Predisposed Burdening: Unveiling the Daily Dangers Women Experience By Simply Being A Woman
Disclaimer: If you are an avid reader of my work, you know that I recently wrote an article on cat-calling, controversially-titled "It's Really Not You, It's Men." For all of you that haven't read it, there's still time to do so as it is posted at the bottom of this article! I advise reading that article before delving into this one because I will be making a lot of references to my previous article. Thank You.
To be a Woman means constantly staying on top of your things, their things, and everyone's things. To be constantly aware of our actions and their actions. To place a microscope on every gesture we make, every thought we have, and even the way we decide to present ourselves to the World. We spend so much time keeping mental lists that we're predisposed in doing that reading that probably made you ask yourself, "Do I do all of that?"
Women are the key ingredient in this society stew, as we are the muse behind its creation. No matter your religious or spiritual beliefs, we can all agree that the human race would not have lasted as long as it has if the only species on this planet were male. Women are essential to the composition of this land, equipped with natural instincts to nurture and be empathetic. Woman are, for lack of better terminology, the shit.
And yet, with all of that, Women have been predisposed to feeling unsafe, unworthy, and unimportant in a society we've championed and helped build.
In reference to my previous article, "It's Really Not You, It's Men", I must say that I may have been too hard on men. No, I am not saying that men who catcall women and harass them on the street get a pass. But, as much as I hate to admit it...
Who am I kidding? It's STILL you, Men. Just accept it.
Jessica Critcher, whose article I mentioned in 'It's Men', wrote something so profound that it became the sole purpose for me writing this current article.
"We live in a society that places men’s ego, men’s feelings, men’s opinions, in a position of greater importance than women’s desire to feel respected or safe."
I still rally behind this statement. Men are depicted as these strong, intelligent, forthright human beings whose safety is rarely tampered with by women. Men, who are predisposed as strong both physically and mentally, get their safety tampered with by other men. There is never a situation where a Man is impeding on another Man's space and a violent event doesn't occur. Women do not have that luxury in this society of standing up for themselves physically. Be it scientific reasoning or not, Woman are not to fight back due to further violence ensuing.
Women have the right to feel safe and respected in this society. There should be no reason why the constant thought of 'Are they going to hurt me?' plays in our minds when simply walking alone. This idea implies that Women can and will only be safe if with other people.
Huffington Post's Amanda Duberman posted a list of things Women are to do in order to stay safe in a World we were never given security in. A select few were provided below to help gain an idea on how unsafe women feel on a daily basis and the steps we take to remain unseen. These will probably strike a nerve within you as you have probably had to perform them at some point in your daily life.
- Walk with our keys grasped between our fingers in case we need to use them as a weapon.
- When someone is walking closely behind us on the street, we stop to pretend to make a phone call or otherwise occupy ourselves to allow them to pass in front of us.
- Change direction if a car appears to be following us while we’re walking on foot.
- Pretend to listen to music while walking by men who attempt to engage with us.
- Cross the street when we see men who look like they might be drunk.
- Avoid eye contact with men trying to get our attention.
- Text a friend before going out for a run or on a date with a stranger.
- Avoid social situations if a man whose prior advance made us uncomfortable might be there.
- Avoid getting off at our bus or train stop if a man who has been staring exits at the same time.
- Wear a hoodie when driving late at night to appear male to other drivers.
- Run outside in baggy clothes, even if it’s hot, to decrease the chances of unsolicited commentary on our anatomy. (Amanda Duberman)
How Often Do You Feel Safe When Alone, During the Day or at Night?
Questioning if Women's Safety is a Real Issue
You may think about all of the strides Women have made in order to be recognized as equal counterparts and seen as peers to Men -- how many hurdles we've jumped to become lawyers, bankers, politicians, scientists, engineers, etc. All of which I celebrate because Women have made a way for themselves with little to no guidance or support.
However, Safety is the still the top issue we continue to battle.
Women need to feel secure in their bodies, their minds, and in the society they take part in. We should not have to feel burdened by our predisposed gender and sex identification. Women, we need to SPEAK UP and own our right to be respected and safe. Safety is a right for ALL human beings.
If Men don't have to prove why they deserve to be respected and secure, neither should we.