The hashtag Curfew For Men started trending in the UK following Sarah Everard's disappearance earlier this month.
Sarah was 33 when she went missing. She was on her way home from her friend's home. A week after, the police found her body. A serving Met Police officer remains in custody, having been held on suspicion of kidnap and murder.
Soon after her disappearance, many suggested that women should not go outside alone in the evening. Some asked why didn't she call a cab? But the simple and sad truth is that late Sarah did nothing out of the ordinary.
Her death has nothing to do with her actions that night and everything to do with the person who made her disappear.
That's how #CurfewForMen started trending.
The disappearance that shook the nation and the aftermath
While people in the UK and worldwide looked in disbelief, certain people started a hashtag Not All Men. Well, that didn't sit right, and the Twitter war was on.
Women replied with #TooManyMen. And finally, after Sarah's body was found, and the authorities suggested women should have to stay at home after dark to protect themselves, women made a case for themselves.
Why not keep men inside? That's how #CurfewForMen started trending. It goes against victim-blaming since many thought that Sarah was acting irresponsibly. No, she was going home, taking a 50-minute walk. She did what many of us do each night: went for some fresh air, and that should not have costed her life.
Curfew For Women isn't even a new idea
As one Twitter user pointed out, this isn't the first time some suggest curfew for women:
"#CurfewForMen seems like such an out-there idea until you remember they literally had a curfew for women when the Yorkshire Ripper was active. Why not take away the problem rather than punishing the victims."
"Obviously not saying there should be a curfew for men, but it does make you think why we always punish the ones being victimized to protect them rather than punishing the people who commit these crimes."
In defense of reversed roles, one woman suggested:
"If you're a man who's outraged over #CurfewForMen, imagine how women feel whenever they get told to cover up, police their wardrobe, and told to not go out at night as though the behavior of predatory men is their issue to fix."
Another woman tweeted:
"Girls walking alone at night aren't the problem. Girls walking with headphones in aren't the problem. Girls walking down dark streets aren't the problem. Girls in revealing clothes aren't the problem. We should not be the ones who have to change behavior. #CurfewForMen"
Many made great points:
"I see a call for #CurfewForMen has sparked instant outrage. Thus proving the point. Where was this outrage over decades women have essentially been told to stay at home, don't go out on their own because of male violence? Not a murmur. Accepted as reasonable."
This person was more straightforward:
"People getting angry at #CurfewForMen is really funny because how are they walking headfirst into the point and still missing it."
Many men joined:
"So #CurfewForMen caused outrage amongst a load of men, But telling women to stay home for safety didn't And that's the problem, isn't it?"
What's the solution?
Politicians and even members of the Royal Family joined to help Sarah's family and see what to do to make women safer.
First Minister Mark Drakeford in Wales said he would consider introducing curfews for men. That's not permanent, but a temporary solution, he added.
Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb suggested a 6 pm curfew for men.
Baroness Jones said:
"In the week that Sarah Everard was abducted and, we suppose, killed—because remains have been found in a woodland in Kent — I argue that, at the next opportunity for any Bill that is appropriate, I might put in an amendment to create a curfew for men on the streets after 6 pm."
"I feel this would make women a lot safer, and discrimination of all kinds would be lessened."
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, joined the mourners and simply stated how unsafe she felt during her 20s while walking London's streets. Duchess Camilla didn't make a public comment yet. But, she lost a dear friend in a case that included domestic violence.
We hope and pray that Sarah Everard will find her peace. Her untimely death brought many questions, but it also gave the whole country and beyond a reminder to do some soul-searching.