Why are some men so opposed to the idea of other men being exposed on social media for sexual harassment?
Initially it could be though that they fear exposure themselves, that’s the simple answer. However, the truth is far deeper and infinitely more destructive to the safety of women and the future gains of equality between males and females. They simply cannot see the problem nor consider that they or any other man is doing anything wrong. In short, for them, the subjugation and oppression of women, particularly in cyberspace, is not an issue. Physical evidence such as screenshots make them uncomfortable, may even force self-reflection and thus require change.
They fear the breakdown of their privileges that have been so carefully constructed for themselves. For instance, 97% of women in the UK have experienced sexual harassment and the numerous ‘good guys’ out there don’t have an inkling that these men are far more prolific than they can imagine. Probably because the normalising of certain behaviours and the systemic downplaying of sexual harassment, together with the lack of resources to provide significant consequences leads many women to push under the carpet experiences that provide day to day, real time evidence of a history long problem.
Rape and sexual harassment are widely portrayed to be acts of violence against women. This gives free rein to men to not understand, either willingly or ignorantly, what behaviours are appropriate. Most men have no clue that they regularly cross boundaries with women and there is nowhere more prolific with evidence than modern dating apps.
From a seemingly innocuous ‘x’ to full on disrespect, women on any form of social media have to endure the patriarchal ignorance of men whilst fighting their own internalised misogyny.
We [hopefully] all pretty much agree that the ubiquitous ‘dick pic’ is unacceptable, but why is it not considered sexual harassment, let alone rape? A man who sends unsolicited pictures of his sexual arousal to a woman’s private message source is considered, by society and law, to be nothing more than a [dirty] naughty boy, when the fact is he is violating that woman in a way that she cannot escape from.
It is unsurprising that in a world where physical rape is still often perceived as the fault of the woman, where a (male) judge can diminish the fact of a woman’s violation as her ‘asking for it’ because she left her room door ajar [Man cleared of rape after judge ruled victim invited him in by leaving door ajar (msn.com)] where the amount of alcohol consumed and the colour and style of her underwear or even what food she consumed can be presented as defensible reasons [Stanford sexual assault victim faced personal questions at trial, records show | Stanford sexual assault case | The Guardian], that women are still struggling to be heard and are forced to either ignore their experiences or take matters into their own hands and campaign on social media for support and recognition.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that men have no clue they regularly cross boundaries with women and there is nowhere more teeming with evidence than modern dating apps. [The need for women’s boundaries to be recognised specifically relating to online and dating apps]