Health

Will naming and shaming curb violence against women?

How putting offending men in the hot seat may ensure their actions are taken more seriously.

Sikh School children holding placards during their protest against the brutal rape of a five-year-old girl at Jantar Mantar on April 23, 2013 in New Delhi, India

Sikh School children holding placards during their protest against the brutal rape of a five-year-old girl at Jantar Mantar on April 23, 2013 in New Delhi, India. The incident enraged people, who took to the streets to protest against alleged laxity of police in this case. (Photo by Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Five-year-old girl raped in New Delhi”.

Another headline like that and I think I will take Mars One founder Bas Lansdorp up on the one-way ticket to Mars offered a few weeks back.

I think half of the human population (women) would be interested in making the journey, too. Who could blame us for wanting to find a more hospitable environment than Earth, where a missing five-year-old goes unacknowledged by police until it’s too late and a young woman can’t even hop on public transit after dusk safely.

From the saga of Rehtaeh Parsons, to Steubenville, to what feels like a litany of daily depravity coming out of New Delhi — things have gotten so bad that it’s hard not to think that sexual predators have some kind of unspoken moral limbo competition going on, a ‘how-low-can-you-go’ type contest.

If all these grisly stories weren’t enough, women are additionally burdened by a world that all-too-often sees us as both victim and provocateur — call it a perverse twist on the Madonna/whore dichotomy — and wants to talk about what she was wearing, what she was drinking, the colour of her hair. Call me crazy but I think it’s safe to assume the five-year-old in India wasn’t sporting a micro-mini.

It’s time we shifted the focus away from the length of women’s skirts to where it more properly belongs — to the length and breadth and depth of the male mind. Women — good women — have brought about tremendous change over several generations, working hard to achieve gender parity in the eyes of the law and society.

Men — good men — should give their sex a wholesale seismic shake and start doing a little naming and shaming among their own. They might just do some good. And the women of Earth will thank them for it.