We are getting much better at denouncing sexual harassment, rape culture, and overall misogyny.
Decades ago, women’s lives were comparatively worse. Back then, if a woman was groped, people turned a blind eye. If she spoke out about her traumatic experience, people would overlook it. And even if it was a rare case that became popular, it would be downplayed.
Nowadays, that is not the case at all. Ignited by the #MeToo movement, females worldwide have begun gaining the courage to speak out.
In London, England, female high school students made it their top priority to call out rape culture by sharing thousands of stories (11,500 and counting) about rape, verbal harassment, and sexism on a new online platform called Everyone’s Invited.
(22 year-old Soma Sara, founder of Everyone’s Invited) (School Abuse)
“This is a real problem,” decried Soma Sara, the 22-year-old Londoner who founded Everyone’s Invited. To her, “Rape culture is real.”
On the website, schoolgirls share stories of coersion, unwanted touching, and verbal harassment. While everyone’s names are anonymous, the school the children attend is documented highlighting how this is a problem in not only public schools but prestigious schools.
The platform and movement ignited after the murder of Londoner, Sarah Everand, who was kidnapped on the street. But many experts say how the conversation about sexism is long overdue. According to Aisha K. Gill, a professor of criminology at the University of Roehampton in London, this “tsunami of disclosures'' highlighted the need for change and accountability.
Echoing these sentiments, Soma Sara voiced how people didn’t care enough; how there was a “toxic culture of shame, silencing, and victim blaming.”
While the sheer number of testimonies of sexual harassment is the most imminent problem, the underlying issue is how people don’t care enough about it and think acts of sexual harassment are anomalies.
“We need a better inspection regime… we need the government to actually be collecting data - they’re not actually collecting this data anywhere,” Jess Philips, a lawmaker from the Labour Party, told the BBC.
Schools have also been forced to pick up the blame by the public. While Dr. Gill agrees that schools have not done enough, she understands how it’s hard for schools to combat this. “How do they [schools] teach respect?”, asks Dr. Gill.
While the problem is complex, it is the individual's choice to be empathetic or not; be the cause or the solution. People must be held accountable, and Soma Sara’s Everyone’s Invited platform is taking a step closer at creating a more equitable society.
AFP, French Press Agency-. “Website Founder Exposes UK’s ‘Rape Culture’, Calls for Action.”
Daily Sabah, 3 Apr. 2021,
“School Abuse: ‘Raped Schoolgirl Ignored by Teachers.’” BBC News, 30 Mar. 2021. www.bbc.com,
Specia, Megan. “Women Are Calling Out ‘Rape Culture’ in U.K. Schools.” The New York Times, 1
Apr. 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/01/world/europe/schools-uk-rape-culture.html.