Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 18 September, 2021

Trump might think it's a scary time to be a young man, but it's always been scary to be a woman

As Halloween approaches, let’s consider the truly terrifying aspects of everyday life.

CW: This article makes reference to sexual assault and rape. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP ridiculed Christine Blasey Ford’s account of her alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at a recent campaign rally. Classy, right?

U.S.-WASHINGTON D.C.-TRUMP Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

During his monologue, he mimicked Ford’s testimony while the crowd laughed and cheered as the leader of the country mocked Ford’s recollection of her alleged attack.

He followed this up by saying it was ”a very scary time for young men in America.

[It's a time where] you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of. This is a very, very – this is a very difficult time. What’s happening here has much more to do than even the appointment of a Supreme Court justice.”

In response, Ford’s lawyer Michael Bromwich tweeted: ”Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well?”

Christine Blasey Ford closes her eyes as she is sworn in before testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2018. Picture taken September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg Source: JIM BOURG

And he’s right, too. This new found fear men are seemingly experiencing? It’s something women carry with them all the time. It’s a fairly safe bet to say that women experience more surrounding the thought of being assaulted than men do about being wrongly accused.

Writer Danielle Muscato’s Twitter thread illustrates just that – she asked the women of the world what they would do if there was a 9pm curfew imposed on men.

The replies were innocent, innocuous and probably things that some men take for granted.

(Just FYI, if you currently find yourself huffing and panting at your keyboard ready to type “not all men” in block capitals, you’re probably one of the aforementioned men.)

Men might view these examples as absurd, because they’ve never been in that position themselves, showcasing a complete lack of self-awareness when it comes to their gender privilege. The same men will encourage these women not to go places alone late at night. Doesn’t seem like such an absurd suggestion then, does it?

Now is also a good a time as ever to remind people just how low the rates of people falsely reporting rape are. Research for the Home Office suggests that only 4% of cases of sexual violence reported to the UK police are found or suspected to be false. Studies carried out in Europe and in the US indicate rates of between 2% and 6%.

Meanwhile, the number of rapes reported to gardaí jumped by 28% last year. The main word to pay heed to there? ‘Reported’ – the actual number of rapes was probably much higher.

As we enter into the witching month, perhaps it’s time to take stock of what our definition of scary is. Is it the prehistoric and damaging attitude held by one of the most powerful men in the world? Or perhaps it’s the self-awareness and privilege people are unwilling to sacrifice while women across the country walk home alone, clutching their keys between their fingers?

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