. Many women have spoken up and used their accounts to speak on how uncomfortable and objectifying it was. Women know not all men are terrible, but there are way too many who behave this way for women to feel comfortable around.
Furthermore, victim blaming has been a major problem within the system. A lot of people say it is the woman’s fault for wearing certain clothing and not holding the man accountable for the actions they made. Not only that, but women are forced to constantly check their surroundings and make sure they have something there to protect them. Instead of trying to stop the men targeting innocent women, they tell the girls that they need to be more careful.
According to Rainn, one out of every six women has been raped or experienced attempted rape: ages 12-34 are the ages that are targeted the most. The fact that so many children have been traumatized from some of these encounters is revolting. No one should have to come across this behavior, and society should not be enabling this behavior by turning a blind eye.
With the statistics, it is very hard to trust some of the men you meet. Even some of the celebrities people look up to have been caught in sexual assault allegations, such as Ansel Elgort and Brendon Urie. Unfortunately, it is important for women to stay safe and have items that could help protect them when they are out in public.
Sexual assault is not a fun trend for anyone to play with; it has actual consequences that can possibly ruin somebody’s life.