Walk Alone

Atrios:

Just adding to the sentiment in the linked post, the major problem with
“advice” for women on how to stay safe from the roving bands of rapists
is that it makes them responsible if something does happen. Sure not
going out at night by yourself in relatively unsafe areas is good
advice, but it also isn’t advice an adult human can follow while also
having a fully functional existence if you live in such an area.
Basically it’s advice which says “you cannot have a normal functioning
adult life and if you do and anything happens to you we warned you!”

I heard this a lot in college, which granted was more than a decade ago now, but it always pissed me off then, too. If I cannot walk alone safely on the streets where I live, at any hour of any day, that isn’t just a problem for me. That’s a problem for everybody, and my staying inside doesn’t solve it. Giving young women a de facto curfew that makes them responsible for their own rapes if they venture out past it does nothing to solve the problem of rape, and all it does is make girls paranoid and thus less free to do what they want, which plays right into patriarchal hands.

To this day I get grief from older male acquaintances who want to walk or drive me home from work at night, and act as though I’m playing Russian Roulette if I refuse them. Simply existing as a woman in this world should not be viewed as a risk behavior. Sensible precautions I understand, I mean, I’m a big girl and I lock my doors at night. But you do get to a point where you have to take some kind of risk in walking outside your four walls and having people act as though that’s unconscionably cavalier is NOT HELPING.

A.

9 thoughts on “Walk Alone

  1. pansypoo says:

    maybe if the penalties for rape were harder. but they don’t only happen at night, in an alley. some actually happen in daylight. heck, i read a CA real estate agent was beat up + raped. so, real estate agents need body guards now? how about you guys behave.

  2. Elspeth R says:

    When guys have a wave of ‘must control the ‘weaker’ sex’ to feel good about themselves or feel in control of their lives, they should immediately put a glass cola bottle in their rectum and try to go about their day. That would end that behavior pretty soon.
    I have EVERY right to be able to walk around my city w/o fear. F*ck the motherf*ckers that say it’s the female’s fault for being raped!!! Rape isn’t about sex, it’s about the illusion of control. Y’know, when my shit goes wonky and I feel out of whack and that nothing is w/in my ‘control’ – I don’t need to go rape some guy, or even kick a frog.
    Yes, MUCH HARSHER PENALTIES for rapists!!!

  3. Dan says:

    Sorry for the threadjacking, A, butwords fail. They fail me anyway. You seem to usually have a few to spare for the subject.

  4. hoppy says:

    I’m 100% with A on this one. But, I see the same thing when people tell me it isn’t safe to walk at night in “that” neighborhood. I even got a polling organization phone me with questions about if I felt safe out at night where I live. When I insisted that I do, and that’s true, the pollster simply kept repeating the question in different forms. This was a “poll” aimed at getting support for more police officers in the city, since we all feel so endangered that we need police in sight at all times. Well, I ended the polling call by letting that person know that I would feel much less safe with more rampaging police around, and that’s true too. If I felt unsafe out at night where I live, I would move.

  5. MapleStreet says:

    Of course, a pistol stops those of the male persuasion just as good as those of the female persuasion. But we males have to be macho and escort a lone female.
    Shamefully, we’re all potential victims.

  6. Dorothy says:

    And who said we could trust the man who offered to walk us home?

  7. Some women can’t trust the man they share a home with. Some can’t trust their own family.

  8. The Other Sarah says:

    No such thing as dangerous weapons. Dangerous people, on the other hand … be proactive in your own defense. If you insist on wearing heels you can’t run in, learn to use them as weapons. You drive the point through the top of somebody’s foot, they can’t chase you. Your shoe sticks there, kick the other one off and run like hell.

  9. BlakNo1 says:

    This isn’t only confined to women. Years ago,I was mugged at 3AM in a so-called ‘nice’ neighborhood in Cambridge and was given much grief for having the gall to walk around at that late hour.
    I was working 3rd shift at the time. I was bored. This was 1990, no internet. At least they didn’t take my weed.

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