Yesterday I was walking through the crunchy snow remains, trying to avoid falling down on slippery spots, and listening to “My Favorite Murder”- as one does on a Thursday. They started talking about things that had happened to them in the past that could have landed them in a position to be kidnapped and murdered. Eventually, the subject morphed into how ridiculous it is sometimes to be a woman in this world. As I was listening I started to think of similar situations I’ve been in, and it struck me how normal those things seem to me. A few months ago when the whole “me too” thing was going viral I posted it on my facebook because it seemed like a worthy reason and honestly, at the time, didn’t feel like it was that big of a deal. As a female, I considered it normal to have been grabbed or cornered in a bar or at a party. I’ve been held down smack dab in the middle of a party, with people literally sitting right next to me, and nobody made a move to stop it. I’ve had people crawl into bed with me after a night of drinking while I was trying to sleep it off and try to have sex because I was drunk and vulnerable. Men are stronger than women as a general rule, and there’s only so much I can do to prepare myself for those situations. I started boxing, got stronger..then started meeting guys that were boxers and exponentially stronger than me. Training kickboxing and jiu-jitsu is liberating to a degree- it definitely makes me feel more prepared for daily life and better equipped to defend myself against someone on the street that doesn’t know what they’re doing. However; those sports have weight classes in competition for a reason. A girl that weights under 120lbs that knows how to fight isn’t going to be a match for a guy that’s 180lbs and knows how to fight.
I hope the things and the men I’ve come across aren’t actually the norm. I’d like to think that one day women won’t walk to their cars with their keys between their fingers, or feel like they need pepper spray to walk their dog. I hope eventually a man walking towards her at night won’t make her heart start beating faster and her stomach drop when she realizes there’s nobody else around. I have a younger sister and I pray she has never had to hold her drink with her hand over the top at a party so nobody can drop something in it or discovers the panic you feel when you’re alone with a guy that can’t control his strength. Despite the less than spectacular circumstances I’ve found myself in over the years, I still acknowledge that I’m one of the lucky ones that was never really hurt in those scenarios. I’ve accumulated bruises, some trust issues and a few aggressive personality traits, but those are all things I can live with.
I’m truly interested in how these things are still so prominent when I see what are (supposedly) such nice guys on a regular basis. Is it something that just comes out unexpectedly for men? Are the fears planted in women’s heads a product of media hype and outlier stories?
I know this is a rambling post- but I feel like nobody talks about these things because they’re embarrassed that they were “stupid enough” to end up in those positions in the first place..but to reach a solution it has to be discussed and trouble shooted.