AFTER a year of eerie emptiness, Glasgow's West End is full of freshers everywhere.

It's heartbreaking and joyous to overhear snatches of conversation. Young people giving directions towards the university campus; pairs and trios of new acquaintances trying each other out to see who fits.

I was driving into the city at midnight last night and the streets were still busy, kids mingling under streetlamps.

On the way back, at 1am, it was emptier and a lot darker. My headlamps caught a form spinning in to the road.

A young woman, a little tipsy, picking something up that she had dropped.

She snatched it up and returned to walking on the pavement. Young, alone, well refreshed, the early hours. What do you do?

You want her to have fun, to feel free... and to be safe. The instinct is to screech the brakes, roll down the window and then what? Ask if she's ok?

Tell her you're scared for her safety? Tell her to watch out? Frighten her, make her smaller, make her feel any negative consequence is her fault for not modifying her behaviour?

The Met police would say she's fine, she can just wave a bus down if there's any trouble.

North Yorkshire police commissioner Philip Allott would have told her to make sure she “just learn a bit about that legal process” and be "a bit streetwise", but presumably after his resignation he's going to cease any suggestions.

I wouldn't be telling her anything new. All children are taught about stranger danger but early on the messaging splits and for girls it becomes about self preservation amid pervasive male violence and misogyny.

The instructions are fearful and unlimited. Don't go here, don't wear that, keep your keys in your hand, let someone know where you're going. If something goes wrong, it's your fault.

I would also be a hypocrite. I love walking home at night and going running at night.

These are my streets and I refuse to be intimidated into not using them as I want and when I want, but I know that's a foolish minority strategy.

Boys are not intimidated into relentless daily strategising. Imagine they were. Every time a woman's attack was in the news, a police commissioner might appear and tell men to ensure they stay at home after dark so as not to frighten women walking on the streets.

When you leave a nightclub, young man, be sure to phone a friend and let them know where you are so your movements and behaviour is modified and monitored.

Lads, keep your keys in your hand so the jagged metal serves as a reminder not to rape anyone on your way home.

Make sure someone else knows where you will be and when you'll be home. If you're late, they'll worry you've been distracted by carrying out sexual harassment and they'll check on you, keep you out of trouble.

Carry an alarm in your back pocket and if you feel like a sexual predator then set it off to alert women to stay away from you.

Of course we don't do this because men aren't used to being told what to do. Women are.

Women are constantly told to be kind, be accommodating, move over, share, de-escalate. Smile, love.

It's easier to make suggestions for women to modify themselves, to scrunch themselves a little tighter and take up less space to allow the looming, stretching presence of men.

Men are the problem women have to do the work to solve. At a structural level: we form charities in order to tackle male violence against us, we set up refuges and support services. At a personal level we're expected to keep our own men in check.

During children's panel training 10 years ago I remember being told that the majority of troubled young men sort themselves out by the age of 25 when they meet a nice girl who helps soothe them and settle them down.

In court, week after week and twice today, defence solicitors reassure sheriffs with the fact their clients have a good woman at home who will straighten them out.

Clueless politicians show clunking ignorance on the issue - Dominic Raab, say, stating misogyny can be "a woman against a man" - and there we go, having to explain and set right. So much explaining, all the time.

It is not the responsibility of women to sort men out but, of course, it is.

It's bloody tiresome.

So what sweet relief to see the new Police Scotland campaign #DontBeThatGuy. Public messaging that asks men to look themselves in the eye and recognise that they are part of a structural system that harms women.

And that messaging is unflinching.

If you have cat called a woman and made her uncomfortable, you are that guy. If you've stood by and let friends make sexist comments about women, you're that guy.

If you've pushed a woman into doing things that make her uncomfortable or gotten her drunk to lower her inhibitions, you're that guy.

Stop expecting women to clean up the mess. Sort it out among yourselves.

Be the sharp jab in the ribs that tells your mate to shut up. Walk home an inebriated friend who's itching for trouble. Check your pals are home after a night out. Respect women's boundaries.

We don't need new apps to support women's safety - we need men to step up and look honestly at themselves and each other.

Importantly, don't be affronted and go along the time sapping route of whinging about "not all men" being a problem.

Even if you don't view yourself as a problem, are you working on making a difference to fight the continuum of harassment and aggressive women face every day? If you're passive, you're part of the problem.

It's such a relentless double punch, to be subjected to male harassment and violence and have to develop mitigations against it.

It's such a relentless burden and so very overdue, the idea we might meaningfully hand it over.

Here, take it. If you don't willingly have your hands out then you're that guy. Don't be.