United States is one of the most dangerous countries for women

My sister Rebecca and my bestie also named Rebecca recommended I watch The Handmaid's Tale. I had tried to watch the show when it first came out, but I wasn't into it because I found it really bleak and violent.

Well, now that the news is a daily record of how minority and women's rights seem to be eroding, I've become obsessed with the show, wondering how soon we're going to enter a world where men control women's bodies and autonomy.

And if anyone says I'm paranoid, a new study from Thomson Reuters that tracks women's issues said that the United States was the tenth worst country for women. India was named the first because of the rampant rape and sexual slavery there, and anyone who follows what's going on in that country has probably heard about the numerous public sexual assaults that rarely get prosecuted.

The other countries on Thomson Reuters' list had extreme examples of violence and mistreatment of women, but the US made the list because of the formerly unchecked sexual harassment and misconduct that the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement exposed. In the US, sexual misconduct towards women was more underhanded than say a brutal gangrape on a bus in Delhi, but the system still allowed men like Brock Turner to commit violence with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. 

"People want to think income means you're protected from misogyny, and sadly that's not the case," said Cindy Southworth, executive vice president of the Washington-based National Network to End Domestic Violence. "We are going to look back and see this as a very powerful tipping point ... We're blowing the lid off and saying '#Metoo and Time's Up'."

The takedown of powerful men happened after Harvey Weinstein was outed in October 2017 by the New York Times as an alleged serial abuser, but even before Harvey, we as a nation were seeing what happened when we were complicit by looking the other way when gross behavior was on display. Being complicit led to Harvey Weinstein, and Bill Cosby, and Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. And numerous other men that felt they were entitled to women's bodies just because women existed. While some argue that exchanging sexual favors with a powerful man is a consensual act and not a crime, many of the men who have been reported have a pattern with women that increasingly grows violent in nature.

The United States is a great place to live, but there is still misogyny that can create a hostile environment for women, at work, at home, and in public. Women who walk down the street do not consent to getting catcalled. Women who show up to work aren't consenting to being hit on by their boss. Women who go to school aren't consenting to shoulder rubs from their creepy professor. But until we all start having talks about consent women are going to have to keep fighting back.

And we're going to fight like hell before we inch any closer to The Handmaid's Tale. Which the two Rebeccas in my life were right about. It's a damn good show.

  1. India
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Syria
  4. Somalia
  5. Saudi Arabia
  6. Pakistan
  7. Congo
  8. Yemen
  9. Nigeria
  10. United States