Recently an article was published detailing how nearly half of females in my university's city has been sexually assaulted. Scarily, this didn't even surprise me.
It didn't scare me because it's become such a normal occurrence. It's a natural emotion to contemplate whether it's worth going out tonight because I don't know if I'm in the mood to deal with grown men (a majority of the time older than me) thinking they're entitled to my body without even speaking two words to me. I don't know if I have the energy to confront grown men on how the simple rule from primary school to keep your hands and feet to yourself still applies to adult life. I don't know if I have the energy to not come across as a 'b*tch' and not cause a scene because I'm 'overreacting' when I confront you and you're jeering with your friends.
A couple of months ago I went on at a date with a man a few years older than me (you would think would be mature). I wasn't really into him, but was still polite and enjoying getting to know him, and if anyone knows me I definitely don't come across as flirtatious (because 7 years at an all girls school has left me inept to flirting with guys). At the end of the date, he proceeded to 'accidentally' groping my behind whilst hugging me goodbye and 'embarrassingly' laughs it off whilst seeing I wasn't amused. One of my friends failed to see why I was so angry and sarcastically went 'it's such an issue that a guy is sexually attracted to you' which made me feel like I should've been okay with it. But I felt violated. Not only did I also feel annoyed because it felt like everything I said on the date was ignored and just being nice meant that as a human being my personal space could be disrespected by failing to ask for consent (although he did ask for content to kiss me afterwards?), I felt belittled and objectified. And that's one of the issues as women we constantly face. Ironically, one of the comments on the article was from a male saying it wasn't fair to over-generalise, practically ignoring the main issue brought to light. I can imagine my female readers rolling their eyes at this because we know it to be so typical.
It only really highlights how something really needs to change if I have to accumulate the energy to possibly handle being sexual assaulted every time I go out.
Simply the statistic of half of females getting sexually assaulted makes me roll my eyes in annoyance and disgust than feel appalled. This ideology of men feeling entitlement over women presented in society is one of today's main global social issues; from the alarming rate and attitudes towards sexual assault and sexual harassment in India to the cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment amongst young women on western university campuses. Little is done to discuss how we, as a society are aiming to change this ideology constructed by society and it appears more is to discuss females' behaviour in provoking it and how females should alter their behaviour and clothing to prevent being assaulted, creating a new social construct of firstly shaming women when it comes to sexual assault. Because someone feeling sexually entitled to my body irregardless of my emotions and consent clearly has something to do with me and I should firstly be shamed for it and questioned about it before we address why someone felt entitled in the first place.
Something needs to change.