essence of my conversation with a dear friend over coffee. (via missl0nelyhearts)
seriously, guys. it’s almost impossible to understand the fear of sexual assault from our male perspective. start standing up to violence against women
I was doing the key-thing since I was given house keys (somewhere in high school).
Keys between your fingers, calling a friend if they haven’t text you within 10 minutes of getting home, wearing headphones with no music so you can hear everything but have an excuse not to talk to strangers, taking the long way home because it’s better lit, having to sacrifice your male friends respecting you as a ‘strong feminist’ because you’d rather have them walk you home safely, always sitting close to the bus driver, practicing clear but overly-polite responses to groups of drunk men, hiding in the toilets for a while so the creep on the dancefloor doesn’t see you leave and follow you home…
Walking from store to car at night? Keys out and between fingers, phone out and ready to go, scanning every moving object, checking the back seat before you get in, looking at your reflection in the window to see if anyone’s standing behind you. Sometimes hitting the panic button on the key fob just to be on safe side.
I hate running alone at night for this reason. Part of my normal path takes me through an area that is just parks, a golf course and mangrove swamp, and when it’s dark I can’t help but be terrified. If I find myself running there, I run fast, but I’d just as soon not run there when it’s dark at all.
I feel this way even though the worst crime to have happened in my neighborhood in all the years I’ve lived here is a couple of thefts from people who left their car doors unlocked. Rape culture FTL.
I forget sometimes that the men I know aren’t doing things like this.
There is usually a pocket knife/Leatherman in my bag. Mostly because sometimes I find that I need to cut things or whatever (and it’s a habit I picked up from my dad), but I will take it out if I feel threatened or scared. I have popped the blade and slid it up my sleeve while walking home in the dark from the library at 2am because our buses stopped running, for example. It’s tiring, wondering morbidly if you will be attacked. Always being on alert.