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Instead of saying #NotAllMen every time someone calls out violence by a man and you feel attacked, here is what you can do as a good man and a feminist ally.
“He was my friend, and he had always ogled and objectified women,” he finally blurted. His eyes welled up against the realisation of what had happened, and he blamed himself for everything that happened.
“You think you could have saved her?” she asked him, trying to be his friend, but she knew that he had just realized that he was just one man of society, who could not have alone contributed to the safety of women.
“Maybe. If I held him by his shoulders, looked into his eyes, and told him to leave her alone, perhaps he wouldn’t do what he did. If I reported him to the police when he told me he followed her to her house, he wouldn’t be free to do that. Only if I saw him as a criminal and not just another man with an infatuation. He became a monster; he raped her! I could save her, I know I could…”
I believe that out of ten men, at least nine are usually inherently good. They respect women and they treat them as their equals. But when one of them commits a crime against a woman, and the other nine do nothing about it, all of them might as well be the perpetrators.
And I am not talking about vigilantism. I am not encouraging men to beat up or kill rapists. Prevent them from happening. Do you really think no good man ever had a friend who has ogled and objectified women?
Neither do I.
What if, at that moment, you tell him to stop? What if you tell him to respect her choices and not go after her? What if, when your ‘friend’ follows a woman, you report him to the police? I bet we will prevent some crimes against women, if not all. We need to accept a thing. There are monsters among us, and they look like us. They could be your friends, your family, or your colleagues. They could be anyone.
Not my friend. He couldn’t do it! I have known him for years!
Oh, believe me. You don’t know what a person can be capable of. Yes, your friend could do something drastic after months of just looking from a distance. We need to accept that the people we know and love can be capable of a monstrosity. It is ignorant to believe otherwise.
So, to all the good guys out there. If you are sick of the narrative surrounding the men of society today, please feel free to get up and change it. If you see a sign in someone showing that he may commit a crime, feel free to show him the right way.
It has been years of saying that we are not responsible for the crime we didn’t commit, but every time someone commits a crime, remember, someone loved them.
And your acquaintance may commit a crime next. Being good on the inside doesn’t count. You need to spread that goodness and get involved in society. Prevent crimes from happening, stop them! Don’t ignore signs in someone pointing towards a crime, do something to get them on the right track.
Because if they do commit a crime, and you know that you have done nothing to stop them, you are complicit too.
Image source: a still from the series Love Per Square Foot
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Paakhi is a seventeen-year-old published author, blogger, and the founder of "An Insipid
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