#YesAllWomen

There are times when platforms like twitter provoke a serious discussion.
This is not a usual blog post, but I felt the need to write my own opinion regarding this situation.

Trigger Warning: Sensitive themes.

If you've been around Twitter in the last 24 hours, you would have seen the hashtag #YesAllWomen.

Following the tragic events in Isla Vista in which six people were murdered by the now identified British-born Elliot Rodger, who also shot himself following his spree. Rogers uploaded a YouTube video and a 141 page manifesto, in which he speaks of his hatred towards women due to being 22 years old and still a virgin. Rodger suffered from Asperger's syndrome and was in the care of multiple psychiatrists.

It is however not just Roger's own views that have caused the response on Twitter, it is the responses of other men, who have been offering their congratulations and their sympathy for Rodger. Comments on YouTube such as;

"HAHAHAAHAHA you go get those sluts Eliot! 6 though?? Not much of a body count...you should've played a bit more Call of Duty to practice."

"Why was he always going for sluts anyway? a quiet little girl might have been perfect for him."

"Remember women, YOU can stop things like this from happening."

"You're an absolute legend mate. IMO this is a dumb reason to go on a killing spree mate, but this is still so awesome."

"Some fat chick at UCSB should have banged this guy and saved all those innocent people."

Sluts? A fat chick should have banged him? Women could have prevented this guy? 

It is yet another example of the intrinsic view of a large percentage of men in society, that they are entitled to a woman's body, that women should just spread their legs because that is what we are here for.

The root of #YesAllWomen? Women are angry, upset and exhausted.

If a woman is attacked, it is generally considered that she was somehow at fault? She shouldn't have been walking there, she shouldn't have been wearing that. No where is it ever taught that a man should not rape a woman, however, women are taught from an early age that they have to protect themselves. According to Rape Crisis, approximately 80,000 women are raped in England and Wales every year, over 400,000 women are sexually assaulted each year and 1 in 5 women (aged 16 - 59) has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16.

Of both men and women who are raped, 79% of rapes are not reported. The rapes that are reported then face that 82% of rape cases do not go to trial and only 40% of prosecuted rapes are convicted. (Information taken from here)

My mother always taught me that, "If you're going to be raped, don't fight it... you're more likely to be killed if you struggle." Whilst I understand where my mother is coming from, that horrifying point that if I am to be raped that I should let it happen terrifies me.

In my past, I have had men grope me, put their hands up my skirt, bite my neck, forcefully kiss me, trap me in the corners and pull me out of a crowd towards them... and I did not ask for them to do that.

I have been grabbed and then trapped in the middle of a group of guys of five guys, who even though I was nearly crying and pleading with them to let me go, they were laughing at me, groping me, holding me and grinding against me. It was only when that one guy, who maybe had a change of heart, realised how distraught I was, that he let me out of the circle. His friends? Audibly groaned and chastised their friend for letting me go.

I have had a rugby player at my university try and make advances on me, when I scoffed at his advances, he told me that, "I'm going to come and teach you a fucking lesson tonight." Another one of his team mates later that night tried to encourage me into an alleyway to "talk".

After deciding that I no longer wanted to pursue a relationship with a guy, he threatened me, called me a 'cock-teasing slut' and told anyone who would listen to him about how I horribly wronged him and lead him on. He even went so far as to showing text messages that I had sent to him to people who we both knew, so he could embarrass me even further.

I've been told that if I am sassy with a guy who is coming on to me, that one day I'll end up being smacked. Every time I walk home at night, I carry my keys in my hand just in case I need to use them as a weapon.

It is the horrible realisation that to get a guy to leave you alone, you have to tell them you have a boyfriend. Even that doesn't always dissuade them and it almost seems to be an encouragement, that suddenly I am a challenge.

It is simply the phrase, "Text me when you're home" that really is the epitome of this situation.

Our society now tells young girls in school that they can't wear certain clothes or reveal shoulders because they are distracting young men and male teachers. A girl was removed from her prom because fathers who were chaperoning deemed her dancing too sexy. Even writing this now, I am so angry because how on earth is it a woman's fault that a man is attracted to her? Why can't men learn to control themselves?

I am not alone in my stories, if I asked my female friends I would say that 99% of them have had experiences in which they have been objectified, sexually assaulted or abused by men. This is not a group of harpies or whiney feminists moaning about our rights on twitter, this is what occurs on a daily basis and it is about time that women stop being afraid.

Maybe I will be labelled a man-hater for this post, maybe I too will receive vile comments but I do not care. Seeing the stories from fellow women and realising how horribly identical they are is enough for me to write this post.

Society needs to teach men that women are not play objects, we are not your toys and our bodies belong to us. You may not touch me without my permission, you may not call me a 'bitch' because I do not want to speak to you and you most certainly will not then try again to come on to me after I have said no to you. You are not entitled to me and I owe you nothing.

No means No and it is about time that someone educated men.