Sexist or Victim?
February 21, 2012 § 3 Comments
I admit as a girl, when I go out walking alone at night, carrying nothing but a purse or handbag, it gets kind of scary when someone is walking towards or behind you. I do the things Brent Staples noticed girls do in his essay Just Walk On By, I clutch my purse a little tighter, walk a little faster, and try walk under the lights. Although I can confidently say that I do not specifically take race into account (I can’t see very clearly when it’s dark, and I don’t tend to stare at people to avoid provoking them) , I do notice that I tend to relax more if the stranger is a girl, and get more nervous if there was a large, loud group of men.
But in my defense, I’d rather be extra cautious and wary of people in the dark, rather than trading my valuables and possibly life just because I’m trying to be… nice. Especially in the neighborhood I grew up in, snatch thieves and mugging are common occurrences that happened every night. Just by reading the news or hearing stories about people getting robbed, the gruesome details of snatch thieves pulling someone’s diamond earrings from their ears while passing by on a motorcycle, or my mother, who also experienced getting her purse snatched while in a brightly lit shop where she thought she could let her defenses down for a second. All these things made me precautious, and determined that I will not become a victim. The media contributes to this awareness. Just by watching most movies and tv shows today, it is always the girl who falls victim to men in the dark. Always the girl who get murdered in her own room because she was followed home by someone who she wasn’t aware about while walking home. All these images contributes to our stereotypes of men.
There may be some girls who are stronger than some guys, but the majority of women are physically weaker than men. Being so, girls should rightfully be more cautious about falling victim to them. Even though some people take self defense classes to avoid becoming a statistic amongst the thousands of girls who’ve fallen victims to men, doesn’t mean they should purposely allow themselves to get into problematic situations; your skills can fail during times of shock and confusion. So in my opinion, men shouldn’t get offended if they find a girl who feels a little uncomfortable while walking around him, they are not judging you, they are merely looking out for themselves.