In the years since the #MeToo movement first hit, student activism against campus sexual assault has flourished. But YR Media’s Elise Schofield says it’s been tough to recruit male allies.
When I was 15, I was assaulted by a classmate. When I got home, I sat in the bath for hours. I scrubbed and scrubbed my body, but I still felt dirty. That incident changed my life. I became an activist on campus. I wanted to start a conversation about catcalling, harassment, and assault.
To my surprise, so many girls I’ve spoken with have gone through similar experiences. The women in my life have been supportive. They’ve made sure I was okay after my assault. And they defend me when we’re around sexist comments.
But I’ve never felt like the men in my life were listening.
Once I was walking with a group of guy friends. A man saw us and bee-lined towards me. He was staring at me, licking his lips, and naming my body parts that he liked. But when I tried to hide behind my tall guy friends, they just watched as the man circled me. Finally, I begged him, “Can you please leave me alone?”