Taiwan #MeToo Lingering rhetoric began to ferment, with many questioning why survivors "only say it now"? But we want to know more, what makes this group of people choose to stand on the side of the perpetrators?

Before entering the article, I want to tell the survivors who are facing the pain that the recent turmoil may evoke many bad memories of the past, and if you feel uncomfortable and scared because of this, you can not read this article below.

Even a word can touch a trauma, so stay away from the storm and take care of yourself before you're ready. We all know that you have worked hard in the face of these injuries.

Recently sexual harassment cases in Taiwan have been burning, and survivors from both political and academic circles, including the art and entertainment circles, have also jumped out to tell about their experiences of harassment.

In the face of the wave of Taiwan's Me Too, many people will ask, "Why do you think of discomfort now?" "Why didn't you say it then?" Some people are beginning to get tired of the endless sexual harassment allegations, and ask survivors, "Why not file a complaint?" , "Bring the evidence out".

Why do survivors "can't say" and why don't they sue, there have been many articles on the women's fan stand to discuss, and today I want to discuss: Why do some people choose to stand with the perpetrator? What's wrong with asking survivors to "protect themselves"?

Why did they choose to be on the side of the perpetrators?

Observing the comments and discussions under sexual harassment cases, I have summarized two statements in support of the perpetrator:

First, I don't believe that the world is so bad, and I think that there must be a reason for things

In the opposition to Me Too, some people will try to find a justification for the perpetrator, begin to review the words and deeds of the survivors, the mental state of the parties, and even lead the whole incident to conspiracy theories, suspecting the motive and timing of the outbreak.

Perhaps because they are unwilling to face reality and do not believe that so many sexual harassment incidents are occurring. In order to solve the imbalance in their minds, they will constantly "rationalize" sexual harassment, telling themselves that sexual harassment is not a social problem, but a personal problem.

(Read more: Why didn't you resist?) Psychologists talk about the three-stage reaction to sexual violence, there is a reason why they can't escape!

Photo by Tiago Bandeira on Unsplash

Second, overlapping with the identity of the perpetrator and feeling that they are being attacked

The second voice in favor of the perpetrator, usually with the same gender or status as the perpetrator, will think that "he has also been targeted" in the face of accusations from survivors, thus generating a defensive mentality.

The rise of feminism has made some people feel relatively deprived. The group didn't care about the incident itself and just wanted to attack all the women's speech.

(Read more: Why are survivors of sexual violence afraid to speak out?) Survivors fear a culture of humiliation more: the harm may be greater than the assault and bullying itself)

They will take the lead in attacking survivors for "sexual harassment" and "I don't even know how to make friends anymore", so as to comfort themselves: it's not that I don't know how to grasp physical boundaries, it's that he doesn't know what humor is. Even if the survivors today are men, they will still shout "Feminists stand up!" "Women's rights are silent," turning a blind eye to feminist calls for long-standing support for male survivors.

In the face of the perpetrator's apology, these people will also choose to give encouragement, thinking that "if there is an apology, it must be affirmed". Heal the pain of survivors over the years.

No matter what kind of opposition voice, they ignore the most important point in sexual harassment incidents: the appearance of survivors is diverse, and the daily life of sexual harassment will also be your daily life.

Photo by Mario Azzi on Unsplash

When we just want survivors to "protect ourselves"

"Protect yourself" is a phrase I have heard since I was a child, and I am most tired of hearing. As a woman, my parents always warned me not to come home too late, it was dangerous; Don't smile casually at boys, it's dangerous; Pretend to be unapproachable and protect yourself.

Even with layers of precautions, I was accosted and pestered by adult men on the train home from school; being whistled by passers-by on the way to school; When I met a strange man at the MRT station after work, I wanted to exchange tens of thousands of yuan for my company for one night.

It's my daily life as a woman, and it could be any gender identity, any look, anyone's daily life.

(Research and business reading: The movie "Women's Daily": 6 stories of women being sexually harassed, are you also a silent bystander?

When we continue to ask survivors to "protect themselves", but forget to emphasize the importance of physical boundaries, it will only lead more perpetrators to excuse themselves with excuses such as "I didn't mean it" and "I didn't mean to hurt him" under the pretext of "ignorance".

On the contrary, survivors who have been harmed will fall into self-doubt because of this phrase "protect yourself", suspecting that these injuries are self-inflicted, and making them less courageous to speak out and unable to defend their rights.

Instead of asking people to "protect themselves" in vague, it is better to let the perpetrator know that "please respect everyone's autonomy, and any words and jokes have boundaries".

I was harassed and my colleagues laughed

I used to work in a restaurant, and I encountered a lot of verbal and physical harassment, but the most offensive one was when a group of college students left a note on the table with two male genitalia on the table.

I knew the note was for me, who was in charge of the table, but I didn't know why I had to work hard all day in exchange for a discriminatory note of humiliation. In the first place, I did what all survivors would do – review all of my behavior and make sure the harassment wasn't because I was "doing something wrong."

(Read more: "Please don't ignore your discomfort!") Those who tell you it's okay to harass are trying to kill your heart)

Unable to swallow the anger in my heart, I shared the incident with a good colleague, but he laughed out loud at the first time. At that time, I realized that such an encounter, the original sexual humiliation, was "funny" in the eyes of others.

I didn't react much, but I didn't speak to the colleague again that day, and he apologized to me until before the end of the day.

Photo by Hannah Popowski on Unsplash

Sorry, what happened to the survivors is no joke

Some scholars pointed out that the gradual "normalization" of sexual harassment is related to long-term "social indifference", and social indifference is caused by the packaging of "jokes", when the society continues to believe that "this is just a joke", it will gradually become indifferent to sexual harassment incidents, prompting the perpetrators to become more serious.

(Extended reading: Sexual harassment has become a daily joke: scholars expose "social indifference" is the most terrible, adhere to zero tolerance to effectively put an end to it!)

We may not be able to change the perpetrators of crimes who have already committed crimes, but we can remind those around us on a daily basis to strengthen the gender awareness of society.

Later, the colleague told me that after much thought, he realized that this incident could not be taken as a joke, that such behavior was very humiliating and offensive, and that he should not treat the experience of others as a joke.

What do we see from this story?

Gender awareness can be learned and built from everyday life, as long as you are willing to empathize with everyone around you, learn to put yourself in your shoes, and distinguish "what can't be done" is not difficult at all.

In the face of sexual provocation, we can do this

1. Reinforce gender awareness from everyday life
2. Respect bodily autonomy and review your daily words and actions
3. Stop asking survivors to protect themselves

Understanding physical boundaries is a task for everyone, and we should be more proactive in examining daily violations packaged as "jokes" and "overtures" rather than shifting the blame to the party who is harassed and harmed.

Whether it is to friends around us or to ourselves, we should always remind that any "good intentions" should not make people feel uncomfortable, no matter how close the relationship is, we have an obligation to guard each other's physical boundaries.