The past two weeks there has been a lot of commotion around a certain presidential candidate talking about sexually assaulting women and brushing it off as locker room talk. There were no real apologies, just lame excuses. It saddens me that someone running for president acts this way, and can get away with it. But what disgusts me even more, is that he’s not a one-off case. On a daily basis, men (and women) commit the same acts and use the same lame excuses.
This week started with #jegtrordeg (Jeg Tror Deg, Norwegian for ‘I Believe You’) trending pretty much everywhere in Norway. People were holding protests all over the country, including right next to my apartment in Oslo, after a young woman’s three rapists were found not guilty in court. I’m sad that three guys who drugged and raped a young girl are still walking around freely, but I’m also happy that people are using this hashtag to ask for justice and support rape victims. No one should go through this alone.
Unfortunately, when checking social media in the evening, I discovered a different type of narrative as well. The hashtag had started spreading messages of hate, victim-blaming, and slut-shaming as well. “Why does everyone always assume the guys are lying?”, “Girls just don’t want to take responsibility for their actions”, “#notallmen”, “They behave like sluts and then they blame the men”, “If I leave my door unlocked I shouldn’t be surprised to get my stuff stolen”, etc.