Imagine feeling too scared to leave your dorm past eight o'clock. Imagine the need to be constantly aware of your surroundings, even during the mid hours of the day. Imagine that three women every minute are raped in this country. And lastly, imagine knowing that the future of women's laws and legislation in the hands of a man accused by THREE women of inappropriate sexual misconduct. Well if you can just imagine these real situations and truths for just a few moments, you are only less than halfway to understanding the fear women feel every single day.
As a female student on a campus that has already experienced twelve on campus sexual assault occurrences (and those are the only reported occurrences), I feel as though I have a unique voice to share my issues with how men are reacting and not reacting to the current surge in one of society's most troubling issues. I have voiced my opinion and received so many mixed reactions because, for some reason, some truly do not believe they have any impact on the future of women.
So really, how do men have an opportunity to change the narrative?
It starts with not only educating the very boys who commit these horrendous crimes but also those men who don't do anything to prevent it from happening again. It isn't a sorority's banner, instead, it's a frat's. It's adding the word "consent" to the vocabulary of male-dominated setting and situation. It is holding the predators sitting in our very own supreme court of the United States of America, accountable for their actions. It takes a break from the masculinity that plagues men on college campuses today and replaces it with compassion and care. It literally takes 1 second to say the words "no" or "stop" when you see something questionable. But are you willing to say it? Are you willing to take a break from being the brooding "give-a-fuck" kind of guy, and start realizing the actions of your so-called friends? All it takes is for it to be your sister, your girlfriend, or even your mom, for you to see the devastation it brings. And if you are a guy affected by sexual assault, don't be afraid to say "#MeToo" because you are doing more for this issue than you can ever imagine. So next time you're out with your guys, drinking heavy amounts of alcohol, think to yourself: what am I doing here? And instead say:
"It isn't what more women SHOULDN'T be doing, it's what more men SHOULD be doing."
So if you're a guy who tells girls to just buy some mace and move on with it, you are the problem. Use your voice of power among your peers and connect with them in a positive way. A way that relieves you at night from the fear that women feel every single day.