Men should change their behavior instead of fearing false accusations

“One in five, one in five, one in five.” This is the thought that runs through my head everyday as I go to pick up my 4-year-old daughter from daycare.

When I arrive, I enter into a world of boisterous, playful laughter and yelling that one hears in a preschool classroom. It’s the kind of carefree laughter that can only come from a room full of children with no concept of the type of problems they may face as they get older.

Everyday I try not to and yet I subconsciously begin to count the number of girls in the room thinking “one in five, one in five, one in five.”

One in five is the number of women who will be the victims of sexual assault, according to a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s a number many women are likely to be familiar with and men are likely to be blissfully unaware of.

In the wake of allegations of sexual assault in high school by newly-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, there has been a new cry of outrage. But that cry has not been for  the victims of sexual assault but for the men who fear they may be wrongly accused.

President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., and Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway have all recently spoken about the concern they have for men being wrongfully accused.

The fact is men should absolutely be concerned and worried about what they may be accused of, but not because they may be wrongfully accused but because most men engage in language and behavior towards women that is disrespectful if not down right abhorrent.

There is not a woman alive who doesn’t have at least one story where they feared for their safety or felt disrespected by a gross comment or uncomfortable by an intrusive leering gaze. Most women deal with these sort of sexual microaggressions everyday and, as a man, it is something I have never had to deal with, ever.

On the flip side there is hardly a man alive who, if he is honest with himself, hasn’t been on the other end of those types of behaviors towards women, myself included.   

One in five women is being sexually assaulted not because of a few bad apples, but because of a culture that celebrates and cultivates male dominance and sexual conquest. A culture that has been shaped and controlled by men for men.

Now men want sympathy for the fear they are feeling related to generations of bad behavior towards women and perhaps because of their own despicable behavior?

For a gender that likes to claim respect, courage and strength as important stereotypical traits a man should have this is pretty pathetic.

I would gladly give up my job and reputation if it meant my two young daughters could grow up in a world where they could not only feel safe but actually were safe and didn’t face a one-in-five chance of being raped.

To the men who are genuinely concerned about being wrongfully accused, here are some numbers to comfort you: Several studies compiled by the National Sexual Violence Research Center found that in the over 3,000 cases looked at, seven percent where found to be falsely reported.

Couple that with the fact that 63 percent of sexual assaults go unreported and your chances of being wrongfully accused — or even accused at all — are minute. In fact, men are far more likely to be victims of sexual violence then of being wrongfully accused of perpetrating it.

So maybe instead of crying about how “scary” it is to be a man today, maybe men should start fearing for their own safety like women have to everyday. Or maybe men should consider changing their behavior, attitudes and actions towards women.

Or maybe men like our newest Supreme Court Justice and our President, should walk over to the nearest preschool, look into the eyes of the little girls there and consider how they are going to work to make this a safer world for them to grow up in. All while knowing, that if nothing changes one in five of those beautiful little faces will experience a terrifying violation and a trauma that can never be undone.