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#ihave to talk to you about sexual assault Campus Voice Commentary Opinion 

#ihave to talk to you about sexual assault

I don’t think anyone has missed the campaign and hashtag #metoo that has gone worldwide in the last couple of weeks.

But if you by any chance have missed it, this campaign is a way for women to share their stories about sexual assault and harassment on social media. It’s a way for the rest of the world to understand that there are so many women that have experienced some kind of harassment or assault and that it needs to come to an end.

The hashtag has trended in at least 85 countries showing that these crimes are way more common than people understand, and I can swear that every woman you know has experienced some kind of harassment during their life. Through this campaign, the truth is finally coming out and people get their justice.

While #metoo continues spreading around the world, another campaign and hashtag is starting to show up and getting attention. The hashtag is #ihave, which is a way for the men who have violated women to explain that what they have done is wrong and showing to people that they do understand it now.

To be honest, I think it’s kind of ridiculous. As soon as the women start to get a little bit of attention and start spreading awareness, the men have to take over with their own hashtag. What do you want? An award? A pet on the shoulder saying that everything’s gonna be okay? That you’re brave? I’m sorry, it doesn’t really work like that.

I do believe it’s great that the men finally realize that what they’ve done is wrong and that they’ll never again expose anyone to either sexist jokes or not touch women in inappropriate ways, amongst all of the things they’ve done.

But is that enough? You confessing through social media? I think that the men who confess to these crimes, because they are in fact crimes, get way more appreciated than they deserve. If you’re ‘man enough’ to confess to making these crimes, turn yourself in. You know now that it’s a crime, right? Otherwise, you wouldn’t have exposed yourself through #ihave.

It’s important to know that not all men are rapists, and not all men have made themselves guilty of these crimes. But almost all men have at least once harassed, objectified or sexualized a woman who doesn’t want it, and it’s all men’s responsibility to break the norm that leads to macho culture and that leads to people thinking it’s alright to say and do whatever they want.  

Everything you say in the locker room, the bar, the party, that was just a joke, something that was supposed to be funny and not taken too seriously. Think about the girl you’re talking to, do you really think that she’s enjoying being harassed by you? It it was your mother, sister, friends – is it still funny? Is it still a joke? Should it still not be taken so seriously?

Like I said, it’s great that the men are starting to realize this and are stressing the importance of it through #ihave, but if you really take this seriously, turn yourself in. Because it’s a crime, and you know that now, don’t you?

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