Unwanted advances are about control, power
What to do when the uninvited slide into your DMs.
April 19, 2017
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The entire idea behind this biweekly sexual health and sexuality column was to confront the many issues women, especially college women, face by grabbing back and taking control of situations that often leave them feeling objectified.
It could be something like receiving an unsolicited dick pic, having their photograph posted on an Instagram account designed to reduce women to their physical attraction or getting a message asking for sexy pictures from someone who is practically a stranger.
All these instances are about control. Often women ignore them because it’s easier to avoid confrontation.
As a society, we have accepted certain norms that make it harder for women to speak up because they are afraid of the consequences they might face from standing up for themselves.
Jessica Nare, Women’s Resource Center coordinator, said it’s important to not only examine the individual, but also look at the culture of our community.
Rape culture in society is what makes women feel as if they won’t be believed if they confront the situation — that it’s easier to avoid it and stay quiet.
It could be easier to ignore the unsolicited dick pic from the star basketball player, the TFM Instagram account that placed your bikini picture on their page and tagged themselves on your breast or the guy who asked for a nude after months of not talking to you — it’s time to stop ignoring those situations.
It’s time to grab back and take back.
One way to take back control is to refuse to do what they’re asking and let that person know that what they are asking for and their belief they will actually receive it, is disrespectful.
You are not a prude because you said no to something that you don’t feel comfortable doing.
The responsibility should not only sit on the shoulders of women, but also on a community as a whole. Condemning these actions as a community is crucial so the men committing the actions can understand that it’s damaging and feeds into the objectification of women.
“We are not a society that inherently sexualizes men’s bodies in the same way,” Nare said. “You can see men as sexual beings, but then we also recognize them for other traits so when men’s bodies are sexualized, we are not reducing them to sexual bodies in the same way we do to women.”
Women have historically been sexualized and endured more violence than men have simply because of the power dynamics at play.
If the script were flipped, it wouldn’t be the same because most men haven’t experienced the same victimization and loss of power as women, Nare said.
It’s entitlement that makes these individuals believe that they deserve to receive a “sexy picture,” or that women should be grateful to receive unsolicited dick pictures.
It needs to stop and we need to start showing them that there are consequences to their actions.
Someone sent you an unsolicited dick pic? Tell them it’s disturbing they sent you something you didn’t request or want. Let them know what you felt and let them know that you will block them if they ever send something like that again.
Someone who you don’t talk to asked you for a “sexy pic”? Tell them exactly how that made you feel and that it’s rude.
It could lead to someone saying something rude in return — at that point just block them. However, it could lead to an apology and maybe that person will think twice before feeding into the objectification of women.