More often than not when we talk about things such as sexual assault, rape, human trafficking, domestic violence, etc. we talk about the statistics. And the statistics show that women are a majority of the victims and men are more seen as the perpetrator. Although this is true to some extent, blaming men isn’t always accurate and causes a lot of damage.
When we start to blame men for these acts of violence one thing that results is man hating. According to Urban Dictionary a man hater is “A person, usually female, who despises, hates, and loathes the entire male population for no valid reason.” This is the gross generalization of men as being the reason these things happen. When the statistics show that 1 in 4 women are raped and you see they are mostly by men, it is easy to make men the target.
In addition, if we blame men for this then we neglect that they are victims too. Although 1 in 4 women are rapped 1 in 9 men are. That is still too large of a number. And although about 80% of human trafficking victims are women there’s still that 20% who are male. When we blame men we generalize, and that generalization is poisonous, because all victims have suffered and it’s no one’s right to lessen that for an individual.
Lastly, and I would say most importantly, when we blame men for the reason these things happen, we lose focus on why it really happen. If men are generally the perpetrators, can we not look past their sex and look at the societal issues that caused this? The violence that men are exposed to and the societal norms saying they should not openly express their feelings. How can this not do damage to someone?
But also it is important to remember that men are silenced. If they speak up about violence committed against them, whether it be physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or human trafficking, it is seen as weakness. Many men don’t voice what has happened to them in fear of being looked down upon and seen as inferior. When we place the blame on men we also add to the reason some male victims are not speaking up.
Blaming men isn’t the solution, and it has many repercussions. Join the fight against violence, not the fight against people. The only thing here to blame are our social constructs, law, and norms that allow and perpetuate these things to happen.