Safety: Walking the Line

My few minutes on Facebook today revealed a story of a woman walking her dog and having a creepy guy hug her nonconsensually and follow her home with some inappropriate questions about where she lives and with whom. The point of her story was telling men that if a woman is cold or rude it’s a safety precaution. Sadly enough, it’s a fact that things like this happen to women every single day.

I was walking Ruffi around the neighborhood the other night and got stopped by 2 men at the corner of my street. I’ve seen both of them around from a distance, but never spoken. The older of the two made a quip about Ruffi walking me. I’m always delighted to talk about Ruffi. I adore that little boy!!! 🙂 I didn’t stop to chat, I was blocked from continuing. The questions began. “What’s your name?” followed by, “You look Irish…” (I’m starting to get uncomfortable now. He’s moving in closer. I didn’t put my cell phone or keys in my pocket before leaving. Daddy was home waiting for me, I felt safe in the 2 blocks I went from home.) At this point I mention my husband waiting for me. Then the man reaches for my face, telling me I look Native American (like him). The younger fellow moves over making a broad path for me to pass. I excuse myself and practically run away as the guy keeps talking to me.

There are few women who do not know the feeling of being trapped and looking at every possible way out from simple interactions like this. Sadly, this is the norm and not the unusual.

I’m not one of those women who walks around with mild fear all of the time. I’m only afraid when a situation arises to put me on alert. I am also 100% a believer that a woman should be safe no matter how she dresses, where she is regardless of whether she is flirtatious or not. It’s a man’s responsibility to manage his behavior. With that said, I am not foolish in where I go, when and with whom. I will not dress to hide myself, but I certainly choose when and where I go dressed certain ways.

Daddy is extremely protective of me. There aren’t many situations He wants me to be out unaccompanied. I get frustrated with Him at times for being over protective, yet I can’t count the number of times men have been inappropriate and hit on me with Him standing right next to me. This is the reality. Like virtually every woman I’ve met, I have been sexually assaulted. I walk a fine line between being independent and wanting a man to guard me. I think this is the case for both of us. He doesn’t want to smother and undermine me as an adult, yet He wants to know I’m safe.

What is the answer to stopping unwanted attention? Yes, there is a distinction between looking and being creepy and inappropriate. Something so simple as staring can make you feel unsafe. There is a line between saying hello and smiling, giving a nice compliment to a stranger and coming off as a creepy, stalker guy.

At the end of the day, every woman has ways to defend herself and feel safe enough to walk about in the world. The part that saddens me most, is that we have to. I’m sickened that horror stories of rape, sexual harassment and other such crimes against women are commonplace, that we still need to talk about how to be safe.

I’d much rather my Daddy go places with me for the fun of it, to show me off and be proud of His pretty girl, than to stand on mild alert every moment in case He needs to protect me. I’m fortunate to have a man/partner in my life to be there in these cases. Not all women are.

2 thoughts on “Safety: Walking the Line

  1. Thanks. Men walk around without these concerns around their personal safety, unless they’re in prison. Men who, as boys, were raised to respect women, can’t imagine that there are men who don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

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