Inspired by Gloria Steinem, this piece illustrates how sexual assault has no easy solution
| “How are men supposed to interact with ANY women if they might be accused of sexual assault twenty years later?????!! #HimToo,” rages a pissy middle-aged man on Twitter in light of the sexual misconduct accusations regarding several well-known, powerful men. He is just one of many identical voices screaming into the void behind the icon of a twelve-year-old anime girl who’s his “waifu”.
I scroll further down my feed.
“these women rae LIARS!! Cant belive u thin k they telling the TRUTH!!! #FEMINAZIS,” screeches the profile of a poorly education man dwarfed by the size of the environment-killing truck behind him.
You would think that between auto-correct and a working brain people could foster some kind of literacy in their posts. Apparently, that is too much to ask of the general populace.
But maybe it is bold of me to assume that the brains of these people work.
I scroll down further.
“These women are only in it for the money! Disgraceful! As an American women, I –“
The keys clack out a fast beat as my index finger rapidly clicks to scroll past the tweet.
Even I have a limit to the amount of bullshit I can read.
Surfing through pages and pages of men (and the occasional “anti-feminist” woman) screaming about the plight of men (normally white) is exhausting. It is in moments like these that I realize how much the world has not changed from the age of Anita Hill, despite decades that have toiled by. Women are still standing up, pleading and begging for their words to be heard, only to have their lips sealed with labels of liar, attention seeker, whore.
I stop my rapid clicking and return to my previous leisurely pace as I wade through the comments. (I find some kind of sick enjoyment in the idiocy of others. Is it intellectual masochism? Narcissism? Hopeless apathy?)
However, my efforts are not in vain; for among the waves of idiocy and rampant sexism is a diamond in the rough.
“What are men supposed to do if they don’t wanna be accused?? Not talk to women? Have them sign a consent waiver???” speaks the blue-haired cartoon picture of a girl with breasts that defy the basic laws of gravity.
Refreshing. Simple. Innovative. I simply cannot believe my luck at stumbling upon this tweet. I have been blind from the truth for so long that it has taken me till now to see the beauty of this solution. This was the answer to all the problems that plague us as a society.
Imagine a world where it was illegal for men to speak to women without their explicit written consent.
Women walk the streets in clothing of their choice without an ounce of fear. (Cat-calling results in a small fine and a month of community service, while harassment in serious jail-time.) Crop tops, miniskirts, and cut-off shorts become even more popular as women can finally enjoy life at all hours without fear of rape and assault. (Police forces work diligently at all hours to make sure men cannot even get close to a woman without her consent).
Females are employed at all the highest and lowest ranks in all industries, as communication with customers is difficult when male employees are legally unable to address half of the population. However, this does not mean that men are left unemployed. They simply inhabit the jobs that require little to no talking. (Model jobs have become increasingly popular for men as they are able to just sit there and “look pretty”.)
Of course, family members can speak amongst themselves in private. However, fathers, brothers, and sons require a female relative as an escort if they wish to speak in public. (Gay men have certain exceptions, as it would be unfair for them to be punished for a crime they wouldn’t commit.) Children can interact with one another freely until puberty. After a girl’s first period or after her breasts develop (as those are obvious markers of maturity nowadays), she is given a consent notepad. If she does not sign and bestow a consent form to men, they cannot speak to her without fear of legal retribution.
Dating is started by the women. Women no longer have to reject the unwanted advances of creepy men (leading to a decline in the murders of women). Men are allowed to accept the woman’s advances or politely decline them. (Ironically, this does not lead to an increase in the murders of men by the women they reject.) Marriage gives men a laminated consent form that allows them to freely address their wife. However, if the wife feels uncomfortable at any point, she can revoke that right and her husband is no longer allowed to address her. If he chooses to ignore his wife’s withdrawl of consent, charges will be pressed leading to serious jail time, divorce, or the death penalty, as the wife deems appropriate. (This leads to a massive decrease in domestic violence, as well as decrease in the number of women murdered by their spouse).
Sexual harassment and rape allegations are nonexistent, as any man who does not have a consent form from that woman is found guilty. (Papers never lie after all.) Cases where the facts are muddy normally go to the women. (Men lie and cannot be trusted to tell the truth about the situation. They may just want the fame that comes with being involved in a sex scandal.)
Women, finally, feel in control and safe. Men, for once, are under control.
The problem of rampant sexual assault and harassment accusations is easier to fix than people are willing to admit. We, as a society, have targeted women for far too long, and we all agree open communication between mature adults is obviously impossible. I am simply proposing that instead of torturing women with trials and judgment, we eliminate the real problem:
Or rather, men’s words.