Men Must Learn

‘Men need to be taught to respect women and help protect them.’ 

Carly Plotkin

More stories from Carly Plotkin

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The Prowler.

In the United States, the odds of being attacked by a shark are one in 5 million. The odds of a woman getting sexually assaulted are one in five. How is a fear of sharks considered rational but a fear of men is not? I believe that at a certain point it is no longer the job of women to be educated about sexual assault when the problem is the men who are attacking us. 

When one out of three attempted and completed rapes happen to girls between 11 and 17 years old, it becomes the job of men to educate themselves on how to help protect their daughters, mothers, sisters, and friends. 

I have been talking to my male friends about the dangers of being a teenage girl for a while, and they are always surprised to find out about the unspoken rules and habits that my friends and I have as women. The things that surprise them are always the simple habits that I thought were normal, things like constantly looking behind me when I am walking, or not being able to walk to dinner with my friends because it’s dark out. 

They are especially surprised when I tell them about my rule against taking an Uber or Lyft. They view rideshare services as a safe alternative to walking alone at night, whereas I view it as getting into the kidnapper’s car. In 2019 there were 1,807 sexual assaults that occured in Lyft rides.

Young girls need to be able to rely on the men in their life to educate themselves and ask questions about sexual assault. Men need to be taught to respect women and help protect them.