A Formal Invitation to #NotAllMen
Imagine a group of 10 people. Now, there is an issue that 5 of them are going through. This issue that seems to trouble them has been the topic of discussion for a very long time and they can’t seem to find a solution for it. Do you think the other half of the group (that is not affected by the issue) should come forward and help their teammates sort their problem out? Or should they keep to themselves because ‘the issue does not bother them that much’?
Judging from the platform for this blog, it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to guess the objective behind my question. Women in this world constitute of about half of the population. About half the world is telling you that there’s a problem. Do you stop to listen? Or do you ignore it because it’s not your problem?
Each time the topic of sexual harassment of women is brought to the table, the first response from a large number of men is #NotAllMen. The fact that the first thing the term ‘sexual harassment’ does to men is make them defend themselves shows us exactly how bad the problem is. The moment someone yells rape, men follow that up with ‘Hey, I didn’t do it.’ because they too know the most obvious guess for harasser is a man. Why is the immediate response defence rather than the determined will to help out or improve the circumstances? Having said that, of course we know that not all men rape. If that weren’t true, living in this world wouldn’t have been possible. So, yes. We’re well aware that every single man is not out to get us. There are a few men who genuinely believe that women are people too. And this invitation is intended for those very men. You may be less in number but the fact that you exist brings us hope.
So, this is to formally invite all men that #NotAllMen includes. All those men who do not rape, tease, cat-call, whistle or grope, this invitation is for all of you. Honestly, the bar for a decent man is so low that if you don’t behave like a pervert, you automatically qualify for ‘prince-charming’. So, all you prince-charmings – I invite you to help us solve our problem of lack of basic freedom. We’re not allowed to wear what we want, go where we want or say what we want – simple things that you take granted for. Help us taste freedom. Stand next to us when we demand equal rights. Support our wish to live without the fear of getting molested. Because if you aren’t a part of the solution, then you’re a part of the problem. And today or tomorrow, with or without your help, we will get rid of the problems. It’s your choice whether you’d like to fight with us and create history or be remembered in history as the problems that the women in the early 21st century crushed and defeated.
Opinions are of the writer.
Nandini Arora, part of Safecity's Writers Movement, is an aspiring actuary who loves to write. Although married to numbers, her first love has always been books and writing. She regularly writes about issues such as women’s safety, Feminism, LGBTQ etc. on her blog nandiniaroraweb.wordpress.com.