An epidemic across the country has plagued self-proclaimed “nice guys.” You know, the men who do not “ghost” a woman before the date he plans, open the door instead of letting it slam in some woman’s face, and think they are feminists because they have not assaulted anyone.
The epidemic many “nice men” su er from is known as the bystander effect.
Men who are bystanders love to boast about everything they do that shows they themselves are respectful, but once they see a woman being cat- called by their male friend or hear a woman being talked about explicitly by a guy, they are quick to turn a blind eye and not interject to tell their friend it is wrong.
Men who are a part of the bystander effect are a major part of rape culture. They could make make a difference if they step in when a woman is being treated poorly.
For example, imagine a woman is at a party and clearly becoming uncomfortable because of a man.
Instead of a man who knows better watching this happen and pretending its acceptable because everyone is just having fun, he steps in and tells his friend to leave her alone.
Sometimes all it takes is one man opening up his mouth to educate his peers.
A man should take the time to explain why it is not acceptable to degrade a woman when his friend starts talking about her bathing suit Instagram post where she is at the beach.
When a guy does this, more men become educated about how uncomfortable they make women feel at times and how wrong it is to disrespect and over-sexualize women.
More importantly, fewer women would be sexually harassed and assaulted.
Recently, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford claimed Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a part in high school. Ford said during the Kavanaugh hearing to become a Supreme Court justice that a man named Mark Judge stood by and laughed while he watched. If what she is saying is true, and no one has corroborated her story, Judge would be no better than Kavanaugh.
Even if a man has not physically done anything to a woman, if he does not stop the situation occurring or stands by and laughs at an inappropriate joke about a woman, he is just as responsible for the assault if he stands by and does nothing.
If you are a man who knows better, please educate your friends and tell them when they are being inappropriate. Step in if you see a woman being mistreated by a man.
Some men are more likely to listen to their male peers over a woman who is trying to educate them. If you are a male, do your part. Women deserve to feel safe and respected.