You're on tinder one night with a glass of wine after a long day in the office. You aren't really looking for anything in particular, you just want to see what happens and talk to some people near you.
You got a match!
Yes! Score! It's Mr. Jawline with the handsome suit as his profile picture. You start talking to him and discover some similar interests between the messages. You both decide to meet in person.
He takes you out for some drinks. He even pays for everything, even though you insisted to at least take half the check. However, there was just something telling you that this guy wasn't the right one for you. Just didn't click. You decide to go home and think it over while you sleep.
You wake up, still feeling the same. You find one new message on tinder from Mr. Jawline. He asks about when you are ready to "get down with business". You decide to be honest with him. Your thumbs race across your keyboard spelling out every word with anxiety. You know you briefly talked about how you were interested in those actions before, but since the date you just simply changed your mind.
That's when the anger shows- Mr. Jawline with the handsome suit turns into someone you've never met before. He pressures you to change your mind. After constantly apologizing and saying no, the name calling begins. He spits hateful words and vile phrases at you so you feel ashamed for changing your mind.
"Do you think you can do better than me?"
He ends the conversation with one last text.
"You disgusting lowlife. You are worthless, you mean nothing to no one. You are nothing but a tease, remember that."
He blocks you. That is how online dating is for a lot of young women and men today.
Sexual assault, harassment, rape, and slut-shaming are topics we always see briefly on social media. It almost seems like its the new norm to see the headlines of "tinder dates gone wrong" and sex crimes almost weekly. Even seeing it so often, there are still people who are misinformed or uneducated when it comes to sex crimes and sex education. Many people still believe women are often "lying" when it comes to their sexual abuse.
Although lying about rape does happen, it's pretty rare. In 2013, The FBI stated about 2-8% of rapes are false. Looking at this in a national standpoint, this number is pretty low. Try comparing that to false theft reports, which fall to about 10%. This judgement of "lying" over sexual assault doesn't discriminate between genders; both women and men are accused of making up their abuse, but for different reasons. According to Laci Green, public sex educator and feminist activist, women are looked at as "lairs, irrational, crazy and over-emotional" while men are looked at as "animals" that "always want sex".
RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) makes a statement that about 97% of rapists won't ever face punishment for their crimes. According to this study, out of 100 rape cases only 46 will be reported to the police. And at the end of all of it, only three will be going to prison.
This is not okay.
Growing up as a woman myself, I experienced the fears and rules with how to stay safe from men. We were always told to come home earlier, not to wear revealing clothing, don't get too drunk and never put your drink down unattended. My question is: where were the rules for the "men" (although predators can be any gender, my example is using a man) growing up? Why don't we tell them as young boys not to look at women as sexual objects? Why don't we tell them putting drugs in a girls drink at a party should never be done? Why aren't we educating our children about sex and teaching them what is right and what is wrong? Let's not just assume that their conscience knows, let's educate them.
I remember growing up often hearing sex as a bad term. It's "inappropriate" and "shouldn't be talked about at this age". The average age people start having sex in the United States is around 17-years-old and some people even start earlier. At those ages having sex and being unsure of what consent really is and what risks there are to having unprotected sex only shape the generation for the future. Adding better sexual education classes in high schools could make students more aware on what is okay to do and what isn't and how to keep themselves protected from STIs and unexpected pregnancy.
There is nothing to be ashamed about when talking about sex, it's simply apart of life. What is important is to know the difference between consent and sexual assault or harassment and to keep yourself safe. For more information on anything sex related, visit this helpful website which features information on STIs and getting tested, birth control methods, hotlines and resources and a live chat with experts for more specific answers you need fast.