I’m not bashing men. I’m just saying that they haven’t got a clue when it comes to fear. The moment I step outside of my home, I’m afraid. Heck, sometimes even inside my home I’m afraid. What am I afraid of? Nothing specific has happened to me. But, I mean, have you seen the news?
At any moment, I could fall victim to a crime. Women get preyed upon more than men. Sure, men get jumped, but not as often as a woman gets robbed, murdered or worse, raped.
A woman can’t even go into a public restroom alone without fearing for her personal safety. That thought probably never even crosses a man’s mind. Sometimes I wish I had that Point of View Gun from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so men could understand what it’s like to always have this fear stuck in your psyche.
This is why I don’t need to seek thrills through jumping out of airplanes or trying to climb mountains. Just leaving the house raises my adrenaline level enough. I don’t need added stress to have “fun”.
So when I freak out about going some place alone, fear of being murdered, mugged or worse, raped, is always in my brain. I’m not being irrational. I’m trying to protect myself, so don’t judge me or any other woman since you don’t understand what it’s like to fear that way.
At first I was just going to let this one go… but, you know…
First of all, where are you getting your statistics about “women getting more preyed upon than men?” Because every statistic I have ever seen says the opposite is true and MEN are most likely to experience violent crime. Yes, women are more prone to sexual assault than men if you were to divide that out from the total numbers, but even sexual assault is not something exclusive to women. The simple truth is that ANYBODY could fall victim to violent crime at any minute. And if you think men are safer in a public restroom than women, I’d also like to see those statistics, because I have a hard time believing it.
I have been held up at knife-point twice. I have been held up at gun-point once. I wish that I had a “Point of View Gun” that I could use on you so that you could know what the experience of ACTUALLY EXPERIENCING A VIOLENT CRIME is like. Because, I assure you, at no point during those points in my life did I think “boy, I’m glad I’m not a woman or the odds of this happening to me are much worse.” And if you think these “experiences” have not led to me feeling fear whenever I step out into the world just because I’m a man… then I have news for you. Yes, men can know what it’s like to feel fear of violent crime, so painting this as an exclusively female experience that men can’t relate to is just plain wrong. Maybe women experience fear differently or something… you’re right, how would I know that?… but making the definitive declaration that “Men just don’t get it” is exactly the kind of judgement that you’re asking us not to make of you.
So, no, I’m not going to judge you when you freak out out about going some place alone. As somebody who has been a victim to more than their share of violent crime, I’ve been there.
My question to you is, did you have that fear before those horrible things happened to you? I know awful crimes are committed against both men and women all the time. My point is that most women don’t have to experience violence or crime first hand to be afraid of it.
Too many times I have been scoffed at by men because I was afraid to go somewhere alone. They don’t get why I’m afraid during the day. “There are other people around!” Um yeah…that pretty much doesn’t matter. Being afraid at night seems to be logical, but it really isn’t. Bad things happen at all hours of the day. I really wish I wasn’t afraid, but I am.
Maybe I watch the news too much. I try not to because it’s pretty much the scariest thing on TV. I think I remember reading somewhere that statistically, you’re more likely to be harmed by someone you know anyway. I should probably be more afraid of the people I know, but hopefully, I’m smart about picking out friends and acquaintances. It’s the random strangers who cross my path that I can’t control.
Before I was held up? Sure. I travel around the world to all kinds of places where I don’t know the city… don’t know the people… don’t know the language… don’t have friends… and am all alone. Of course I’m afraid of what might happen when I go out alone. But if my choices are to stay home safe in bed… or face my fear and see the world… I choose door number 2. I use my fear to keep me from doing something truly dangerous or stupid, but I don’t let it control my life (though I have been skydiving, shark diving, bungee jumping, and zip-lining… all of which are less stressful than riding public transport in a big city after dark).
But that’s just me. As I said, every PERSON… man or woman… deals with fear differently, and there’s no reason to judge somebody for how they manage theirs. I certainly wouldn’t judge you. I just take issue with the idea that men can’t relate to that feeling and are completely clueless as to what it’s like to be afraid of what you might face every time you walk out the door. The fact that I’ve had a gun pointed at me only proves MY fears can be justified, so I can totally relate… and that has nothing to do with my gender.
This is why we can’t have nice things…