I’ve seen a lot of posts lately contrasting the numerous steps women take to keep themselves safe to the “non-steps” men take. So for example, women always taking pepper spray, avoiding dark alleyways, refusing to leave their drinks unattended. Men, the follow up thought goes, do nothing. And honestly, some of it hits home. I mean, tonight I bucked up for an Uber to the event I was attending because I don’t feel comfortable on the bus after dark. I also chose not to take my van because I fear parking garages late at night. I talked on the phone to a friend for the brief walk from where I got dropped off to inside my apartment.
So yes, the fear is real and a legitimate thing. But I still struggle with these posts. It takes a moral high ground that doesn’t really…exist. Not all women spend every moment thinking about how to not get attacked. And certainly not all men behave as if safety means nothing. Not all men go about attacking women!
Maybe awareness is something we need more of and if so, great. Guess what? I, a single woman, am often mindful of my safety and take perhaps extreme steps to keep myself safe. But that’s life. That doesn’t make me a victim. That doesn’t mean I need to demand some redress of wrongs. It means we live in a broken world and sometimes navigating that world means taking steps to be safe.
So be safe. Share tips for being safe. But don’t make this a Her against Him thing. That accomplishes nothing. Make this a partnership to talk about how we watch out for one another. That will accomplish far more than resentment against men for not worrying about parking garages at night.