Andrea Farrington was at work when a security guard she previously turned down for a date shot her three times. She was days away from turning 21 years old.
Janese Talton-Jackson was walking home from a bar when she was shot in the chest by a stranger who was angered that she turned down his advances. Caroline Nosal filed a harassment complaint against a coworker. He later fatally shot her in the head, according to mic.com.
Although these stories are worst-case scenarios, there are countless women who are harassed by men who feel entitled to their time and bodies. There are countless women who are afraid to reject men because they cannot predict how they will react. Men need to acknowledge their inherent entitlement and work toward ending attacks on women.
The elusive “friendzone”—or as women call it, friendship—is a ploy to guilt a woman into relationships they do not want. Typically, a man who refers to himself as “in the friendzone” is essentially saying that he only values the friendship if he is able to build a romantic relationship from it.
For women, however, it appears as a betrayal. To build a friendship with a man just to find out that he was simply biding time is a betrayal, but it also goes much deeper than that. Men’s entitlement to women is the leading factor in many crimes against women.
Most rapes—approximately 47 percent—are committed by an acquaintance, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Thus, when a woman rejects a man, she must calculate the risk.
A woman is not necessarily raped because she was wearing too little clothing or had too much to drink. She is not raped because she leads him on. She is raped because a man felt entitled to her body.
20 percent of women will be a victim of rape in the United States, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Of the 47 percent of rapes by an acquaintance, 45 percent of rapes against women were committed by an intimate partner.
A relationship does not guarantee consent for sex. Male entitlement does not guarantee consent. Every sexual encounter requires consent.
A relationship does not allow men to abandon basic respect toward a woman. 61 percent of female stalking cases are committed by an intimate partner, according to the NCADV. When a woman walks down the street, every noise can be seen a potential attacker; when one in five women have been raped, staying suspicious and alert is key to survival.
Social cues become an important part of respecting a woman’s space. Men need to stop cowering women into corners and practically forcing them into conversations. That is entitlement.
Harassing a woman until she feels forced into conversation or a date is entitlement. Men need to give women the most basic level of respect.
For a man, the basic level of respect he can show a woman is to respect her decisions, whether they are in his interest or not.
A woman should be able to turn down a man without fear of repercussions, as shown by recent events. Women do not owe men anything. They do not owe them sex or a relationship or even a smile.
At best, men’s sense of entitlement toward a woman is a nuisance. At worst, it can lead to rape and murder.