This International Women's Day it's time for the men of the U.S. and France to step up to the plate and smear on the red lipstick. I'm serious. Dating app Happn, the app that connects you to people you've crossed paths with, has teamed up with the Mettez du Rouge movement to take a stand against sexual violence. So if you know of any dudes wanting to show their support this Wednesday but not sure where to begin, here you are.
"The mission of Mettez du Rouge, aka 'Put Your Red On,' is to include men in the discussion when it comes to violence against women. Simply put, women’s rights are human's rights — so we believe that the other half of humanity should be involved in the cause," Claire Certain, Happn’s International Director of Communications tells Bustle. "'Put Your Red On' is a movement, not a fight. It aims to raise awareness for the victims of sexual assault and violence every day towards women, by giving men the opportunity to show their concerns. Red lipstick is a universal 'feminine' symbol worldwide, and something you would definitely notice on a man. The call to action is also easy and immediate – taking a selfie only takes few seconds to show your support."
"This year’s campaign is grounded in the frightening statistic that there are over 293,000 cases of sexual assault against women reported in the U.S. every year"
It's about time we're giving the epidemic of sexual violence the attention it deserves. Sexual assault is out of control in this country. "This year’s campaign is grounded in the frightening statistic that there are over 293,000 cases of sexual assault against women reported in the U.S. every year," a Happn press release explains. "That amounts to approximately 802 incidents of sexual violence each and every day — or once every 98 seconds."
The statics are frightening, but we need to be aware of them. That's why Happn will be updating on March 8 so that users in France, Canada, and the U.S. will see a pop-up announcing the campaign, but also profiles of men with red lipstick that will give information about the campaign and sexual violence statistics to raise awareness among users. It needs to change, so Happn putting it right there for users to see is a good first step. And it's nice to see a campaign targeted at men that also shines a light on the horrifying prevalence of sexual assault.
So what can you or the men in your life do to get involved? Well Happn wants male users to update their profile picture to one of them in red lipstick and/or to share a picture of them in red lipstick on social media. There will also be a 'See You There' feature on the app for those looking to meet up and celebrate in real life. In fact, if you're NYC based you can join Happn at Felix Restaurant in located at 340 West Broadway for a meet up.
Make sure to spread the word, because having more men and allies involved in International Women's Day is so important— and having men stand up against sexual assault is always so heartening. Let's make this year a big one.