The other night on Radford’s Yik Yak, I saw a post about a sober young man who was confused — if not a little bitter — as to why a drunk girl wouldn’t let him help get her home safe.
As a woman who is well aware of the sexual assault statistics in the U.S., especially the ones between college kids our age, I was appalled by just how upset this anonymous poster seemed, and even more slack-jawed when I read the comment on the post and saw the 25 thumbs up rating, all of which confirmed the chastising of the girl for not taking the offered help, and praising the man for taking such a chivalrous action.
Of course, I stepped in and offered my two cents: the statistics show that 1 of five women in college alone will be sexually assaulted and that fact alone only confirms what’s been imprinted in a woman’s mind; that men are very dangerous entities. In the end, I received three thumbs up and two thumbs down, coming to an exasperating +1. This leads me to wonder just how many people know the true inner workings of the female mind.
Lately, the word on everyone’s lips has been feminism. Whether seen as a generally good term or a generally bad term — depending on who you are, where you come from, and what your directions your life has been led — tons of women, especially celebrities, are picking up the “f” word. However, it seems that many are still missing the point. We can look anywhere and find slut shaming. It’s a notion that starts in girls from an early age; we see women who are promiscuous and automatically equate them to lesser, dirty beings who aren’t worth what we are. It’s depicted in movies, it’s talked about in the streets, and it’s incorporated into our vocabulary. “Whore,” “slut,” “hoe,” have all become slurs that adults and children use on the daily to describe women they don’t like, without really understanding the negative and frankly dangerous effects it has on society. For this, women are often blamed for things they have no control over, one of the biggest being sexual assault.
According to RAINN, the Rape Abuse Incest National Network, an astounding 68% of sexual assaults are never reported, while a heartbreaking 98% of rapists walk free. And people continue to wonder why women find men so terrifying?
News Discovery has reported that the odds of a shark attack is 1 in an estimated 11.5 million, while rape statistics such as the ones reported from One In Four USA say that one in four women will experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. And yet, it is more ‘rational’ to have a fear of sharks than to have a fear of men. Now, don’t get me wrong. All women know that not all men are dangerous, but it doesn’t ever help that most rape and sexual assault reports come from people we know.
So guys, next time you wish to shame a girl for not taking offered help while she is at her most vulnerable, walking home alone, in the dark, drunk out of her mind, remember what world she lives in; where she’s not even safe from the people she trusts the most.