As a woman, the way we dress, the way we act, and the way we talk is an invitation for how men will perceive us.
For as long as I can remember, adults have looked down on young girls beckoning, “Your skirt is too short!”, “Don’t drink so much!”, “You’re asking for too much attention!” It is a known fact that in today’s culture, women are seen as sex objects. Instead of trying to change the perception of women in society, we spend our time focusing on teaching girls how to avoid being a victim. Helpful to our safety, yes, but it does not prevent the assaults from happening.
School systems skip over the powerful subject of sexual assault in the sex-ed curriculum. When most adolescents start to experiment sexually they are still not aware of what classifies under rape. It does not always have to be in a dark alley at midnight with a stranger, although it undeniably is in some cases. It can happen with your boyfriend or girlfriend in the safety of your own home. Many boys and girls are pressured into doing things they aren’t comfortable with and are too afraid to speak up. Some even have to question themselves if they were sexually assaulted.
Its sickens me to think that our society doesn’t know the rights of our own body. Forcing yourself onto another with out their consent is wrong (“wrong” is an understatement of how horrific the action truly is) and should not be tolerated in today’s society. Sexual assault leaves a harmful impact on an individual’s life. Instead of telling our little girls “Don’t get raped”, perhaps we should start telling our young boys “Don’t rape.”