This week I saw an article in the media where someone posed a very interesting question to women:
“What would you do if all men had a 9pm curfew?”
Instantly in my head I began listing all of the things I would do if men had a curfew and then I began to wonder:
Why, in 2018, are we still posing this hypothetical question?
Why don’t women feel safe to do anything they’d like regardless of if men are around or not?
Almost every woman has a story to tell about how they have been inappropriately treated, sexually harassed or abused by men. Some are serious and traumatic, some are not so serious but still have an affect on how you handle yourself in the future.
Once I was grocery shopping and a man came up and started rubbing my behind. At. The. Grocery. Store! I had kids with me! He walked off when I yelled “WTF are you doing” and I reported it to the store but nothing happened. Along with the store I brushed it off as a “Oh well, these things happen” and went on with life. But I still feel uneasy if someone is too close to me in a shop and every time I see something about the harassment of women that situation always comes to mind.
There have been other situations as well where men have harassed, stalked and plain scared me. Again, each time this has happened I just brushed it off as one of those things that happens as a woman or questioned “maybe I caused this myself” but by doing that am I contributing to the problem?
This next one is no doubt a situation that happens to men as well – Facebook profile pictures and the Facebook market place! If you have a picture of yourself looking half decent stay away from the Facebook market place. I once advertised for a gardener and received offers for everything and anything except a gardener! And the way today’s society works is that I mentioned this to a (male) friend who said – “yeah but look at your profile pic”. Ummm, what? Are you saying I invited these kind of messages because I advertised for a gardener and have a half decent profile picture?
My experiences are relatively minor compared to some things women go through but still it makes me wonder how, in 2018 when women have made giant leaps and bounds in so many areas over the past 20 or so years, some men still see us as objects or not equal to them? Some men still think there is nothing wrong with their behaviour.
Recently I engaged a maintenance person to do some minor work around my house (didn’t dare ask for one via the Facebook market place!!!), so many were advertised as being “female friendly”. Why, in today’s day and age do there have to be “female friendly” maintenance people.
Some men still have little respect or regard for women, some men still abuse their power or position in a woman’s life either as a friend, partner or employer and as a woman it’s very easy to fall into the mindset of “Oh, I caused that because……”
I don’t know how we stop it. Men need to be educated but so do women. We need to not blame ourselves for things that happen and we need to speak up and not sweep things under the carpet. By doing so, maybe one day, one generation of both women and men will learn that this is not OK and women will finally be equal.
And what would I do if all men had a 9pm curfew? Go to a bar with my female friends, order drinks, talk, dance and just have fun without constantly being on guard for drunk men and drink spiking. I’d catch public transport rather than having to budget for a taxi home and then walk with confidence from the bus stop home.
Kirsty is the founder of That Noise Is Mine.
An established blogger, writer and business owner raising 4 children independently. Kirsty is determined to succeed in this new life forced upon her.