Feminist Friday: End the Fear

Friday, January 16, 2015

Photo Credit: http://albertopoloianez.deviantart.com/art/Movement-167122990

End the Fear

The forest is dark and terrifying.

Two girls walk arm-in-arm to their car; a can of pepper spray in one hand and a car key held like a dagger ready to strike in the other. Mountain lions and other wild creatures are a very real possibility in this part of middle-of-nowhere, but the most pressing fear is kidnap and/or rape.

This is how women are conditioned to think.

When the bushes nearby rustle, they pause.

“Did you hear that?” they ask each other.

Eventually, they convince each other to keep moving, faster now. Just before they reach the car…

“BOO!” their male friend jumps out in front of them, and they scream, hearts racing.

“You can’t do that!” they tell him.

He’s puzzled by their fear. It was just a joke.

But it’s not a joke for us. The threat of men jumping out of bushes or otherwise ambushing us to attack is a very real and terrifying threat that we women deal with on a daily basis. We live in a culture that teaches women to be afraid instead of teaching men not to rape or harm other human beings. In fact, we applaud violence and aggression in men.

Rape culture is a sad and harmful truth.

But it doesn’t have to be. 

It’s time to stop perpetuating rape culture. It’s time to stop encouraging violence, aggression, and anger in men while telling women to dress appropriately, drink cautiously, and never go anywhere alone at night or ever. Women should not have to live their lives in fear. Men should not have to rape to prove their manhood.

End the violence and the fear.

Let’s all be respectful humans, okay?

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