Women often have it worse than men when it comes to crime and violence. Despite the growing number of rights and privileges women are now entitled to, a lot of men still see them as the weaker sex. Those in a position of power or authority continue to belittle them, and even downplay the crimes committed against women, such as sexual assault.
All the outdated beliefs about gender inequality haven’t just put women in danger, but also caused a fragile sense of masculinity among young men. Many boys are taught from a young age that they’re the ones who should protect. On the other hand, girls were taught to protect themselves and to seek the protection of a man.
As a result, many boys grew up with little regard for their own safety. Unlike women and girls, they don’t think about getting harassed when they walk alone at night. They also don’t think about getting “roofied” at a party. And when they accompany a girl anywhere, they tend to assume that no one will try to harm the two of them, because a man’s presence alone can intimidate a criminal.
But how true is that? In a 2018 report about violence, it was revealed that more men fall victim to violent crimes than women. The data was gathered from 2017 statistics, which showed that men were particularly vulnerable to street crimes.
If men are generalized as more violent and aggressive, isn’t that a reason for the male population to also be more concerned for their safety?
Men Aren’t Invincible
We have to stop making men believe that they are invincible. As a kid in elementary school, how many times have you been in a fight? That fight probably involved screaming at each other and throwing punches. If you’ve never been in a fight, chances are you’ve witnessed one involving an aggressive classmate at least once.
And, for the sole reason that your classmate was the aggressive one, he’d likely win the fight and establish himself as some “god” in your classroom. He’d want the rest of the class to fear him, and to act at his bidding because he could hurt them.
And who were the ones he’d bully the most? His male classmates. Though he might’ve taunted girls as well, it’s his fellow boys he’d usually choose to lay a hand on.
Sadly, such behavior is normalized in some settings, including the school. The more aggression, bullying, and violence are tolerated, the more enabled the perpetrator feels. And some boys will follow his bad example, believing that it’ll make them cooler and manlier.
If this behavior continues to be feared, the calmer, well-mannered boys can start to feel insecure. Some of them may experience taunting just because they aren’t brutal enough. They get called names like “sissy.” Worse, this type of bullying can even occur in their own homes. Some famous serial killers, in fact, grew up in an abusive household, with their own fathers acting as their biggest bully.
We also have to shed light on abuse against boys. The reason many of them can’t speak up is that we think men are somehow invincible. If you’re a guy who never considered being a potential victim of violence or harassment, it’s high time to change that mindset and to spread awareness about boys suffering in silence and humiliation.
Self-Protection Tips for Men
Self-defense lessons shouldn’t just be targeted to women and girls. Men and boys also need to be alert when they’re walking alone at night, or when they live alone.
To protect yourself against street crimes, trust your instincts when you sense danger. Most of the time, it’s only girls who are told to trust their instincts, but your instincts are just as strong as theirs. Use it to your advantage when you feel unsafe. You also have the “sixth sense”, a powerful indicator that something isn’t right. Change directions when a particular route seems dodgy.
Be aware of your surroundings, even if you are in someone’s company. If you feel uncomfortable with someone, chances are they really are planning to harm you. This is an instinct many women feel, even toward someone they know. For once, feel their struggle and pay attention to the other guys who may have grudges against you.
Learn self-defense moves too. Your gender won’t deter a determined criminal. Don’t assume that nobody will harm you even if you sleep in the open. If not you, then a criminal might be after your valuables, like your phone, wallet, or car. So protect yourself and your belongings well by trusting your instincts, being aware, and learning how to defend yourself.
At home, always ensure your security, especially if you live alone. Use sturdy aluminum posts to reinforce your gates, keep your doors and windows locked, and install CCTV cameras if you have weak spots in your home.
Protecting yourself doesn’t make you less of a man, and definitely not a “sissy”. Normalize men valuing their own safety, not men being predators by nature.