97 Percent TikTok Challenge: Let’s Talk About It

**Trigger Warning: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assualt

 

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about the 97 percent challenge on the Internet and specifically TikTok. If not, the 97 percent challenge came from a study stating that 97 percent of women in the UK have been sexually harassed. Over the past few days, this has become a viral TikTok trend, where women share stories on sexual harassment or even sexual assault. 

 

I’ve seen a lot of comments on TikToks from men that have really disappointed me. Some of these comments include: “There’s no way it’s 97% it has to be like 50%.” or “You’re being dramatic.” The main comment I’ve seen that has really upset and irritated me, and a majority of women, is:

 

“Not all men…”

 

Saying “not all men” is just an excuse. If the 97 percent statistic is p*ssing you off or you feel attacked, then you’re part of the problem. It’s time to start taking accountability. 

 

Yes, it is true that not ALL men have sexually harassed women, but ENOUGH men have to where this is an issue that needs to be discussed. Change is necessary now more than ever. 

 

Sexually harassing women can come in a variety of forms. From catcalling, name-calling, stalking, slut-shaming, groping, sending unsolicited messages, sending harassing messages online, and even sexual assault. The list goes on and on.

 

The truth is we live in a patriarchal society. There are so many misogynistic undertones in our world that we’ve grown numb to it. We’re so used to men referring to us as “b*tches” and calling other men “p*ssies” to degrade them. And we don’t say anything to stop it. These actions and this kind of vocabulary among men needs to change. While it may “only be a joke” the misogynistic undertones are overwhelming. 

 

This society has taught women that we have to tolerate this because “boys will be boys” and there’s nothing we can do about it. But we CAN do something about it - we can stand up, use our voice, and not stay silent any longer. 

 

If any men are reading this, I’m sure you’re wondering: “How can I be a better ally to the women in my life?” I’ve created a list of some ideas below that hopefully you will choose to follow:

 

  1. Change your vocabulary. Stop referring to woman as “b*tches.” It’s rude and insulting. Stop calling other men you see as non-masculine or “not man enough” as “p*ssies.” Again, it's simply very insulting and degrading. Women and men are equals and women are NOT inferior to men. 

  2. Put yourself in a woman's shoes. As a woman, there is always a constant fear that something bad will happen, especially when walking at night. Try to be more empathetic with your actions and your words and make the women around you feel comfortable.

  3. Educate yourself. Read more articles like this. Read informative Instagram story posts or other resources found on social media. Share this article and other articles with men who you think need to read it. 

  4. Stop mansplaining. It’s rude and condescending. I think that men tend to do this because they feel threatened by strong, independent, and intellectual females. If you wouldn’t talk to another man with the same patronizing tone, then don’t give a female that attitude either. We’re equals, so start talking to us and treating us like we are. 

  5. Listen. As simple as it sounds, listening to women’s stories about sexual harassment will make them feel more validated and that their problems are important. 

 

The 97 percent statistic is deeply disturbing. I am part of the 97%, most of my friends are part of the 97%, and if you’re a girl reading this, you’re likely a part of the 97% as well. And if you’re a male reading this, the majority of females in your life are more than likely included in this statistic. Make the females in your life feel comfortable and let them know that you’re an ally. 

I hope that women continue to speak out about this because I believe in the power that this generation of females has to make a difference. It’s like Beyonce said, “Who runs the world? Girls!”