I shouldn’t even have to use my ‘micro-influencer’ platform to talk about this subject. It should just be instilled into everyone’s brains. But sadly men STILL don’t understand the pressure and fear all women are under everyday. I’m not just talking about feeling strange in a nightclub. I’m talking about walking in broad daylight. Feeling scared or worried men are going to cat call or shout horrendous comments towards us.
I think every woman can relate to feeling scared and uncomfortable during a time which they really should be fully enjoying themselves. From a young age, women are faced with so many challenges, whether it’s weight loss or gain, ‘socially appropriate’ outfits or even just a simple thing like makeup choices. These things do not define womanhood and they certainly do not define me as an individual. Seeing the response of the sad passing of Sarah Everard on social media, I was really taken aback by how many women who have had near misses with men. Me being one of them, even if I didn’t know it at the time. How bad is that?
Men, take notes. I’m gonna lay down some truth bombs.
Stop Objectifying Women
“Well, you are asking for it dressed like that.”
Eugh, seriously. We don’t like being cat called or told our boobs look ‘banging’. Have you ever thought we make an effort for OURSELVES? Because it seems society favours men and not just with work pay. With basic rights. I’m going to be blunt. I didn’t (and still don’t) feel comfortable on nights out, even with close friends. I’m scared something is going to happen to me. Even though I know my friends would protect me, like I would for them, till the ends of the Earth – it’s still worrying. Hence why I always go for my safe spaces like the Tipi because it’s an open space if anything does happen. I know there’s precautions in place like Ask For Angela but it’s still not that reassuring.
Women are not objects. Remember that. If we say we don’t want you making derogatory comments towards us, stop. Don’t laugh in our faces and continue. That’s just rude. Wait, rude doesn’t even cover it. It’s offensive and we really don’t enjoy it. Oh, and another thing. Ask before you put your hands all over us. Again, we don’t feel comfortable when you come over if we know you or don’t. It’s a simple thing and will literally take two seconds to do. “Oh, do you mind if I give you a quick hug?” “Can I put my hand on your back while this person moves past?” It’s just the decent thing to do.
Call. Your. Mates. Out.
“I didn’t mean to stare.”
I mean this should be self explanatory but no. The amount of times I have been left on my own either by the boys or by my girl friends too. It just puts me on edge. Anyone could come over and start talking to me, and if you know me – you know how awkward I can be around people who make me uncomfortable. I always feel I’m being checked out or cornered…even if I’m sat down with no one around. Hence why I don’t really fancy meeting a stranger off a dating app because they could turn out to be anybody.
Call. Your. Mates. Out. If you have an ounce of respect for your female friends, pick up on your mates saying something out of line, it won’t do you any harm. What is it with some male dominant friendship groups being too scared to actually discuss issues with women’s rights? I’m very lucky and privileged to have male best friends who don’t cross the line and actually call each other out if something’s a bit eerie. I know not all women are in my position. It shouldn’t even be a privilege to have respectable friends.
Take Time to Listen To Your Female Friends
“I care about you…”
I am very fortunate to have a best friend like Marty, as soon as this news arose – he asked me to set him up as an emergency contact. He said and I quote “I care about you getting home safe. Anything happens to you on a night out it better be because we were up to no good together.” Girls, if you haven’t already – set up emergency SOS on your phones. It takes two minutes and it’s a tiny weight off your shoulders for when you are out and about on your own during the day and in the evening. If anything should happen to you, on an iPhone press your lock button and volume button five times in a row and it will send a message to your selected contacts and contact the police too.
I want to be able to go out and feel safe when I’m by myself and with friends. We must put an end to this. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’m just a micro-influencer, but I am very fortunate to have a platform where I can address these issues. Just remember, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. It’s all well and good sharing Instagram posts and stories about what men should be doing. But actually do it. Make the world a more safer and bearable place for us all. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s unite.