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Telling women not to do things because "it's not safe" is a big pet peeve of mine. I am aware that there are real dangers out in the world for men AND women but this attitude smacks of benevolent paternalism.

I spent most of my high school career slipping out of my window and wandering my hometown(a midsize town in florida)armed with nothing more than a sketchbook and a handful of pencils. The scariest thing that ever happened to me on these jaunts was being chased by a flying cockroach.

I have walked, driven and biked through even the"scariest" parts of town alone and common sense and a little awareness was all it ever took to keep me safe.

I HATE that women are told not to go out on their own, not to go certain places or be about at certain times. Comparing my experiences with all the warnings I've heard over the years has convinced me that it's just one more form of control men exert over women.

I know SO many women who say things like "I'd love to do "blank" but I'm scared to do it by myself". Why do they think this way? Because they've heard this alarmist trope their entire lives. To go out alone, or after dark or to the wrong places is to invite rape or violence. It fosters this horrible idea about the nature of most people and it clips womens wings and their ability to feel like autonomous adults.

Please, for Pete's sake stop telling women they can't do things because it's dangerous because they are women. If you wouldn't caution your son against the same behaviour don't lay that weight on your daughters. Can we please let women be people and stop acting like they're children or invalids simply because they're female?

By OpposingOpposum9
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55 comments

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10

This thread is scarier than anything I face in real life. I do everything by myself and I can't say it ever occurs to me to change what I do based on my sex. If I want to go to a concert, I go. By myself. If I want to go for a hike, I go. By myself. I am a competent adult that does not need a minder.
I have brought up my children to respect people, regardless of their sex. And to take adequate precautions, regardless of their sex. And now my children are competent people that do not need minders. In fact, my daughter drove across the county and is living (by herself) in a place she had never visited, running a political campaign. Sure, bad things can happen - that is always true for EVERYONE. But living your life afraid of doing things? Nah, absolutely not. You only live once!

Well said.

@Blindbir why do you act/attack women who take reasonable precautions, assume they must be craven, huddling indoors (your words). How do you figure they are not out in the world, running, runing programs, traveing, etc etc alone? Just being smart about where they park.....How is that not At Least as offensive as what you claim othe rs are saying?

9

Wait....if men weren’t around to tell you what to do....you mean to say....you’d be...(gasp)...FINE???

?

Moose42 Level 5 Apr 24, 2018

I know, it's shocking.

The people in my life who advised me how to be safe have ALL been women!

@AnneWimsey you know. We aren't friends and I REALLY don't care for your fear mongering.

9

To be frank, women are more likely to be harmed by someone they know. It's usually someone they trust, and the female may even be a defenseless child at the time of the incident.

Telling those women to be careful is not only a slap to the face, but it insinuates that if the had been more cautious, even in dealing with formerly trusted people, that she could have avoided getting hurt.

It undermines the ability to trust other humans and it undermines her ability to move beyond the pain. It may even cause undeserved guilt and shame.

Absolutely correct... most victims of sexual assault / child molesting / violence are within family units or very close circles ... !!

The answer is make sure men who breach this are held to account properly, or imprisoned for longer sentences reflecting the damage they cause. While women are taught to confidently defend and notice these signs in males. You don't have to be physically stronger to put down any man .. just know how ..

@Nickbeee I whole heartedly concur!

There is an agenda, well, many agendas actually, but this is just part of the diluting the power of the human consciousness. Men are being feminised and austerity is forcing women to work. The roles are not defined anymore. The predictive programming has been telling women not to go out alone for decades. The person down the street is not the concern, the fear is to distract us from seeing what is really going on, and it's all at the top, the filth that rule over us. Make no mistake they want us living in a world of debauchery & beastiality. They want paeodphilia legalalised, they want the age of consent lowered. They want us divided, too busy infighting to see where this nightmare is truly leading...Current world status = almost androgynous...(transgenderism,LGBT)...Final status?? Hermaphrodites???

@magichandsdave My bio states clearly that I despise conspiracy theories. You're blocked as of...NOW!
I have no time or patience for such bullshit.

@Donotbelieve yup guys a nutter.

@Blindbird I always am torn. Do I allow idiots to stay so that I may rip them to shreds, or rid them of their ability to spread their stupidity?

I'm calling it maturity, when I choose the latter option.

@Donotbelieve not worth the stress. This thread has been great for weeding out the folks I don't want to deal with.

@magichandsdave that is very interesting but I do not agree.

@DuchessNyx You said it correctly. Thank you.

9

Women can do anything men that is the way I brought my daughters up.

dc65 Level 7 Apr 24, 2018
8

It's just the same ol' victim blaming. "If she hadn't dressed like that/gone there/done that, she wouldn't have gotten hurt." Some reasonable advice is one thing, but when you start shifting responsibility for wrongs onto the victim instead of the responsible party, it crosses into abuse. I hate victim blaming...

8

You're 100% correct @blindbird, and I applaud your strength to circumnavigate the world around you with such confidence. Even as a Humanist, I try not to interfere in anyone's path. With that, there is an exception to my own personal rule; if you are my family or close friend regardless of gender, if I feel they are about to put themselves in harm's way then I WILL state my opinion and my objection. Beyond that, anything that happens after is left to that individuals own fate.

And that is more than fair. As @ArturoS pointed out, infantilizing adults creates people who live in fear, waiting to be victimized and are consequently victimised more often. To really become self sufficient we have to learn what is an acceptable vs. Non acceptable risk.

Women are dissuaded from taking risks, told point blank or led to believe that they are too fragile to attempt it. As a consequence many of us don't learn to care for and protect ourselves. We all know how helicoptor parenting affects children.

The thing is that women have been helicoptered to death for ages. It's mostly just my opinion but I suspect it's where a lot of "difference of the sexes" originates. We let Billy takes risks because we know he needs that for his personal growth but not Betty,she could get hurt!

@Blindbird again, I am in full agreeance. I was raised by a tough as nails, 5' foot tall piece of Kentucky dynamite. My mother has chewed out Marines and bikers and got respect because of it. It of course was because of her upbringing that she fears none and expects respect. Who wouldn't respect a lady on a fourwheeler chasing bears off her property just after the winter thaw? You think I would need to worry about her? Of fucking course I do and I chastise her now 68 year old ass when she pulls this shit. Having a set of imaginary balls bigger than any man won't stop a hungry, 7 foot, 500 pound bear from decimating the only mother I'll ever have. And because I love her I will still air my opinion on this knowing she's still going to do it so she'll still have eggs to go with her bacon and coffee the next morning. The thing is she knows I love and care for her well being and that, at the end of the day, is all that matters.
If people that aren't close to you peeve you by saying these type things....fuck'em! But if they are friends and family it's out of love and caring for your well being....but by all means, blaze your path regardless.

@SinCityHeathen again we are in agreance. To be fair a 6'8 body builder would be in deep shit with that same bear though. Just sayin'.

And yes warnings from those I know care about me are listened to and heeded. My post is more about the general attitude that women are too fragile to take risks in their lives. Treating people as though they're made of glass, unsurprisingly creates people who break easily. One jas to have some (justifiable) trust in ones ability to function as an individual to accomplish anything. I feel many women are done a great disservice by being taught that they're just naturally less capable than men.

@SinCityHeathen as I read your post, it brings to mind my own children, admonishing me for certain behaviours. I noticed that, in spite of their concerned voice...it makes me question my own abilities. 'Is there really something that I am not seeing here', etc? Then, i must bring myself back into alignment and see if indeed I am going beyond by abilities? Their caution needs to be carefully presented, as it can plant 'fear,' in a person's mind that makes them hypersensitive, which can set-up subconscious doubt, in their ability to do certain things!! And, I have also detected a realization from my children that I am aging and that seems limiting, in their eyes! EVEN, as they have evidence of my own clear focus...when I do anything!

8

I always tell people I'm way scarier than anything out there. They laugh but I can be quite formidable

8

Well said...I too get my dander up, when anybody says these things to me! What I have discovered, is that is their fear...sure keeps them in check, from living as fully as they could! (A good excuse.)

These guys have got MY dander up. That's for sure.

@Blindbird I just blocked the insufferable ones. Thank you for weeding them out. I prefer to not waste my time.

@Donotbelieve haha. I too have been making liberal use of the block button on this thread.

8

Very well said, and something I hadn't really thought about. I'd like to have my daughter read it. She's 21 and doesn't seem to have that response, which I'm glad of. She's very much a feminist, and we have talked about a lot of things, but not this particular issue. I don't think we've over-warned her, and she's done a lot of traveling on her own and with friends. I think she would cheer on your sentiment.

You did a good job as a father!

That you did!

@Donotbelieve Thank you. I tried.

@Donotbelieve, @Blindbird Thanks.

7

I'm one of those people who ask why it's so dangerous for women. And when I'm told about muggings and rapes and what not done by,....men, I say, Well, doesn't it make more sense to tell boys and men to behave themselves and raise them to be decent human beings? And then people stop talking to me.

MrPKitty Level 5 Apr 24, 2018

Right? It's just unreasonable to expect people with criminal tendencies to stop doing criminal shit. Instead we should all hide in our homes and never go anywhere unarmed or in groups smaller than ten. Also don't dress slutty that's just asking for it.

7

I spent my 20-30's in Boulder. This didn't fly there. Women did whatever they wanted to do, and talking as if they were cripple or invalid was not accepted in those circles. I am so glad I had that experience, and I wish there were more of it in the rest of the world.

Thanks for the post. Draw on wherever you feel like drawing.

Thanks. It's nice to hear some people understand what I'm saying.

7

I treated all my kids the same in regards to potentially dangerous situation. Rape isn't the only crime and women are not the only victims. They were taught to exercise caution when alone. Be aware of your surroundings. Let someone know what time you left and what time you exoect to return. It's just a matter of safety. I do agree there seems to be a trend where females are cautioned more than males. I would say females are cautioned more on the dangers of intoxication or what some consider suggestive clothing. The reverse should be happening in that we teach bous clothing is not sexual and intoxicated doesn't nean invitation.

7

Statistically, women are much, much more likely to be attacked by someone they know than some random.

We can talk statistics, but what would be the method of arriving at those statistical conclusions?

Thank you.

@DZhukovin Then you come up with a rationale & facts for your defeatist & condescending attitude!

@DZhukovin here's a decent jumping off point. Apparently my information about rates of male victimization was way off but the stats on who perpetrates these acts are valid.[ncadv.org]

@Blindbird You male attack stats were a little off but the whole post isn't .. smile001.gif

The other problem with male rape is less likely to be reported .. often male kids messed with never came forward. If so it would be likely 20 / 30 yrs later ... So you may well be more right than you imagine!! Bit of grey area in some respects.

Jeff is bang on smile001.gif

@Nickbeee he is indeed. I did have childhood assaults in mind. It's sad how many people I know who were abused that way and there doesn't seem to be much of a gender difference in who it's happened to.

7

I got a 250 diesel. My wife had to finally drive my truck for 2 hours so i could get some sleep. She kept saying some day im going to practice. Well i couldnt drive anymore and i said its time to learn. we adjusted everything and she drove it. Better than me.

6

Here is an interesting statistic from Australia, females over 15 are more likely to be physically assaulted in their own home than anywhere else with over 50% of such assaults occurring at home, next comes where they work or study, after that we've got someone else's home, then we have other public places and bringing up the rear is on the street. So why are we telling women not to go out at night alone, clearly staying at home is far more dangerous.
A woman is more likely to be assaulted by their partner than a stranger. Less than 30% of assaults on women are by strangers. So why are women huddled in their oh so safe homes because they are afraid of going out by themselves?

Kimba Level 7 Apr 24, 2018

The demographic of people most likely to be victims of assault is young men between 18 and 25

@273kelvin that sounds like 'male on male,' assault...with high chance of alcohol involved.

@Freedompath And?

@Freedompath Whats your point? Its still a very real danger. People arent locking up their sons for fear they may be harmed.

@273kelvin my mind just went to the most likely reason for males between those ages to be assaulted! My past history with boys and friends of boys!

@Freedompath Just because alcohol is involved, the victim may know or have said something to their attacker. Does not mean that the victims were culpable.

@273kelvin that is one scenario and another is males between those ages are at a higher risk for violence. But, this does not cover all situations! And, violence is never acceptable! I was just remembering from years past and observations now. I believe my mind wondered back over other aspects of our society and may have confused things here. Please except my apology.

@Freedompath No worries

6

I agree.

VNCallan Level 5 Apr 24, 2018
6

your right

5

I'm going to make one more comment one here then I'm done( the appearance of threats in the comments tells me it's time to go). My whole life I've heard the litany of things women shouldn't do because it might give men ideas.

Being the rebellious teen I was, I did most of them to see what would happen. Much to my surprise, the people I'd been told to fear did me no harm. I found that I could do nearly anything my male cousins did and wonder of wonders, I was neither raped nor murdered.

Cut to the new century and a group of young friends doing the things I did openly and without expectation of harm. They have not been raped or murdered in higher numbers than the women who lived cloistered lives either. It really brought home the fact that it is not what women do, wear, say or look like that bring assaults upon them. It is the intent of the assaulter that makes these things happen. They will happen as long as assaulters exist and you won't avoid attacks even by refusing to take risks.

If the risk/benefit ratio stays the same whether you live the life you want or lurk in your home paralyzed with fear. Why not live? Furthermore why not live and speak out about the people who create your fear.

In my life the people who have harmed me in these ways have ALL been family members or partners. Staying home wouldn't have saved me, though leaving may have.

The best defense against a world that can indeed be dangerous is a healthy survival instinct and the tools to defend yourself with. If you deny someone these things because you fear they're too fragile to weild them, you WILL doom those people to being victims. You can't be with someone always.

Raise strong women. Tell men who victimise women that their behaviour is unnaceptable, report them, support your friends. ✌

Yes THIS!

I have,my gfs brother looked at me for support when he's talking about hitting a woman,I said something like " no you don't hit women " and looked at him like he was nuts...it seemed thankfully like he understood...I think men may think because of the emotional hurt they feel is why some they think it's okay...it's not okay..whatever excuse....it's not okay

5

I always tell both my kids to be careful, my son has been attacked by large gangs twice in our small town, (I hate tourists). Both of my kids are into martial arts, my daughter has a triple black belt in one and other quals in others. I still caution them. I felt bad a few years ago when a friend told me she loves to walk down the beach but doesn't. I didn't realise it was because she felt unsafe, especially at night. I didn't even think of it, so now I try to be more aware of the the risks to others.

Rugglesby Level 8 Apr 24, 2018

The point is that you've cautioned them BOTH. I'm not claiming dangers don't exist. I am saying that they're greatly exaggerated when teaching women what to do or not do. I'd say as parent , you did the best thing by empowering both of them to be aware of danger and capable of self defense.

I feel for your friend and I wonder what the real risk she would be taking by doing what she wants would be? I have a lot of women friends who are afraid to go places by themselves or do certain things because they've been told it's unsafe their entire lives. Yet myself and other women do those things and go those places and we come to no harm. These are the things that made me doubt what I'd been told and what all women hear so much.

@Blindbird At that time we had a few attempted sexual assaults on the beach, It is much better now, we have about 2 miles where many of us walk regularly and keep that stretch of beach watched. It is good really , get to chat to people you don't see else where, we also lobbied for it to be a leash free dog area, so lots of friendly dogs running around.

5

It's very difficult to get away from the male/female predator/prey dynamic. Our nearest equivalents in intelligence (Dolphins) frequently mate through rape. It's there at an instinctive level in humans, too. Occasionally, males rape other males (and occasionally females sexually assault males and females - though technically this cannot be rape under UK law) but broadly speaking, the victims of sexual assaults are female and the perpetrators are male.

I don't like victim blaming any more than anyone else. But when I hear the sentiment "We shouldn't teach women to defend themselves from rape, we should teach men not to attempt to rape them in the first place" I just want to bang my head against the wall until it bleeds. Like it's ever as simple as educating the people who do bad things, not to do bad things. You could end all crime in an instant if there was any mileage whatsoever in that approach. Outside of A Clockwork Orange, there isn't. Having the moral high ground is all well and good. It's worthless when someone with twice your strength has their hands around your throat.

I admire your sensible and savvy approach to this. One I adopt myself on a night out. I've walked back to my hotel alone in various unfamiliar places, sticking out like a sore thumb as LGBT and (some would say) asking to be beaten to a pulp for being different. But I'm careful. I cross the street to avoid groups of men. Head down and look preoccupied (even though I'm still being very much vigilant) when I have to pass close to people. Things like that. So far, I haven't had any problems that have caused me physical injury. Hopefully that'll continue.

Have you ever considered that perhaps you haven't been attacked because people aren't as violent as we've been led to believe? I am aware of the extra danger posed to transfolk and don't mean to downplay that AT ALL.

The thing is though that all the people I've been taught to fear turned out to be just people. It seems to mostly those in some sort of authoritative role who are most likely to use violence on someone who doesn't follow their norms. What if making us afraid of each other is just another form of that control?

I agree that women need to be confident & need to know how to protect themselves if necessary. I do think that much of the "predator/prey" dynamic you mentioned is strengthened & perpetuated by not taking a firmer stance against those that perpetrate it! When so-called joking about rape, roofies, force, or the like comes up in a male gathering it should be slapped down as disgusting, immature & unacceptable! This method has, until the recent upsurge, help stem overt racism in most social type settings. Has it rid us of it. No, but it has made it unacceptable & "not ok" which is a step in the right direction.

@phxbillcee Yes a thousand times over to what you just wrote.

Thank you!

@phxbillcee Spot on @phxbillcee

@Blindbird Wrong place at the wrong time is all it really takes. Making it obvious that you have the 'wrong' sexuality or gender identity doesn't help. In most cases, I think it's just the bad luck of running into an individual (or a group) that's looking for an excuse to be violent towards someone. You being different gives them the excuse that they need.

There was an article on PinkNews the other day about a gay lad who got beaten to a pulp by a gang of men for being gay. This was in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Cue a load of aggression in the comments about how backward Northern Ireland is. It isn't. I find Belfast remarkably progressive and accepting. It's largely populated with people who can remember the violence of 'the troubles', and who've had enough of it. But like everywhere else, it has its share of bigoted thugs. You don't have to look hard to find examples of violent hate crime against LGBT people in Brighton, supposedly the LGBT capital of the UK.

Most people aren't violent. Some are. It's about avoiding the ones who are, or at least avoiding making yourself an obvious target if you encounter them.

@NicoleCadmium agreed. Its also IMO about being capable of self defense. Whether thats fighting, running away whatever it takes to come out of one of those bad luck situations unharmed. I think people who are capable of looking out for themselves are the safest people to BE. You can't always count on a saviour or stroke of good luck but You're always there with yourself.

5

Infantilizing adults creates a neurotic society where everyone expects to be bullied and no one knows how to stand up for him/herself.

ArturoS Level 6 Apr 24, 2018

Yes very much this. It's something I come across in my female friends often. They were never allowed to take risks or responsibility for themselves when they were young and now as adults they're at a loss for how to do so.

5

Love how men are popping on this post to remind us of the very real dangers posed only to women. Funny I don't see women on here saying anything like that and you'd think we'd be the ones to know, wouldn't you?

The ones who found out for sure can't post. They're in the hospital or dead.

@doug6352 Riiiigggght. One gets out of the hospital eventually. Are you under the impression that women just die when they're raped or assaulted? Again. What exactly makes you an expert on what it's like to live as a woman or know much of anything about what it's like?

@doug6352 Really? Do you have any facts to back that up? Or are you just being nasty?

@sarahjustme I am terribly sorry that those things happened to you. It is awful and inexcusable. I am going to point out that there wasn't much you could have done to prevent those attacks short of having a firearm loaded and at hand to run off your attacker. You didn't DO anything to make yourself a victim. The rapists targeted you for whatever their twisted reasons may have been.

The constant warnings to women always seem to be centered around the womens "risky behaviour" but it's not about what we do or don't do( I do advocate EVERYONE learning self defense btw). And that's where this women must do this, that or the other to prevent becoming victims gets it wrong, I think.

@sarahjustme I have no words, for what you've survived.

I do completely agree with what you are saying.
I want to respond to the post, but I'm not comfortable doing so.

I will just say this...

I am not afraid to go out by myself and I would fuck anyone up who messed with me.

@sarahjustme. I don't disagree with you. In my experience home and family are not necessarily safe. The same is true for millions of others like me. If we're not safe at home and we're not safe going out, why not just pick whichever nonsafe option appeals to us most? Sadly, it doesn't change the odds much.

@sarahjustme exactly

@sarahjustme no but it does mean that the odds are roughly the same no matter where I go. Knowing that, I'll go where I want and do what I want. Taking reasonable precautions while not hobbling myself with constant second guessing.

@sarahjustme that's a fair assesment.

4

I never hike alone. Men with guns on horses sexually harassed and terrified me, both times I hiked alone. "Hey, pretty lady! Where are you spending the night? We'll join you!"

It's important to use good judgment for your own safety. I do not do technical rock and ice climbing because it's too dangerous. Injuries and deaths from scaling mountains are horrific. The equipment is too heavy.

I'm not willing to hang my life from a piton I just tapped into a crack.

Same goes for a man on both counts.

4

Totally true ... people need to stop making excuses for cavemen and creating a false bubble, essentially enabling patriachal contructs that hold females back.

Never a been issue in my cirlces but I know in the wider world it's massive.

In a sense it's enabling isn't it ... "Stand by me ladies, let me protect you from me" :/ smile008.gifsmile001.gif

Nickbeee Level 8 Apr 24, 2018
4

Eh way I see It, if you're up for the risk then it's your buisness..Not my buisness to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do.

josh23452 Level 7 Apr 24, 2018
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