May 7, 2024

Please Stop Hurting & Killing Women.

{*Did you know you can write on Elephant? Here’s how—big changes: How to Write & Make Money or at least Be of Benefit on Elephant. ~ Waylon}

~

*Author’s note: This is not about all men. If you’re a a good man who understands why women are afraid and willing to call out the poor behaviour of too many men, this article is not about you. And we women thank you.

~

As I sit and write this, I’m saddened. And I’m angry.

I’m angry because it’s 2024 and we should be more evolved. We should be more aware. We should be teaching our boys that girls are equal human beings, with the same rights. That women are not objects.

I’m saddened because every woman I know has had to tolerate unacceptable behaviour from a man. Every woman I know has felt fear, and we have learned that if something happens to us, we will have to try and justify how it wasn’t our fault.

It’s not all men. Of course it’s not. But it’s enough men.

In Australia, since the start of the year, one woman has been killed every four days. One. Woman. Every. Four. Days! Is that not appalling? Is that not cause for panic? Is it not understandable why we women are scared? And I’m sure the stats are similar in other parts of the world.

There’s content on social media that has gone viral about the bear or the man. An interviewer was asking women on the street if they would rather be trapped in the wilderness with a bear or a man and every woman chose the bear. Why would they choose the bear? Because the bear was predictable, and for the most part, if you left it alone, it would leave you alone. If it did attack you, it would be swift and quick and there would be a reason.

The wrong man, however, would not leave you alone. Would terrorise and hunt you. Would torture you. Perhaps rape you and kill you slowly and painfully. And there would be no reason for this accept his perverse pleasure. And afterwards, if you were killed by the bear, everyone would be sad but understand: wrong place, wrong time. But if you were attacked or killed by the man, there would be questions. What did you do to deserve it? What were you wearing? Did you lead him on? And the list goes on.

Yes, it seems an extreme comparison and it has riled millions of men up around the world. Some asking, why do women always play the victim? Why are women so scared when most men are “nice”?

Here’s the thing, we women do not know which men are good and safe and which are not. So we have to be cautious. We have to take our safety incredibly seriously. We have to take precautions because we don’t know if a first date will be an enjoyable evening, or whether we will be raped or worse, murdered and shoved into a suitcase, like another recent case.

So you see, the bear is the safer option because at least we know what to expect. Yes, I hear the men saying “choose better,” so blaming the victim for being raped and murdered. This is the whole point as to why we are cautious—because we are trying to choose safely. And because we are cautious then we are insecure or not worth dating. Such a weird flex to always be blamed no matter what we do.

It’s not all men. We know that. But it’s enough men that we would choose to be trapped with a bear rather than a man.

It’s disheartening that things seem to have regressed rather than progressed. As a woman who has had and still has some incredible men in her life, I still feel unsafe at times—because I have been harassed more times than I can count.

I have worked in culturally diverse areas, where I was spat at most afternoons leaving work because of my blonde hair. I have had to deal with male colleagues making me uncomfortable in the workplace. I have been touched inappropriately more than once. I have been “hit on,” and when I’ve turned them down, they have been derogatory and verbally abusive. And I was beaten up once because I said no.

My daughter has been stalked. She has been followed whilst out running on multiple occasions. She has had men spread rumours about her because she didn’t want to go out with them. She has been bullied by married men whom she has rejected.

I know several women of all ages and stages of life who have been sexually assaulted. And in my work, I see a lot of domestic violence. Can you see why we women are cautious?

It’s not all men. Of course it’s not. But it was these men.

I have read a lot of supportive comments by men trying to call the bad behaviour out, and there are some great male content creators who are doing an excellent job of shining a light on the thousands of “red pill” misogynistic creators who are perpetuating harm to women.

I have also read a lot of deplorable comments suggesting that no doesn’t always mean no. That women don’t know what they want. That if a man pays for dinner, he is owed sex. If they were raped, they led the man on. Dressed provocatively. Drank too much. Had previous sexual partners. That sometimes the women who are attacked or even murdered may have provoked it because they belittled the man. Or maybe they broke up with a man who refused to accept the breakup. Perhaps they had kids together and the man didn’t have much access to his kids.

Whatever the situation, there is no justification for assault or murder. And if you think there is, you are part of the problem.

Jordan Peterson, a well-known but controversial psychologist because of some of his misogynistic views, was interviewed about how women should say no. The premise of the interview was that the responsibility is on women, on how we say no. Not on the men, for hearing and comprehending that no. That women who were abused and attacked were usually “unsophisticated” and didn’t know how to “get through” to an interested man. Instead of a man being taught that women are indeed allowed to say no and they should respectfully walk away. Not to forget the amount of women attacked and killed after actually saying no. The word no is a full sentence.

Earlier this year, a wife and mother, in her 40s, set out on her regular run. She never came home. A husband has lost his wife. Kids have lost their mother. Parents have lost their daughter. A young guy in his 20s had been watching her for a while and has been charged with her murder.

It’s not all men. But it was this man.

A beautiful 22-year-old was out walking recently. She wasn’t far from home when she was stabbed to death by a 30-year-old man. Her life cut short. Senseless.

It’s not all men. But it was these two men.

Twenty-seven women have been killed in Australia this year. Twenty-seven women whom we grieve over. It has been called a National Crisis, yet we are not doing nearly enough.

A man recently marched around the streets with a sign saying “stop killing our women.” He is a husband, father, and grandfather. We applaud him. But he also copped vitriol. He was told he’s encouraging women to play victim. Playing victim? These women were victims and they died horrible deaths at the hands of men. He was told he’s making it sound like all men are killers. We know all men aren’t killers, but these men were. He was told he’s dramatising the situation. Dramatising? Dramatising the deaths of 27 women?

It’s not all men. But it was these 27 men who took the lives of these 27 women.

It’s not just the men who kill. It’s the men who rape. Most women know at least one woman who has been sexually assaulted. It’s men who are abusive. Most women know at least one woman who has been or is being abused. It’s men who don’t take no for an answer. Many woman have come across a man who will just not take no as an answer and they can become aggressive. And it’s “nice” men who say they are not like this yet turn a blind eye when they know, hear, or see other men behave in an unacceptable manner.

So yes, you may not be one of these men, but if you are complicit in not stopping or being proactive to support women, you are in fact one of these men.

There’s all sorts of privilege in life. The privilege of wealth. The privilege of skin colour. The privilege of being a man. Especially a white man. A man doesn’t get to decide how a woman should feel. He doesn’t get to decide what we should be fearful of. He doesn’t get to decide what we do with our body. He doesn’t get to decide that our no really means yes. A man doesn’t get to decide that our fear of running or walking alone is stupid because he has the privilege of walking and running alone without fear. We are not playing victim; we are protecting ourselves so we don’t become a victim.

Thank you to the good men who are out there fighting with us. The good men know we aren’t talking about them or blaming them, and they are actively trying to create change. The good men also know why we are scared. Why we have to put safety measures in place. The good men know that women’s most dangerous predator is man. The good men know why we are choosing the bear.

The good men know it’s not all men. But they also know, it’s always a man.

Please stop belittling our fears. Stop blaming us for being attacked and murdered. Stop turning a blind eye to poor behaviour that degrades women. Stop hurting and killing us.

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” ~ Margaret Atwood

~

{Please consider Boosting our authors’ articles in their first week to help them win Elephant’s Ecosystem so they can get paid and write more.}

 

Read 8 Comments and Reply
X

Read 8 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Michelle Schafer  |  Contribution: 115,085

author: Michelle Schafer

Image: Molly Blackbird/Unsplash

Editor: Lisa Erickson