Content warning: This blog post mentions sexual violence, abuse, assault, harm, and abortion. The embedded Instagram post includes news headlines covering sexual violence against women and girls.
This. This is why we need to start educating our sons rather than protecting our daughters. This is why we march for women's rights. This is why we need feminism and activism. This is proof that how girls have been taught to protect themselves isn't working. Nothing will stop unless men do. We need men to stand in solidarity with us, to walk with us, as it's the only way any of this could end.
Millions of girls walk alone everyday in fear that something like this could happen to them, myself included. I've been nervous every time a car has slowed down beside me, every time a man was walking behind me, or towards me on the same side of the street. I've been lucky enough to say nothing has happened to me, most of the time I would just walk past the man or cross the street and everything would be ok, but that hasn't always been the case for most girls. As we can see from this post, no matter how we try to be safe, something always seems to happen. Men will find a way to overpower us, to find us and hurt us, to take advantage of us etc. If we truly want anything to change we need to get our men involved in educating and calling out their brothers and friends, standing up for victims and believing them, marching along side us in solidarity and supporting us when we need it. Activism for this cause is so important because it's something that is still ongoing, and won't stop until change is made.
In the past, it is known that women weren't even considered people, didn't have rights, and couldn't even vote until a certain time. They only did things when a man told them they could, and that's no way to live. It seems like some men still think the same, that women are only alive for their benefit, and that narrative needs to change. No one should have autonomy over someone else body, but some men believe they can tell women how they should live their life and how they should do it based on their terms. Men will tell women how to dress, how to act, how to talk, how to walk, how to behave etc, all for their benefit, as if they are the only beings on the earth that deserve to be treated with respect.
Luckily, things have improved over the years, women can vote, can work, have rights, don't need a mans approval, but as we can see from the post, these terrible things are still happening to us. The fight for our lives can't stop yet. We need to keep marching until rapists and abusers actually get held accountable and are jailed/fined for their actions. We need to keep marching until we can finally control our own decisions based on our bodies, such as having an abortion if we're not ready to have a child/ if it was a child of the rapist. We need to keep marching until we get equal pay and are not treated unfairly in the work place. We need to keep marching until we are seen equally to men, thats all we want.
I just hope for a day when women can have an abortion safely and legally, can walk through the park alone or walk at night and not be scared for their lives, the day when men step up and show out for us, instead of being a part of the problem. Women will not feel safe unless we have bills passed to protect us, and until people are held accountable for their abusive actions. We will finally feel safe when feminism isn't seen as a scary word we use to try to be above men, when the only thing we want is to be equal and seen as another human being with thoughts and feelings. We will feel safe when men stop thinking we are simply alive to please them. We will feel safe when our sons are educated on how they should treat women with respect, instead of trying to protect our daughters and trying to teach them how to survive.
Until then we still need Women's marches, we still need feminism, we still need to fight for our rights and safety, and most importantly we still need activism. No matter how we try to protect ourselves from harm, it still always seems to be around the corner, and until something changes, it always will be. Activism for women's rights and activism for women's safety is still needed, and this post further proves that point.