I recently did a Youtube video about this topic. The safety of women.
I felt like I needed to do a video because on my way home from a walk one day, some random guy thought it was okay to try and follow me in his car and make me uncomfortable. Now, this wasn’t the first time an incident like that had occurred and I am not the first woman it happened to either.
This is the daily reality of women all over the world who are going about their day doing things whilst constantly feeling uncomfortable. From being followed to catcalled to actually being inappropriately touched. This is happening ALL THE TIME.
Women are tired. We are tired because every time we talk about it the questions we get asked are:
- What were you wearing?
- Where were you?
- Who were you with?
- What time was it?
In the midst of the questions, people forget the woman who is scared, tired and worried about when this will happen again. Society has made it acceptable for this to be a woman’s problem. This means every time an incident like this occurs, the woman is questioned and asked to change something about herself.
What does that mean?
It means the woman will change the way she dresses, change her route to work, leave early or work till late, hang out with other people, avoid places where this could happen such as bars, clubs, pubs, libraries, supermarket, school, toilets, road, GP surgery, restaurants. Learn self-defence, carry pepper spray, don’t smile, don’t talk in public. Have their hair up, have their hair down. Walk fast. Don’t wear dresses. Don’t wear anything that attracts attention.
Basically, women should stop doing anything at all because these things can happen to them anywhere in any clothes at any time. I am the living proof of that because I have seen this happen to me in pyjamas, in the day time, in libraries, in makeup, without makeup, in a dress, in shalwar kameez, in Pakistan, in Austria, in China. So no matter what I do I can’t change this reality.
But you know who can?
Society. We need to change the way we tackle this problem. Rather than telling women to change we need to educate our men. We need to have conversations with them and they need to have conversations with their friends. You see this all begins with something small that seems to be harmless and then grows and grows until it is sexual harassment.
We need our boys and men to have conversations about this. Look at the things they joke about, the conversations they have because they all encourage this behaviour and make it seem normal.
As a woman, I could kee changing things about myself but nothing will change until the people doing this understand what a massive issue it is. How uncomfortable it makes a woman feel. How sad it is to have your parents always worried about you. To not be able to enjoy your life without care because you always have this to be worried about.
Think about this. Think about the role you want to play and the conversations you can have. Change needs to come because it’s now overdue. So why not become the fire that ignites the conversation and makes the difference.
I am always open to hearing other people’s ideas and solutions so don’t hesitate to reach out to me.