A few days ago, a male friend of mine posted the following on his Facebook page…
“An indian man pulled up alongside me heading South talking to me about my penis, what’s the size, whether it thick, if he go faint when he see it, and if he ask me to show him it, if I will indulge.😐 #lifeinlongpants”
What followed was typical laughter, comments “did you show him? 😂” Over 100 people gave reactions and more than half were the laughing emoji. Only 2 were angry.
But then the following comment was posted by my friend…
“I’m sharing so that men can understand what women go through on a DAILY basis. I experienced this once. Women get this every day probably 10 times MINIMUM per day. That is SUPER uncomfortable.”
Yes, it is SUPER uncomfortable and I wonder how many men can truly appreciate that. I recently had separate discussions with 3 male friends, all of whom have had several serious relationships and each man acknowledged that over three quarters of their girlfriends had been raped. We’re not even talking about inappropriate behavior yet… over 75% raped 😔
Now, to my male readers, take a second and think if you have ever had to do any of the following…
- Change gyms because of ogling / leering / inappropriate comments.
- Change clothes before leaving home because maybe you shouldn’t expose your knees.
- Take a different walk home because there is a construction site on your usual route.
- Choose not to travel and instead wait on a direct drop because you want to avoid walking on a certain road.
- Put in headphones to hopefully drown out the catcalls and sexual innuendos.
- Ask a friend of the opposite sex to accompany you in a veiled attempt to minimize attention.
I’m gonna hazard a guess and say that not one single man reading this has ever had to do any of those things or even thought about it. For women, this is our norm. I think we’ve become so accustomed that we’re not even angry or upset anymore. I’m not even sure we recognize inappropriate behavior anymore because it’s become second nature. But how do we change this abhorrent status quo? Maybe I’m being way too simplistic but I believe that the answer lies in our men… the more men who can recognize that #lifeinleggings is a challenge. By being willing, to not only refuse to be a participant but also being an active opposer. By recognizing inappropriate behavior for what it is and calling it out, instead of regarding it as male fun or locker room talk. By truly empathizing with the opposite sex. Only when more of those men start stepping up will change start happening. Kudos to those who already set the bar high and hopefully, at least one person can be inspired to reconsider their behavior and make a positive change.