ATTENTION ALL MEN: WHAT CAN WE DO? Written by Ethan Brayfield (with help from Callie Auden and females of H&E)
You’ve seen the statistic. You’ve seen their Instagram stories. You’ve heard their voices. But why is your silence so loud? Guys, we obviously know it’s not all of us that are being harmful, but the problem is large enough to scare our female peers every day. Here is a list of simple tips to help make them feel safe and secure, as after all we wouldn’t be here without women…
1. LISTEN: If a woman tells you to ‘leave her alone’ or says they aren’t feeling up to something or are not interested, be respectful. If a woman opens up to you about something personal make sure you are respect her and guide her in a positive direction e.g. getting help instead of being defensive. Listen to their request as you would your friends and be mindful.
2. OBSERVE/PAY ATTENTION: Do you feel a girl you know is in danger? Keep an eye on her and make sure she knows you are. You could make someone feel comfortable or even save a life.
3. SPEAK OUT: You may be with a group of guys and hear them start to talk about women in a derogatory way. Instead of joining in with the jokes trying to fit in, stand up to them. Tell your friends it is not okay. Yes, it may feel awkward and scary, but what really is scary is the 97% of women that are sexually assaulted in our country.
And now some tips from female students who would love you to listen to their voices:
“Don’t stare at girls in the street.”
“Boys could get their female friends to text when they get home safe, walk them home where possible, let them know if they can call when alone and warn someone if they feel another person is acting dodgy.”
“Walk us home in the dark or stand up to other boys if they say or do inappropriate things and look out for girls when they are vulnerable.”
“Don’t slow down your car when you see a girl walking nearby.”
“Stop making rape/sexual assault/sexist jokes because it makes us feel bad and that you don’t care what happens to us and how it’ll make us feel.”
“Walking with us to places.”
“Don’t walk fast behind us at night, don’t cat call and point out your friend’s sexist comments.”