I wrote this a while ago after walking home from studying. I was afraid because it was dark and nearly 2 am, and I was angry that I have been taught to be afraid while men are not taught to just be decent.
Reflections on walking home from a late night of studying.
To men who truly do not believe that there is inequality between men and women, or that there is a need for feminism, a few points:
- When you started college, no one gave you pepper spray, instructed you how to use it, and told you to carry it everywhere, with not just the assumption, but the expectation, that at some point in your collegiate career someone larger and stronger would attempt to take advantage of you.
- At your first college after-party, no one got too handsy with you. And afterward, your roommate did not give you a knife and literally instruct you to cut the next person that tried to mess with you.
- You do not keep said knife hidden in your bedroom.
- When your father gave you your first car, it did not come equipped with a stick with a duct-tape grip, that you know is for dogs but also people too.
- When you’re walking the few yards from your parked car to your apartment late at night, you do not feel the need to carry the stick with you. You do not speed up your walk. Your heart does not accelerate. You are not hyper-aware of anyone coming up behind you.
- You do not worry that you would be blamed for anything that might happen to you. That you will be judged for your skirt, for your tights, for being out so late in the first place, for not being aware of your surroundings.
- You are the surroundings. And while we have been taught how to protect ourselves from you, no one taught you what simply not to do. You walk easy in the knowledge that the most threatening thing out there is you.