As a guy, this was very eye opening to me. Not because I'm completely blind to the challenges women can face in comparison to me, but rather the responses and how many of them there are.
A woman on twitter posed this question:
Now I ask to please put politics aside and consider the question and not the hashtags (necessarily).
When I saw the question I instantly wanted to see the responses. They are... blunt, eye opening, and a cause for concern. Here's some of them...
I’d go for a walk in the dark without leaping out of my skin at little noises. Just thinking about going somewhere alone without anxiety seems like a dream. Is this how guys feel all the time?— Emma Smart (@IMEmmaSmart) September 25, 2018
Long, calm, solo nighttime walks. That would be amazing.— Bronwyn Harris (@BronwynAnn) September 25, 2018
This is completely a thing that most men will not understand. I take drinks to the bathroom with me (great bars have cup holders in stalls). I do not accept drinks unless I watched it be prepped/opened. I’ve taught this (sadly) to my students.— Princess CP (@peace_with_us) October 1, 2018
Go out to bars by myself, walk with both headphones in my ears without my keys in between my fingers inmy hand.— Kristen Michelle (@KristenKayMBee) September 25, 2018
I just booked an airbnb for a work trip which will have me out late into the evenings. Took me an hour of google mapping to see how I'd approach different properties, whether streets were lighted or populated.— Jessica Shortall (@jessicashortall) September 25, 2018
So, for starters, I'd book any damn place I wanted to, without worry.
What I usually do? The chances of me being kidnapped or raped would go down 100% though. https://t.co/9Eix06Dk17— Somebody mama. (@adabofash) September 26, 2018
Thinking about this made me realize how un-free I am. The threat of violence because of my gender is something so normal I've stopped imagining different kinds of freedom. https://t.co/yfqTDgbkLZ— Jherane (@Jherane_) September 26, 2018
Talking to the women in my life, I suddenly realized that these women are not extreme examples.
Even here, a city and area that would never seem as dangerous as a major one, safety is a huge concern for women.
I knew this, but didn't. I didn't understand the scope of it. It makes me sad to know that a woman has passed me in the night before with caution. She never had anything to fear, but she does this with every single man that passes her, regardless of her life experiences. I had no idea it was ALWAYS like that for many, if not most, women.
This absolutely got my attention. Obviously, not every man is bad and/or dangerous. I think the point was to make guys feel unconformable, because that's how women feel. Mission accomplished.
Aside from obviously being respectful, considerate, and not assaulting women (duh), one thing we, as men, can do to help is knock it off with the boys will be boys stuff, and call each other out on it. That's probably a good start.
Picture from Getty Images