all 60 comments

[–]MarkTwainiac 47 insightful - 3 fun47 insightful - 2 fun48 insightful - 3 fun -  (13 children)

Wow. You seem to have absolutely no idea whatsoever of the sky high rates of sexual violence and other forms of predation and abuse - ranging from verbal abuse to theft to assault and battery, rape and voyeurism (with or without the use of hidden spy cams) - that women with disabilities and serious health problems routinely experience.

Women who live alone and have health problems that confine us to our homes a good deal of time, or render us entirely homebound, are extremely vulnerable to abuse from anyone we let into our homes, be it a home health aide, grocery delivery person, plumber or police officer.

Not all men are predators, but some are. The fact is, males are far, far more likely to be sexual predators, pervs and criminal-minded types who pose a real danger than women are. Statistically, women are unlikely to commit acts on strangers like home invasion, armed robbery, assault and battery, sexual assault, voyeurism, planting of spy cams, flashing of genitals, groping, publicly masturbating, etc. But there are tons of men who do this sort of stuff every day.

Predators are always on the hunt for easy pickings - and are well-known to choose certain lines of work, including work that entails going into people's private homes, because it gives them access to potential victims. Once predatory men realize that a woman with physical frailties and vulnerabilities lives alone, they are very likely to target her - not necessarily at the moment, but later on when they come back.

Women who are vulnerable due to disabilities, serious life-limiting health problems as well as the frailties that come with advanced age have very good reason and every right to be wary of the strangers we let into our homes. If a woman doesn't feel comfortable and safe within her own home, where do you suggest she go?

[–]MarkTwainiac 29 insightful - 1 fun29 insightful - 0 fun30 insightful - 1 fun -  (11 children)

I'm still waiting for OP to answer the question I posed hours ago: If a woman doesn't feel comfortable and safe within her own home, where do you suggest she go?

I ask this as a woman rendered disabled and homebound by disease who once was a top-notch athlete and fitness nut who studied physical defense and martial arts and was good at them, and who bravely travelled a good part of the globe, often on my own.

Yet for all that, my being healthy, fit and a fighter in my youth didn't prevent me from being cornered, groped and attacked by male schoolmates (age 7), molested by an adult male stranger (age 11), raped once (age 18), subjected to battery and attempted another time (age 20), subjected to a home invasion/break-in and robbery (age 37), robbed another time by a home health aide (age 55), and preyed upon by an endless stream of scammers and fraudsters since I neared and reached age 65.

Nor did my being fit, healthy and a fighter for a good portion of my life save me from being sexually harassed, groped, humped, masturbated at, stalked, pounced on, dick-waved at, hit on, leered at, so many times since the tender age of six that many years ago I stopped keeping count.

But in OP's eyes, women like me are wrong and "irrational" to be wary of who we let into our homes. OP, thanks for setting me straight and putting all physically and mentally vulnerable girls and women in our place. You've done taught us good.

[–]malleus_maleficarum 20 insightful - 1 fun20 insightful - 0 fun21 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

When I took women's self defence in my late teens, it was from a female instructor with 3 black belts. The first thing she said was "I have 3 black belts and I was still raped." She pointed out that there are situations where fighting back will get you killed and that men can punch women so hard that it can fracture our skulls or kill us outright. That was her class intro (!!) and her advice was "Never let your guard down. Always listen to your instincts."

When I travel, the number one thing men warn me other men. Am I constantly terrified of shadows? Of course not. But I never let my guard down and it's saved me at least 3 times in the last 10 years from really, really bad shit.

My greatest fear of old age/physical decline is exactly what u/MarkTwainiac is describing. Men and boys have been engaging in a relentless onslaught of violent, predatory behaviour since I was 5 years old and it will never get better. It's why even 30+ years ago my mother/aunts were unmoveable on the topic of female-only home health aides for my grandmother. It's why my mother used to say she'd rather fall down the stairs and be eaten by coyotes than end up being victimized in a nursing home.

Thanks for saying this MT.

[–]MarkTwainiac 18 insightful - 1 fun18 insightful - 0 fun19 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Thank you in turn MM. I and so many women I know who are older, or dealing with health problems and disabilities, or who work as carers for vulnerable and homebound women are absolutely livid about OP's post and POV.

Also, as a het woman and mother of sons, I have no animus against men across the board. Several of my closest friends are men. Before I had disabling problems as well as afterwards, I've hired a good number of men to come into my home to provide all sorts of services - cooking, cleaning, decorating, organizing, IT troubleshooting, carpentry, general contracting, masonry, HVAC consulting, landscaping and gardening, roofing, computer programming/coding, website design, data entry, and a range of heath care services (but not intimate care). But FFS, in the case of all these men I've allowed into my home I've had the opportunity to interview and check them out beforehand!

On a number of different occasions in my life it's been my male friends, children, employees/helpers, apartment building staff and neighbors who've loudly raised alarms about the dangers of allowing certain other male persons into my home. Because males who are honest and decent are well-attuned to how creepy, predatory, pervy, abusive and violent some members of their sex are.

[–]malleus_maleficarum 14 insightful - 1 fun14 insightful - 0 fun15 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

One of the best things I figured out as an adult was that a lot of men are just as scared of violent men as I am. It was a good widening of perspective for me that let me truly hear more of what some of them had to say on the topic.

Also, I'm really tired of being told what boundaries I should have.

It feels recent: I've been noticing an uptick in this behaviour all around me for the last 5 years or so. I get that we all do it as humans: we all pick at each other and tell others what they should/n't do. It's part of being social animals. But it's a trait I'm trying hard to eliminate in myself (I'm always asking myself: Who do I want to be in two years?) and it's a primary issue that keeps me out of women's groups.

More and more I'm seeing other women dare to tell each other who they should vote for, where they should donate their money, etc. I want to hear other points of view, I may well agree after I hear them! But I'm not down with people judging each other as 'trash' or 'irrational' for having opposing experiences or voicing other opinions -- it feels like I'm constantly fighting the purity spiral in every single group I belong to. It's exhausting.

[–]Realwoman 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

It's good your instructor was brutally honest. Self defense classes can give women a false sense of security.

[–]malleus_maleficarum 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Every few years I have the honour of sitting down to dinner with a man who is the top instructor in his martial arts discipline in his country. He teaches men with multiple black belts, who are huge and fit and know how to handle themselves, how to get out of close quarters group assaults: being ganged up on in truck stop bathrooms, dudes coming at you with bats and wrenches when you're closing up your shop office late at night, etc. Not "win"...just get out before a traumatic brain injury or a shattered eye socket or death happens. That's realistic self defence: getting the hell away without being annihilated. They aren't walking around shit-scared any more than I am, but they are definitely walking around with an appropriate sense of their place in the universe.

[–]squintypreyeyes[S] 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

How am I supposed to answer such an... impassioned and emotional argument. Statistically women's fear of crime is disproportionate to the actual incidences of those crimes. Compared to men, we fear crimes that are less likely to happen to us, more.

Living in fear impacts quality of life and limits opportunity. It also implies that by limiting your own life (not letting tradies into your house, not going outside, not wearing certain clothes, not being alone) that you can control whether violence is done to you. No one can live like that.

Sorry about all that stuff happening to you though.

[–]MarkTwainiac 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

The women you are criticizing from your high horse are not "living in fear." They/we are exercising caution about who they/we let into our homes.

The one woman who made that OP on reddit revealed very little about her life. You're the one who has made up the narrative that she spends every moment "living in fear" out of whole cloth.

Again: If a woman doesn't feel comfortable and safe within her own home, where do you suggest she go?

Why are you so bothered by the idea that women have a right to feel safe in their own homes?

[–]squintypreyeyes[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

The woman who made that post on reddit didn't have a reason to fear that particular tech or she would have said so. She just didn't want a male tech in her home. I used it as an example because things like feeling scared when a man is biking behind you, or being tense during your uber ride, are difficult to quantify. Delaying medical equipment for months because you are so afraid of an incredibly unlikely scenario, on the other hand, is a very concrete example of harm.

I support giving practical advice in these situations, like dropping a mention of a non-existent husband or calling a friend; reasonable measures that does not impinge on the woman's ability to get medical care. But posts like yours are exactly what I was criticising. Fear mongering, validating women making bad decisions that harm them, appealing to emotion and ignoring the facts. After I read your initial post I was second guessing myself: Are the statistics way worse than I thought? Are women being attacked by people who visit their homes (to perform trades and services) constantly after all?

Of course the answer is no. And after all your fear mongering, heavily implying that having tradesmen over is a huge risk factor for rape and violence, it turns out you have benefited plenty from taking these "huge risks" yourself.

So to answer your question: That woman, and many others like her, had no reason to feel unsafe and uncomfortable in her own home, so she doesn't need to go anywhere.

[–]Realwoman 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't think you're getting it.

[–]missdaisycan 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

So you're invalidating someone's feelings? Ain't you woke.

The world really would be so much better if people thought exactly the way you do, right? /s

[–]Realwoman 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Living with a false sense of security can backfire spectacularly.

[–]CaliforniGinger 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The hard thing about the current economic system is I would like to volunteer to be there for older women when they have to let men in their houses and pretend to be a relative, keep the guys thinking she always has someone around, but I don't have time. I have to work constantly. I also would like to volunteer to be a patient advocate, as I've learned through doing that for my relatives that I am very good at it and doctors almost always listen to me and treat the patient more thoroughly than they otherwise would (often simply because my relative doesn't know how to express what's going on), but again I simply have no time or energy at all for those I'm not related to.

I wonder if there are tricks and networks radfems could develop, like volunteering to make the appointments for older women and making it seem as if they live there full time but simply have to work during the day... or the old trick of having large dog accoutrements around or big man boots outside the door, stuff like that.

[–]PassionateIntensity 40 insightful - 2 fun40 insightful - 1 fun41 insightful - 2 fun -  (4 children)

Have you ever read The Gift of Fear? Women become afraid based on their own experience and the experience of other women and that fear is COMPLETELY RATIONAL. Teaching women to ignore their own instincts and live in denial that the world is safe is what's dangerous. That's not "living in fear," that's being smart and cautious.

[–]squintypreyeyes[S] 18 insightful - 1 fun18 insightful - 0 fun19 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Women are taught to disproportionately fear certain situations, while being pressured to ignore their discomfort in others. For example, if someone in a friend group makes creepy comments towards me, I will probably be pressured to brush it off, not make a big deal, he didn't mean it like that, etc.

But if I say that I'm going to walk to the gas station at 2am to grab some energy drinks, something that would actually give me some enjoyment, maybe help me meet a deadline, everyone gasps and acts like I'm going on a suicide mission. I learn to feel afraid even though I've never had a bad experience.

[–]Feather 12 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 0 fun13 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think this is a good point. I've thought a lot about it because I'm the type to go on a walk at 2AM to go get some energy drinks. I decided I am willing to put up with that risk profile. So far, I've been touched inappropriately zero times on those walks. I can't even count how many times I've been touched inappropriately by "friends" at gatherings.

I understand why some women wouldn't be comfortable with that risk profile though. A groper at a party is less likely to put you in mortal danger than a stranger who stalks you in the middle of the night. So even though the former is waaaay more statistically common, the latter has worse outcomes when it does happen.

[–]jelliknight 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I agree. If you have a gut instinct you should absolutely listen and value that (what the gift of fear is about). But not going out at night etc is a socially enforced behavior that is designed to keep women controlled. Statistically you're probably more in danger from men you already know.

[–]Lyssa 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I can agree with that very much and I've been in much more dangerous situations with familiar than with strange men, safe for one exeption.

[–][deleted] 34 insightful - 1 fun34 insightful - 0 fun35 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

I had a dog bite me once and then one bit my son through his bottom lip. I look at every dog as a potential biter. I don't see dogs and go into full on anxiety mode, but I'm cautious. I keep them out of my home and if its a friend dog I make it known that I'm not a dog person. If a dog gets close to my face I'll remove myself from the situation. This is reasonable.

All those dogs did was bite. I healed, my son healed, and we moved on. It didn't destroy my sense of self, my sense of security, my body image, or any other huge factors of how I relate to the world.

I'm not afraid of every man, but I know which sex is the biggest predator. I know which sex is more likely to hurt me or harass me. I know which sex to be careful around.

I disagree that this caution makes us more prone to feeling as if we need protection from other men therefore more susceptible to domestic violence.

I don't know, I haven't fully processed what you've written but my initial gut response as this feels like victim blaming. No we shouldn't be afraid, but we are at times, for legitimate reasons. I'm gonna walk away and reread later because I don't think I'm reading this the way you intend.

[–]squintypreyeyes[S] 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

The dog thing is kind of irrelevant because being excessively afraid of dogs will probably never impact your quality of life. People keep dogs in their houses or on leashes. You can ask friends to keep their dogs away from you like you said.

If dogs were a bigger part of society, however, it might be worth looking into the actual statistical likelihood of being attacked by dogs. Like if someone passes up a good job because it would be dark by the time she got off work and she's afraid a dog will jump her in the parking lot. It might be worth looking at the stats and gently telling her that probably won't happen.

Edit: I also thoroughly disagree that what I'm saying is victim blaming. I think the opposite is true. If women are constantly being told that they'll get raped if they go out at night, the woman who ends up being the one in a thousand will have this "you should have known" hanging over her. Even though her actions were perfectly sensible given the actual risk.

The "if you go out now you'll get raped" I've heard from family members was almost gleeful, like a threat. "You want to go out so late instead of staying home like a good girl? You're gonna get raped!" It's just not true and I don't think we should be reinforcing that attitude here.

[–]Realwoman 21 insightful - 1 fun21 insightful - 0 fun22 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

You know, many of us have experience with things that men have done to us, that's why we're afraid. It's not because someone told us to be afraid, it's because of what we've been through

[–]windrunner 12 insightful - 3 fun12 insightful - 2 fun13 insightful - 3 fun -  (1 child)

The "if you go out now you'll get raped" I've heard from family members was almost gleeful, like a threat. "You want to go out so late instead of staying home like a good girl? You're gonna get raped!" It's just not true and I don't think we should be reinforcing that attitude here.

Honestly, that sounds a "your family" problem. No one normal says that. Normal people say "be careful" when a woman/girl wants to go ou at night, for example. They say "take care of yourself, tell me where you're going or who's gonna be with you". That doesn't just sound like potential victim blaming, it is victim blaming. It's saying basically that if something happens with you it was your fault because you went out at night alone, for example.

[–][deleted] 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yes. There’s a difference between infantilizing/smothering fear mongering perpetuated by parents vs reasonable education about the reality of the world.

[–]greenish 25 insightful - 1 fun25 insightful - 0 fun26 insightful - 1 fun -  (10 children)

No one taught me to fear men, in fact I was taught to always give them the benefit of the doubt and look for the good in everyone. That is what allowed men to hurt me. I learned to trust my own instincts and be extremely wary of men after I had to find out the hard way.

I agree that we can't live in a terrorized state, because it's extremely draining, depressing, isolating, and sick-making, but I think we need to be aware of the risks that men pose, and the ill-will many of them bear us, in a clear headed way. Otherwise we are going in blindly and naively, and many of us find out for ourselves the way I did, instead of being 'conditioned'.

[–]windrunner 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

we need to be aware of the risks that men pose, and the ill-will many of them bear us, in a clear headed way.

I agree with you. No men have written on their foreheads "I'm going to rape you", "I'm a sexual predator" or "I'm going to kill you" but you don't know for real who's who. We shouldn't live in constant fear of men, but we should be wary. We should know that men like this exist. Pretending to live in a fairy tale world where "women are pushed by patriarchy to be in constant fear but we shouldn't be" when we have many reasons to be afraid or at least wary is just stupid and naïve.

[–]sisterinsomnia 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (8 children)

Learning the analytics of fighting (eg why punch in a certain place or not, how to block a punch, how to compensate for less strength in a fight) can be truly liberating, because it offers a third alternative when attacked (the other two being run or freeze). I don't meant that you would necessarily beat an attacker, but without that knowledge you certainly will not. That's what I mean by liberating: to know all sorts of alternative moves.

We don't teach girls basic self-defense or how to quickly judge the safety of some situation. This should be taught at school to all children, but boys learn a lot of that in play.

[–]MarkTwainiac 16 insightful - 1 fun16 insightful - 0 fun17 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

I agree that it's important to teach girls/women physical self-defense techniques and other strategies for staying safe.

But I think we should keep in mind that such methods are not going to be all that useful if/when a woman is facing a man pointing the barrel of gun or brandishing a blade or blowtorch at her. Or dousing her face and eyes in pepper spray, bleach, acid or other caustic substances. Or is intent on killing her by running her over with a bulldozer - which a man accused of rape in India did this week to his young accuser and her mother, killing both women in one fell swoop.

Moreover, even if a male assailant is not brandishing weapons, there are going to be times in many women's lives when fighting back is simply not going to be a wise, realistic or feasible option. As when a woman is heavily pregnant; has an infant/small child - or several - in tow or in her arms; or has developed serious health problems and disabilities that leave her a shadow of her former self with sorely diminished strength, mobility and other physical capabilities.

Similarly, knowing how to fight physically is going to be less and less of a help as a woman goes through the myriad physical changes that typically come with being of advanced age or elderly - such as loss/wasting of muscle, fat and weight gain (or conversely, substantial weight loss), uneasy balance, diminished sight and hearing, brittle bones that break easily, slowed reaction times, etc. And then there are the changes in cognitive abilities - ranging from simple forgetfulness (the so-called senior moments) to full blown dementia - that all too often come with aging too. After all, Alzheimers is a predominantly female disease; more than two-thirds of the five million people in the US with Alzheimers are women.

Imagine for a moment you are eight months pregnant and changing an infant on a changing table in a public loo when a man comes up behind you and starts humping you. Trying to use your self-defense skills in such a situation is going to be difficult, even impossible, because when heavily pregnant like that most women can't move anywhere nearly as quickly as they previously did. Plus, you'll be risking the life of not only yourself, but also the lives of the baby you're changing and the baby you're carrying within.

Also please try to imagine how incredibly vulnerable and defenseless women (and men) become when crippled by diseases such as MS, RA and ALS, or their physical capabilities are severely diminished because of fairly common ailments like COPD, asthma, kidney disease, cancer, immune deficiencies or COVID-19 lung damage.

Finally, let's try to keep in mind all the girls and women who were born with a range of diseases and conditions - ranging from physical ailments like cystic fibrosis to developmental disabilities - for whom learning how to fight back physically against assailants is not really an option. In the US, 90% of girls and women with severe developmental disabilities are victimized by male sexual assault, usually numerous times. And following the rule that all predators abide by - which is to pick on and pick off the weakest members of any herd - males likely to abuse and assault zero in on and go after girls and women with conditions like cystic fibrosis with the same alacrity with which they go after mentally challenged girls and women.

[–]Barber_Acrobatic 15 insightful - 2 fun15 insightful - 1 fun16 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

It is the depressing realisation that we are weaker. It's a fact and part of why we're victimised. I actually do a hell of a lot of weight training and powerlifting so I'm stronger than your average woman (seriously for all those who can, do, it really is excellent) but in a fight with your average bloke he'd wipe the floor with me. Plus there is also the truly depressing realisation that you don't always get to choose whether you get fight, flight or freeze. When I was raped I didn't really do anything, which took me a long time to get over as in hindsight I was full of the whole 'I should have done x, y, z'.

[–]Realwoman 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I agree with what you said, but I'd like to add that even strong and fit women can be overpowered by most men.

[–]squintypreyeyes[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Sounds like a way better solution to half these problems is to not have kids.

[–]Realwoman 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Oh, yeah, what a great solution, just don't have kids!

[–]Realwoman 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It can also be give you a false sense of security

[–]loq453 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Learning martial arts is useful but it doesn't offer an actual alternative. I'm a man and my fighting experience is limited to fights in primary and high school and I doubt there's a woman on this planet who I would lose against no matter what her skill level is. I am 2 meters tall and weight 105 kilograms, the strength difference is so vast that skill cannot make up for it.

Lucia Rijker against Somchai Jaidee, one of the best if not the best woman martial artist in history against a man who's only historical record is this fight, they have the same weight and she still lost.

Women should learn martial arts, but the only truly effective self-defense for a woman is a 9 mm.

[–]Yayme 22 insightful - 1 fun22 insightful - 0 fun23 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

Men are more likely to be violently attacked or murdered by a stranger on the street, but they don't have it constantly rubbed in their face all the time. They are allowed to go about their lives comfortable and happy. Why is that?

I guess I disagree with the assumption that they're all comfortable and happy and seemingly oblivious to the danger they're in.

I had two young black men deliver and set up my treadmill, and when I pointed to the stairs to show them the way to the basement, they both stiffened up a little, and seemed nervous about going downstairs alone in the house in a rural area. I suspect it was because of the color of their skin.

I was taking cab home from the mall around Christmastime one year, and I was staying with a friend who lived on a dead end road. The white cab driver definitely freaked the fuck out about that. He kept saying "This is a dead end road." I felt bad for him.

I've read accounts of men who work for the utility companies almost all having a conceal and carry license.

I think part of the issue of feeling like it's "rubbed in women's faces" stems from blaming the victim. If a man gets assaulted, it's because he was in a bad neighborhood. If a woman gets raped, she was dressed like a slut.

[–][deleted] 14 insightful - 1 fun14 insightful - 0 fun15 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yup this sums it up so well. The amount of nerding and obsession I see men do about their homes and cars security system and dash cams etc. and the fact that many esp. in the South carry guns for “security” tells me that they are plenty afraid but they take precautions, as should women. But men are encouraged and even supported in their fear. My husband has said that he once paid for an order at a restaurant for pick up, went there and then decided to just not pick up the order because the place looked hostile. My husband is a military veteran who has been to war. It’s not like he has never been in dangerous situations before but he knows how to asses a situation. No body blamed him for turning back.

[–]jet199 12 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 0 fun13 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yeah, I'd be quite common in the past for my dad to stick his head in a pub door then turn round and never look back while I could see nothing wrong. Young men are definitely high risk taking but men soon develop a strategy to avoid the types of violence they are most at risk of. Because they learn how to avoid even going near the risk it then looks like they aren't scared of anything.

[–]missdaisycan 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I wish there was a turbo upvote we could use once a month on this site. Thank you for stating this so well!

The world is a dangerous place, and there are seriously unhinged people in it. But none of us will make it out of this life alive.

[–]malleus_maleficarum 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

who work for the utility companies almost all having a conceal and carry license.

Not trying to pull off topic but yes it's a very, very different world out there. ...marijuana grows, meth labs, javelinas that want to chew your feet off, the cold panic of seeing a baby bear and wondering where mom is, poachers (yes really), and then there's just your run of the mill crazy pants creeper who lives out in the middle of nowhere. It'll get the adrenaline going for sure.

[–]pirilampo 20 insightful - 1 fun20 insightful - 0 fun21 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

While I agree that we perhaps should begin encouraging women to learn how to fight back in case the worst happens, I don't think it's unreasonable to refuse to have a male stranger come into your house when you're a woman who lives alone. "Did anyone think it likely that the guy installing her medical equipment was going to rape her?" Yeah, have you met men? Lol. The chances might be slim but it does happen. I've heard about it happening in my country with male internet techs, Uber/Lyft... Men will often jump at the chance to abuse a woman in a vulnerable position.

[–]Realwoman 12 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 0 fun13 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Teaching women to fight back will backfire. The truth is that most men can easily overpower most women and teaching women otherwise is irresponsible. Fighting back should be the last resort, like when there's no other way, kick him in the balls maybe, but it's not realistic to expect that women can fight their way out of dangerous situations.

[–]pirilampo 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yes, I agree with you that it should only be done as the last resort... But if it does come to that, it's useful to know beforehand how to do so more effectively.

[–]jet199 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The mistake is thinking a vulnerable position is simply being out of the house while female when actually it's things like being in an isolated area with someone, being out of contact with people who could help you, being young, being disabled, etc.

I mean the obvious fix if you have are worried about having a male technician in your house is having a friend come round at the same time. If you see where the vulnerability really is, it's not in the man or woman it's in the place they are meeting, then it's easy to find a solution.

In an uber make sure your battery is charged, ring a friend and stay on the phone to them.

[–][deleted] 15 insightful - 1 fun15 insightful - 0 fun16 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I mean, the problem is many of us have questioned our own fears and suspicions and were badly burned for it. There’s a reason we have to be hyper vigilant.

[–]vitunrotta 15 insightful - 1 fun15 insightful - 0 fun16 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Having lived a decade in a macho country where I very much stand out due to my looks, may I just say - BS. First of all, I have never met a woman who is so timid of men/going out alone etc. that they basically lock themselves inside their houses and spend their lives hysterically peeking out of their windows. (I know that is not exactly what you said but it seemed pretty implicit, tbh.)

I, as most women I assume, am wary of certain situations and for a good goddamn reason. I've been groped, followed, charged at; guys have exposed themselves to me; one even straight up started jacking off right in front of me (at least I was with 1 other woman at the time, don't know what would have happened if I had been completely alone...). I've been shouted at super aggressively when I have denied advances, or even when I've done nothing more than kept my mouth shut when a guy catcalled me. One dude got so mad that I flipped him that he started to follow me inside my apartment building. All of these instances were really scary and I thank my lucky stars I was never alone and/or managed to escape on time. (Actually I have so many stories of guys being absolute fucking pervy creeps towards me that I could write a book about them.) And THESE experiences are the reason why I am careful - not some "social conditioning" of girls and women since childhood.

Every day I go outside I am extremely aware that I'll meet at least one dude who will say something very indecent and/or pervy to me. I have tried yelling back at them but that seems to get them really angry - and I'm not dumb, if a man is aggressive they will take me down easily. Why would I risk my life? Of course I won't. I would LOVE to kick all these nasty morons in the balls but I understand there may be repercussions for such actions... Like, a guy punching me full-force in the face, molesting me etc.

I fought hard to get over my fear of ANY man in the streets because of the myriad of shit that MEN have said and done to me. It has taken a shit ton of guts to "regain my space" and e.g. not change the side of the road when I see a guy walking towards me. But there is nothing irrational about me still feeling kind of stressed out when this happens, because (at least in the country I live) pretty much 50% of the times I do have to listen to some "lovely" comments about my looks, ass, tits, what men would like to do with me etc. etc.

I'd wager that when women are wary and conscious of their surroundings it is because they have ALL experienced some shit and generally wish to NOT experience shit anymore. It's all fine and dandy to excuse very valid fears as "social conditioning" but you are literally willfully forgetting the fact that reality is pretty misogynist, and real world can be very dangerous to women. And we know that because WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE.

Your text came across like so many whiny comments from other men who also think my sometimes fearful reactions are just silly and hysterical, when they have absolutely zero understanding about how it feels like to be catcalled and wolf-whistled and groped and leered at EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I walk out of the safety of my own home and ta-dah! I am suddenly a public piece of meat for everyone.

Gladly men with such comments at least have the decency to STFU after I give them a little glimpse of my daily life. Rant over.

I will become less wary of men the moment men become less aggressive. Until that (unrealistic) day, I will take precautions without feeling silly or ashamed or "conditioned" - because my personal safety is pretty damn important to me.

[–]jkfinn 12 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 0 fun13 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

I don’t know... radical feminists have been under attack and dismissed by both the left and liberal feminists for being into identity politics and for wallowing in “victimization.” In other words, radical feminists are making things up, endlessly extending categories of female oppression, exaggerating afflictions, and insisting they be heard (in too much detail). The idea being that these women have lost their agency and independence by emphasizing women’s helplessness. But actually the truth is and was much closer to the reverse. Women’s victimization is real and there’s really no other word for it. What can be documented is documented and yet we know that this convincing evidence is, in most cases, just a tiny portion of what we don’t know, but can project. And there’s ample evidence that the women on the other end of this violence are much more likely to be those who deny victimization than those who acknowledge it. After all, it was radical feminists who initiated the marshal arts for women, title ix, physical strength etc ..

I think what you mention did happen on a few threads but r/gc did have many political stripes aboard, and I think radical feminists tend less to respond to calls for advice than the others.

[–]ImPiqued1111111 12 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 0 fun13 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

Somewhat related, I've mentioned before on the old sub that I don't like the language of "survivor" in place of "victim". The insinuation is that it's shameful to say actually, somebody did something to me. When in reality, I have no choice but to try to keep surviving, but it doesn't mean I'm doing ok, it doesn't mean I'm strong, and I don't need to wear "survivor" as a badge of honor when I'm just struggling to get up in the morning and brush my teeth.

It it makes someone feel better to term themselves a survivor after a traumatic event, I won't begrudge them. But I really dislike the shift towards it seeming like a requirement, otherwise you're branded as an inferior poor-me attention grabber who's wallowing in it.

[–]jkfinn 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

"Survivor" is to victim what "senior" is to old or what "passing" is to dying. Only worse, because "survivor" is more enforced, and covers up more.

[–]ImPiqued1111111 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Good point!

[–]MarkTwainiac 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

If you look into the history of the term "survivor," you'll find it first originated amongst and for Jews (and others) victimized by the Nazis and subject to extermination during the Holocaust of WW2. In the first years/decades after the rise and fall of Nazism, Jews and others were routinely vilified for not fighting back, for going to their mass executions "like lambs to a slaughter."

The term "survivor" was originally raised or coined to bring attention to the people the Nazis tried to slaughter en masse on the spot in their villages, towns and cities who managed to escape as well as the hundreds of thousands/millions who were sent to Nazi death camps but somehow managed to survive. Only later was the same locution adopted by those who had experienced sexual assault and their advocates.

[–]ImPiqued1111111 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Ah, I didn't know that about Jewish survivors. I definitely have no objection to usage of that terminology around that. Not for me to do so.

I was more talking about sexual assault and domestic violence, which I think somewhere during the 90s, the language around that began to change. If I remember correctly, the idea was about empowerment, but I think it takes away emphasis from the perpetrator and places too much responsibility on the victim (or survivor if you prefer).

[–]MarkTwainiac 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Yes, your portrayal of what happened is spot on, except for the decade. It was in the (late) 1970s that persons the Nazis slated for extermination and sent to death camps but who managed to remain alive started to be referred to as "survivors."

It was in the early-mid 1980s that public attention started to admit and be focused on child sex abuse as well as on widespread sexual violence against girls and women. With and following those changes, the term "survivor" was extended to refer to victims of sexual assault in both childhood and adulthood

[–][deleted] 12 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 0 fun13 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Lots of women that are scared have had actual stuff happen to them. I don’t think it’s actually trained-in fear. The training doesn’t stick if nothing happens. Women are cruising around hammered and doing stuff all the time, not crying at home. I think you’re seeing a thing that doesn’t exist outside of online forums.

Men are not as scared of other men because men are generally stronger and have a better chance of fighting someone off. Plus they probably know who to avoid because ppl who want to rob you look much sketchier than rapists. Lol

[–]windrunner 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

<But that doesn't mean women are in constant and imminent danger of being brutalised or raped every moment of our lives.

But women ARE in constant and imminent danger of being brutalized or raped every moment of our lives. Do you even watch the news? Because let me tell you, the amount of cases of women harrassed, raped and even killed by a man they didn't even KNOW just for EXISTING is deeply disturbing. It's not "encouraging women to be afraid all the time" when we are ACTIVELY in danger ALL THE TIME. It seems to me you tried to make a valid point using the wrong arguments and frankly dismissing a real issue women face every single day, everywhere.

<Girls and women are reminded every time they go out after dark that they could be raped, beaten or murdered

Do you know why is that? Because we have to be alert and prepared everytime everywhere so guess what - we don't get killed. Because these things HAPPEN EVERY DAY to many women worldwide. On a daily basis. On a hourly basis. We ARE vulnerable to violence, that is a simple and hard fact. Women LIVE in fear everyday, that is a simple and hard fact. We wouldn't be living in fear if there wasn't anything to be afraid of - which there is. The fact that you feel that "we have to be constantly rubbed on our faces all the time" and make this all sound like people "just encourage women to be afraid" as if that wasn't already OUR REALITY is beyond me, really. As feminists we really should care more about femicide, sexual assault/harassment and other really important things rather than frivolous things like shaving body hair that only the previleged women from 1st world countries see as a fucking problem.

[–][deleted] 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This is some BS.

[–]Rationalmind 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think it’s good to be mindful of our surroundings and prepared, but I agree that being paralyzed by fear is not doing us any good either.

[–]jelliknight 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

I agree with you. Men may sometimes be predators, but women are not prey. Being aware and prepared is one thing but I hate the idea that we are meek helpless little lambs.

[–]missdaisycan 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

the idea that we are meek helpless little lambs.

So who's saying that? Men may be stronger and faster, but women may be smarter, if they choose to be. It's about awareness; not erasure.

[–]Amareldys 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think we can distinguish between being wary and alert, and being afraid.

Maybe I am naive but I have male workers in the house all the time when I am alone... plumbers, appliance installers, etc. I agree they are unlikely to rape or rob, because even if they were inclined to do so, they are easily identifiable.

But if someone is worried, the cautious thing to do would be to invite a friend over the day of the installation.

[–]zeekiel 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

yo this is based on real experience trained over a lifetime. you think women are just born scared? we learn to be.

and some moms teach their wariness to their daughters, regular women grow up in a society where we dont have the cultural background to describe sex class analysis to a 13 year old girls who grew up on the little mermaid and a world of male led media that lives in a post sex rainbow happy land.

so yeah sometimes it comes out as "men are scary." maybe you can start a theatre genre dedicated to explicit sex analysis and make sure is massively distributed so that it outpaces the phallic propaganda thats everywhere. or you just try ur best to warn daughters of the real dangers.