Do men get pinched, groped, ogled, catcalled, stared at, followed, intimidated and stalked regularly by other men?
Do they get rape threats from strangers online for having the gall to express a strong opinion?
How about unwanted comments on their profile pictures, unsolicited pictures of male genitalia, persistent romantic propositions even after rejection?
How about being talked over at work, admonished for standing one’s ground, assumed to be less skilled, being singled out among other colleagues for clerical tasks, told that their place is “in the kitchen” and “at home, raising kids?”
You are being asked to give women, the same bare-minimum, basic, fundamental respect that you afford men. You know, the sort that should be afforded to all human beings, simply for existing. We aren’t asking for amazing treatment, simply for being female. Far from it, actually. We’re asking for respect as people, something we are deprived of simply for being women with a regularity, severity and degree that should absolutely alarm you.
Respecting women can’t be a rule, but surely it can be a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Women are tired of having to be taught how to protect themselves from men, but rather why can’t the men be taught not to rape, harass, or abuse a woman? Dress does not dictate if a woman is valued or respected. Nor does it protect her from being violated. But I am, as are all women tired of hearing guys ask, “well, what was she wearing?” Or, “She was probably asking for it.” No. No woman is ever asking to be raped, harassed or abused. No woman wants to be judged based on what she was wearing, how she was wearing it, and just how much attention she was craving.
It’s about time society started appreciating the important role that women play. Women today contribute more than half to the world’s economy. More than 11.6 million businesses are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales as of 2017. Women-owned businesses (51% or more) account for 39% of all privately held businesses and contribute 8% of employment and 4.2% of revenues.
We just aren’t about having babies, raising babies, and baking some cookies. Women are smart, savvy, and go-getters. Women want to be seen for WHO we are, NOT for what we look like. Ever notice that a man especially, can only compliment a woman on her looks, not on her other personality traits? “Oh, she is hot,” “She’s gorgeous,” or, “What a beauty!” It’s never, ” You’re amazing at what you do,” “I always learn so much from you,” or, “I like your style.”
If we want to prevent sexual assaults and sexual harassment, then parents have a responsibility to their sons to have a much more uncomfortable conversation. Overall, the media has told a man, in this society, treating women with disrespect is the cool or easy thing to do. The only way to change this, is to make sure that as boys, they know that this behavior is unacceptable, and that no matter who they come in contact with during their lifetime, they are to be treated with respect. Remember, it costs NOTHING to be kind, to be respectable and to be responsible.