As somewhat of a shock to me, yet another atrocious story has emerged from the Blokes Advice page. If you haven’t already heard, a ‘bloke’ decided it was okay to post a video of him and a female having intercourse on the page, and of course the female did not consent.
As a young female, living in 2017, this is truly horrifying to witness. For those of you that believe this was just a misunderstanding or it isn’t worth your time then for the love of god, please keep reading!
Why is this still happening?
Well, for one I think its learned behaviour. In my years at high school I witnessed and was a victim to sexist, misogynic and slanderous behaviours from men. Some of these behaviours were brushed over with sayings like ‘don’t take it personally’ and ‘it’s not that bad.’ Sometimes even my friends would agree and say it wasn’t all that bad, and I thought it was okay. However, this is where the issue emerges, and exactly what happened on Blokes Advice.
For those men that do speak out in defense of women being put in these situations are shut down, much like a male from the Blokes Advice Page. As an educated and socially aware member of society, Hayden Brien wrote a post in defense of the female and the post. Unsurprisingly, the response from other males was ‘you dogged the boys,’ alongside death threats. Whether these males were trying to affirm something or feel connected to their Blokes Advice counterparts, they were also culprits to sexist learned behaviours. Ignorance, uneducated or purely arrogant, these behaviours need to be picked up on.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘locker room chat.’ If not, it’s conversations that men pass off as a joke when asked, or as ‘not very serious.’ Unfortunately, these conversations are inevitable and are continuing to happen in 2017. A prime example of this chatter is Donald Trump’s infamous leaked words “grab them by the pussy.” Now, for anyone this is extremely inappropriate and unwarranted, but for the now US president, it is disgraceful. For this to be brushed off, and he is one of the most powerful leaders in the world is shocking to me, and insulting.
With Trump in mind, it brings us to another aspect of bloke culture…it’s called playing the victim. Something that Trump does oh so well when he comes to facing the consequences for his actions. The comedian, Sarah Silversmith summed up this culture with her ‘Rape Prevention Tips.’ Interestingly, Sarah hits the nail on the head with the current double standards embedded in rape culture. Women are commonly blamed for men’s actions in everyday life circumstances. Some of the most ridiculous questions that commonly emerge are “what was she wearing?” or “why was she by herself?” These cases are in the media almost everyday, for example the 2016 Stanford rape case. Unfortunately, this culture is not showing any sign of disappearing; therefore change will need to happen.
What do we need to do?
If you connect all of the examples I’ve mentioned about rape, they all have one thing in common. That is, men have the idea ingrained they are entitled to speak about women in whatever way they please. This goes on to be more severe in cases where men believe they are entitled to another woman’s body. Calling women ‘sluts’ and ‘whores’ is a way of making the woman the villain, and therefore deflecting the blame of men’s actions. Reevaluating the way men act and speak towards women will make a huge difference, much like Hayden from Blokes Advice.
Once this is understood, the community can move towards educating males about proper behaviours. Rather focusing on women needing to know self-defense, focus on teaching the importance of consent and avoiding victim blaming. This way, women are not put in a position to feel ashamed or have to defend them for something they haven’t even done.
I’m not here to play the blame game but I am here to set a couple of things straight. For the men in Blokes Advice, Trump and the countless rape cases around the world, it is not acceptable. We are currently in 2017 and moving backwards. The behaviours and culture, which is ingrained in our society for men and women interaction has become the most important issue. We need to speak out to make sure people like the bloke on Advice are stopped in their tracks. I highly recommend watching the following video to give you a little more of an insight on this issue.