#YesAllWomen shouldn’t be a wake up call, but I am really glad that this social media movement is happening. In the wake of the shootings that happened on and around the UCSB campus in California, I watched a few of Elliot Rodger’s videos on YouTube and was disgusted, yet not surprised at the rage and vitriol he exuded on screen. The young man was confused, disturbed, and felt that he had a right to young women’s bodies. Yes, a right not earned. A right that is rather a privilege. But what everyone should examine from his past actions, videos, and manifesto is that there are others in our world JUST LIKE HIM. Not only that, but girls and women still fight in 2014 to have control of their bodies, which apparently, were made for men to do whatever they want with them. #YesAllWomen brings me back to an essay I wrote late last year about the subject of being told to smile by male strangers and an incident where I was belittled by a man on the street who went on to call be bowlegged as I walked away from his disgusting, lazy advances. For some boys and men, everything is all good until you say no or just walk away without acknowledging their licentiousness. Oh, I can’t even remember all of the times I’ve told them that I had a (fake) boyfriend or pretended to talk to my dad/brother on the phone while walking on the street as they look on and make comments….in daylight.
With movements like #YesAllWomen, the time is NOW to let young boys and men know that women don’t owe them a smile, their bodies, their hearts, or minds without full consent.