YOUR SAFETY > “EQUALITY”

As someone who considers herself quite self-efficacious and headstrong, I have learned over time that the world is a dangerous place. I traveled Europe alone, went clubbing in Las Vegas alone, basically put my safety on the line in order to prove the point that I was a strong, independent woman. Sure, I felt “liberated” at the time, but looking back, I was very lucky nothing of consequence happened. I think my family did a great job of sheltering me from the ills of the world. I was always looked after, checked up on, we lived in neighborhoods where I didn’t fear for my safety (for the most part). The thing is, this cocoon I grew up in made me ignorantly bold. I thought that because I could handle myself in Orange County, I can take on gritty nightclubs in Bali. Such is not the reality for anyone, and unfortunately, this is not the reality for the countless women who suffered the grave consequences of accepting messages telling them that being a modern woman means putting themselves in dangerous situations to prove that they can “handle themselves.”

Life is unfair. What are you going to do about it? I know I harp this line over and over again, but it really is true. LIFE IS UNFAIR. It is impossible to make it fair, but the next best thing we can do is to acknowledge it and work around it. Because we are the physically weaker sex blessed on average with smaller frames and lower muscle density, we need to move like it. This means taking extra precautions about our safety that most men wouldn’t think about.

Stop whining and start planning. It is of no use to berate or hold a grudge against the male sex for not having to move the way we do because they are stronger. So what? They can’t decrease their height and weight and greater physical prowess on command so you can feel safer around them. We actually need good strong men, not more weak men. The key is to avoid having to deal with men of bad intent, even if it means avoiding certain places and situations you so badly want to be in (for example, a nightclub or a remote travel destination).

Male presence is important. In my experience, male presence in your life is protective. The mention of a man in your life will drive away unwanted attention from admirers or potential bad actors. In dating, men of bad intent will think twice before treating you badly if your father has a strong presence in your life. If your father has historically treated you well, now you have a standard to look for when you pick a potential partner. Automatically, you are weeding your dating pool based on the standards your own father has set. When you are in a relationship, a ring signals your desirability in the dating market yet your unwillingness to pursue a new relationship. Men learn to admire from a distance. When you find yourself in potentially unsafe situations with a man (which should rarely, if ever happen), his mere presence increases your chances of getting out unscathed. 

Reality check. The reality that the world is not safe for anyone and that my anatomy puts me at a disadvantage in physical altercations with men was a tough pill to swallow. I resisted and went on my own way until I learned firsthand from other women how having a man in their life saved them from being trafficked. I then started my own research on human trafficking and assaults and homicides of women. I am in no way blaming these women for their fate and there is definitely a special place in hell for the people who did this to them. I merely seek to learn from their experiences so I decrease my chances of following suit. And so I turn to you:

Accept and overcome. Accept that life is unfair and we are the physically weaker sex. Only then can we move different and do what is best for us. Screw what the mainstream media says. Screw the travel inspos encouraging you to travel alone when plenty of women go missing after such travels. Screw the boss babes telling you to move to a congested city where women can’t walk down the street without being catcalled or groped in the subway (And no, telling men to stop doing these things doesn’t work because the men who do these things already know they are doing terrible things). Screw the general message of modern feminism that wants us to be independent without the proper tools to execute such brand of independence. You know what true independence is? It’s being able to live another day without fresh trauma brought about by putting ourselves in dangerous situations. It is being able to live another day, periodt. 

One might think it harsh that I am putting the onus of personal safety on us women, but that is what it is: personal safety. Our safety is personal to us. There are plenty of things outside of our control and the few things we can control are ourselves and our actions. Yes, bad things happen to good people because the world isn’t fair. We cannot keep bad things from happening to us, but we can decrease the chances of it being so. Play the statistical game of life.

May we do what is best for us. 

This we manifest. 

Elle.

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