One of the joys of being in my mid-20s is watching my friends promote the issues that are very important to them. It’s their answers to the hypothetical Genie’s question like “if you could change one thing in the world what would it be?“, or “if money is not an issue, what would you do with your life?” It’s fun knowing we have different priorities, because —unsurprisingly— we understand there are tons of problems needed to be solved by humanity.
For example, I have cat lover friends who are actively taking parts in fighting against animal abuse cases. Many people I knew from uni continue their path in the ocean/ sea/ coastal conservation fields. The “Twitter do your magic” thing is very successful here because Indonesian people are very guyub and trusting. And while I also think animal cruelty, environmental issues, and social inequality are great causes, what really grinds my gear is the topic of sexual harassment.
I shared on my Instagram about my experiences with sexual harassment before, particularly catcalling and unwanted gropes. I received DMs from friends expressing their sympathy, but also messages from other women saying they relate to it so much and even experienced similar situations. Yesterday, I was scrolling through Reddit, and found this:
It’s so contrast how women’s more immediate and relatable fears are dependent on other people’s decision to hurt us, while men’s top fears are caused by nature, fate, or their own hands. I also fear financial failure. I fear incapacitating illnesses. I felt my world was collapsing when my Mom was very sick. But I agreed with the answers above. From the clothes I wear, the street I take to go home, and the time I go out for a jog, a lot of supposedly mundane decisions I made daily are hugely influenced by my fear of men.
The fact that it’s a universal experience is the reason why I get so strongly drawn to this topic. It’s still very rampant everywhere which shows we haven’t done enough to prevent that. The culture of playing down on jerks and catcallers with “that’s just how they are” or “just ignore them” help no one but those men’s fragile ego. #MeToo movement and the cancel culture have their own problem, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy with how victims finally see their harassers get shamed in public and get thrown in jail in their 50s, 60s, or 70s after years (even decades!) of living peacefully while knowing they wronged someone.
And don’t get me started with how angry I am towards people who do victim blaming. They talk about our clothes, our ways of behaving, the alcohol level in our systems, our inabilities to stop the harassment because our brain puts us on the ‘freeze response’, and many other bullshit things that are never the cause. The only cause of harassment is someone made the decision to harass the victim. Period.
So please, don’t harass people, okay? Like, God forsaken, why is it so hard to ask for just that?