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A couple days ago I was scrolling on my Twitter timeline and came across a thread, this young lady had posted screenshots of her conversation with an adult male who had been using her photo on Instagram and claiming to be in a relationship with her. She proceeded to message and inform him that what he has done is wrong and she demands that he take the post down to which he responded, “But you’re mad cute.” She then asked his age to which he answered 19, she was 15 in the photo. He later admitted to screenshotting more than one photo of her and repeatedly refused to take down the post. The tweet she put along with the screenshots was “Men Are Gross.” Now, of course, if you are a particular type of man then you may be upset at the tweet and think to yourself in a defensive manner something along the lines of “Correction, some men are gross.” If that is truly how you feel then I have a simple question to ask, why are men more offended by being generalized as part of the problem rather than acknowledging the existence of the problem entirely? If you feel insulted by a simple three word sentence that you are not outright excluded from then you obviously have something to feel guilty for. 

I am scared of men because of the fact that incidents such as the one stated happen, and let’s not ignore the fact that as of late there have been more young ladies who are brave enough to step forward and share their experiences of assault, harassment, and rape. This should NOT be a recurring trend, having a predatory mindset should not be the default trait for men in this day and age. Men are scary because of the invisible power they hold over women and that includes what we wear in public, do you know how many times my mother has told me, a twenty year old woman, that I couldn’t wear something because “there are a lot of sexual predators in this world with wandering eyes and a sick mind.” I shouldn’t have to be afraid of men looking at my breasts when I go braless or my butt when I wear leggings to the supermarket, both of which have happened to me more than once. Like many, I am someone who loves to express my sense of who I am through what I wear and how I style myself, but the fact that I cannot be truly comfortable in this world, no matter what I wear, without men staring at me is absolutely sickening. Not even a simple face mask and sunglasses will stop men from sexualizing and asserting their dominance over women through predatory stares and, in many cases, physical actions.

And although I thought this was quite obvious I will go ahead and state it for clarification, we as women know that all men don’t do this, we know that some men actually respect women’s boundaries. I am solely speaking to the men that aren't secure enough in their actions and treatment of women in public or otherwise. You may notice in my title I use the careful wording “some men.” I've grown to understand that by beginning a sentence using “men” and following it with words such as “are predators,” tends to hurt certain males' delicate egos. It leaves them feeling accused and insulted by that phrase because they believe that it doesn’t pertain to them, and to that all I have to say is “if the shoe fits.” How about instead of being part of the problem and being insistent on ignoring the truth of the matter and continuing on with dangerous  tendencies, you be a part of the solution and create a safe environment that, no matter how someone identifies as, we can all live in peacefully. 

Karla is a 2021 cum laude graduate with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Karla is originally from Maryland and is very proud of Karla's Afro-Latinx heritage. Karla is currently in pursuit of a career in TV/film acting, and Karla's dream role would be to portray a superhero. In Karla's free time Karla enjoys reading, watching Netflix (no chill necessary), and taking long walks on the metaphorical beach to universal equity.
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