A few weeks ago, I wrote an article challenging men to take a more active role in helping prevent sexual harassment and violence. In it, I shared a story of a friend’s frightening experience, referenced CDC statistics that indicate that half or more of all women have experienced sexual violence, and pointed out that based on those numbers, even the so-called “good guys” surely know some men who have committed acts of harassment or worse against women. I also provided several questions for men who wished to reflect on their own possible silence or complicity in maintaining a culture of violence against women.
The comments came fast and furious, and while some men did offer support and encouragement, the majority responded somewhat differently. Ladies, as it turns out, there are some very consistent reasons why men can’t be bothered to care about your personal safety. In the spirit of public service, I thought I’d summarize them for you here.
Content warning: I’m presenting an overview of the actual comments I received in jest. However, if you have experienced sexual violence personally, please check in with yourself as to whether it will serve you to read further. If, on the other hand, you possess a particularly steely resolve, you can dive into all the original comments at your leisure. Just be warned that you might need a stiff drink or some anti-nausea medicine to get through them all.
Ladies, as it turns out, there are some very consistent reasons why men can’t be bothered to care about your personal safety.
Without further ado, here’s why men don’t care about what may have happened to you:
1. It’s not their problem.
You’ve experienced sexual harassment and/or assault? Sucks to be you. If they didn’t do it to you personally, it’s no concern of theirs.
2. They’re not responsible for your happiness. Or your safety. Or anything else. Expecting otherwise is anti-feminist. Welcome to the 21st century, ladies.
3. Your stories are too long. If you want men to care, keep it concise.