Sunday, September 11, 2005

Are you afraid to walk alone at night?

Perhaps the answer of this question depends on your gender.

The Male privilege checklist suggests it is.

Ari and I were discussing this at work today (yes working really hard as per usual).

He's never afraid (and I know he's not exactly the macho type who would worry about saying if he was).

I am! While it doesn't generally stop me from going out, or walking by myself at night it does make me feel uneasy when I am out by myself. I have created two blanky style ways to help though: being on the phone, and holding the keys in between my fingers (you want a key shoved in your eye?).


tugboatcaptain said...

"a key shoved in your eye?"

my version is:
"I am a praying mantis warrior, you can't fxxk with me"

kristy said...

shouldn't that be ex praying mantis warrior? :P

Does that mean you are scared at night?

-A. said...

Hey Kristy,

It's non-macho Ari here.

One point worth adding from the discussion we were having on Sunday: your likelihood of being victim is often dependent on your actions and body language.

In the case of male victims, violent people and gangs are only interested in taking on those who seem to threaten them or impose on their turf. If you walk along with your chest pumped like you're itching for a fight, then there's a fair chance you'll find it. If you walk in a non-threatening way but with a bit of confidence, you are likely to be left alone.

As for females, it's a bit trickier. I think Kristy was on the right track with her keys-in-the-hand suggestion. Here victims (of sexual assault/rape) are just as likely to be chosen if they are passive as if they are confident, and deliberate attempts to stay off the turf of the offender counts for little. Instead, be like the scouts and Be Prepared. Carry a big set of keys with you. Another idea I think works is to be talking on your mobile phone (even if only a 'fake' conversation) so that any potential offenders think that there will be someone else - the person on the other end of the call - who knows what's going on and hence will make detection of the offender much easier.

Still, in allocating blame for these attacks, there is never an excuse to blame the victim, and I'm not attempting to do that. It can be useful, though, for potential victims to know of ways to make themselves less of a target.

kristy said...

Ari, hope you don't mind the description. :-)

The other major enpowerment tool is self defense(like Mr T kind of suggested). Learning a martial art is one way that women and men (who might be scared) can feel that at least they have some tool in case they are attacked.

I would have thought that logically that males who walked in a non threatening way would be more likely to be victims. No one wants to take on someone and be beaten. The school bully for example tends to prey on girls, and boys who are smaller.