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Men are scared... for whatever reason

Eli Maxwell, Features Editor

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At a press conference in early October, president Donald Trump said, “It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of.”

 

Let’s start with the fact that that statement contradicts itself. The bigger issue is not Trump’s misuse of the English language, but the contradiction is still worth pointing out. Being guilty of something you may not be guilty of isn’t a thing that can happen.

Here’s the more important thing to think about: he’s wrong. It is not inherently scary to be a young man in America.  The only men in America who are scared are predators, and they should be afraid.

 

Believing women are telling the truth when they come forward with stories of assault shouldn’t be a political issue. No matter your stance on immigration or taxes or healthcare, we should agree that every woman who claims she was sexually assaulted should be heard and taken very seriously.

We should also agree that every man responsible for sexually assaulting someone should be held accountable for his actions and face the consequences. However, these days, men are avoiding consequences for rape and sexual harassment more than ever. Rather than truly facing the consequences for their actions, a lot of prominent men end up getting a slap on the wrist.

One common defense heard in the Senate hearings for the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh during his trial was, “Who didn’t do things like this in high school?”

Um… a lot of people, I’m pretty sure. I think I could name a lot of dudes I know that haven’t gotten belligerent while intoxicated and tried to sexually assault someone. Even if this were a common thing that every guy did, that wouldn’t excuse that kind of behavior. Assault is still assault, even if all your drunk buddies are doing it too. Something being commonplace does not make it anywhere near acceptable.

Look, I’m not saying Kavanaugh is guilty or not. All I’m saying is that “Who hasn’t done this?” is not a valid defense. Sexual assault  cannot be pushed to the side because of how frequently it happens.

Another example of this is rapper Daniel Hernandez, more commonly known as 6ix9ine. In 2015, a judge declined to give him jail time after he was charged with making sexually explicit videos with an underage girl. Probation isn’t the right move for a guy who made sexually explicit videos with an underage girl.

2017 really showed the true colors of a lot of men in Hollywood. The public found out that just about everyone was a creep and many men’s reputations were rightfully dragged through the mud. But do you know what didn’t happen? For a lot of guys, anything else. Too many abusive, predatory men only suffered a tarnished reputation. Many of the men who had been exposed for sexual harassment never faced any charges, let alone jail time, for what they did.

So to return to Trump’s comment— it is not a scary time to be a young man in America. As long as you aren’t assaulting anyone, you should feel perfectly fine. I know, the bar of not attacking women may seem like a high one for people who constantly make excuses for these creeps, but I think if we really put our minds to it, it shouldn’t be that hard. To quote the great comedian Bo Burnham, “Just don’t rape people. Didn’t think I’d have to spell that one out for you.”

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Hide your kids… hide your wife…