A question that has been frequently posed across social media recently gives a deep insight into how the world works:
“What if there were no men on Earth for 24 hours?”
Twitter user Marcus Occhialini posted this exact question on Sunday and received a flurry of responses.
Some had an edge of humour or sarcasm:
“It'd be like paradise”, “Women would straighten this shit out”, “Have a party”, “I might not even notice”, “I wouldn’t have to see Trump’s tweets for 24 hours”.
But in fact, most of the answers clearly showed the darker side of things – highlighting the casual misogyny and fear people who identify as women face on a daily basis.
(FYI, in a similar Twitter post on this question for 2018, ‘feminist next door’ clarified that “No men are being harmed in the creation of this hypothetical. They will all return. They are safe and happy wherever they are during this hypothetical time period.”)
The trend to ask the question about men disappearing from earth for 24 seems to have been re-popularized initially in the last few weeks on TikTok, where users created videos with the caption asking what women would do without men.
Women commented that they would go on walks alone at night without fearing for their safety, wear whatever they want, and be more confident on social media.
In a world without any men, another said she would, “Dance around town at 3am without fearing for my life”. Or, “Have a massive picnic with my girls and sleep under the stars”.
The list goes on:
- "Wear revealing clothes without being told it’s my fault for being touched when I don’t want to be"
- "Be more trusting"
- "Go outside with my girlfriend without acting like friends"
- "Wear no makeup"
- "Party and have a good time without being exceptionally paranoid the whole time"
While some men were dissatisfied with responses, saying the question 'blames men for every problem in the world', others have responded to the posed question calling it both 'painful to see' and 'heartbreaking'.
“It makes me mad and sad that women have to fear doing all these things because some idiots thought that it’s a great idea to harass women,” one person commented. “We as men need to do better,” another added.
It is no secret that certain problems arise from identifying as a woman in a world that includes men. From violence in the form of domestic or sexual assault, to more embedded forms of sexism like gender stereotyping, pay gap or ignored domestic labour.
But while many of the answers to this question seem quite bleak, it's a step in the right direction to talk about the answers that arise from it.