Discussing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

How a society’s culture of objectification impacts young women

Ali Smith, Arts & Leisure Editor

“What were you wearing?”

“Did you have anything to drink?”

“What did you expect when going out alone?”

“Didn’t you go out looking for attention?”

“Obviously she was asking for it.”

Do any of these things actually matter when it comes to unwanted and unreciprocated sexual advances and assault?

It’s Domestic Violence Awareness month, and although our world is making a lot of progress, we still have a long way to go

In our world, and especially among older generations, this ideology is still ingrained into belief systems, which is a huge reason why women and men are not coming forward about their abuses.

One in five women is a victim of an attempted or completed rape in her life and one in three of these happen between the ages of 11 and 17, according to the World Health Organization.

81% of women have reported experiencing some sort of sexual harassment or abuse in their lifetime, according to WHO.

You would think in 2021 this whole victim blaming cop-out would be eradicated, but to no avail, it’s not.

When I dress up in my Forever 21 crop tops and my cutoff jeans in the heat of the summer, I am not “asking for it.”

When I do my makeup for a night out with my friends, I am not looking for male attention.

When I am walking home from school and am cat-called on my way, I am not asking for that. And I actually feel terrible when I innocently walk to class to receive an education and am sexualized. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing heels and a dress or sweats and a 2XL hoodie: it still happens.

I’m still followed.

I’m still objectified.

I shouldn’t even have to explain myself or what I’m wearing or why I chose to put on makeup or how going rollerblading in a sports bra and biker shorts is the most comfortable way or fear for my innocence when walking my dogs alone, but I do.

I continue to explain myself while the world continues to protect and remove blame from the men — no, boys — who think they are entitled to my body or my spirit because of the way I dress, and all of my ladies alike.

Because of the way I dance to Megan thee Stallion.

Because of the look I gave.

Because I didn’t do enough to protect myself.

Because I was showing too much skin and obviously inviting someone in.

How about, instead of condoning boys’ actions due to their “raging hormones” and “uncontrollable thoughts,” which women have too by the way, we teach them something they should have learned in preschool: keep your hands to yourself.

It doesn’t matter what he, she or they were wearing.

It doesn’t matter if they stuck to Sprite or overdid it on the alcohol on a night out.

It doesn’t matter.

What matters is it happened, it continues to happen and victims and survivors continue to be asked questions while some perpetrators slide under the radar.

The world needs to change, not only this month and not to this point.


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