Hold Them Accountable

Britany J

MURRAY, Neb. – “What were you wearing?” “Did you try to stop it?” Why are you questioning me instead of holding him accountable for his actions? A girl is not responsible for a boy and what he can and “cannot” control. 

From a young age, girls are told to dress appropriately not to distract the boys in class. In school, there is a dress code specifically formatted to target girls. Late night walks are not even an option for girls without the fear of being catcalled or followed. This is the society we live in. A society where a girl lives in constant fear and has to cover up so a boy can control himself. 

It’s not just women and teenage girls; it’s children, toddlers, infants, little girls being antagonized by strangers and even the close people in their life. As they say, it is always the people you’re closest to because you’d never expect. Unfortunately, this means most others won’t believe it either. When a man takes advantage of his power and yet they aren’t held responsible, that victim is only being pushed aside. It has become too common for a male family member or family friend to make a girl feel uncomfortable and it is excused by the fact of his age and that it was normal when he grew up. What kind of excuse is that? Other times, a girl is in fear of the consequences and chooses not to speak out. The worry of what others might say or what they will ask. Whether people will believe them or if they will blame them for what they wore. 

A man is fully responsible for his actions. A woman can say “no”, “stop” , or even fight back; it is not a woman’s fault for a male taking advantage of his standing. Most of the time, girls fear saying “no” because of the reaction they might receive. Then, there are men who preach about how they are afraid of being falsely accused or that “it’s not all men.” Although true, it is the majority. According to Scope of the Problem: Statistics, at some point in their lifetime, one in every six American women has experienced attempted or completed assault and or rape. At some point in their life meaning not just as an adult, children go through this traumatic experience more often than you’d think. 

As a collective, it is our job to believe others and to not be the person to say “well he wouldn’t do that” because maybe he would. Any man is capable of it and so is any woman or any human on Earth, however, men are the ones most commonly accused as it is majorly women affected by their actions. As friends, family, or even just unknowing bystanders, it is up to ourselves to give support and make the difference in society. Society needs to change. It is not their fault and the attacker or rapist needs to be held responsible. Someone should be allowed to come forward with an accusation and their experience and not have to fear the consequences. We need to hold them accountable.