So you have a fear of men lurking around the corner waiting to accost you, yet have done zero to…
Mister Alighieri
1

>>“yet have done zero to mitigate that fear by doing the one thing you can do to protect yourself from the danger you fear. “

No. I have done zero of what YOU think I should do to mitigate my fear: a) engaging in street fights, b) taking combat arts classes, or c) training to fight/kill, these actions which you define as the “one thing I can do” to protect myself from the danger posed by violent men.

I think there are many other things I can do, and one of them is what I am doing right now: talking about how women feel in public. Talking about the fears and dangers we deal with on a daily basis so that the 50% of the population whose gender is the primary cause of those fears can become a little more aware and perhaps (shock) change some of their behaviors which add to the fear. Raising my voice loudly to say what I want from this social contract we collaboratively create, because that’s what participation is and it’s my right to participate.

You seem satisfied with a world in which I should “man up” and expect violence as a matter of course — and get in some fight-kill training to mitigate that violence. I am not satisfied with such a world, nor will I settle for it. I expect better of us and I will continue asking for it, from myself first.

>>“So continue to live in fear but know that it’s largely irrational and you have failed to do anything that would calm it.”

One in three women will experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.

One in five women will be raped at some point in their lives.

One in three women between the ages of 18 and 34 have been sexually harassed at their workplace. I’m 37 now, maybe I can relax about that one a little bit.

87% of U.S. females have been sexually harassed in public places.

65% of women have experienced street harassment and, of that group, 23% were inappropriately touched and 20% were followed.

Could you let me know exactly what part of my fear is irrational?

I don’t need these numbers. YOU need these numbers. I already know these numbers because I live them. I am tired of sharing my social spaces with men who feel free to comment on my boobs or my ass, follow me around, ogle my body, make sexual innuendoes, make inappropriate remarks in front of my children, and get mad at me when I “politely decline” their conversational engagement.

I’m super happy if you are NOT one of these asshats, but your ignorance about the prevalence of their behavior and how it affects women is childish. Grow up and learn more about the world you inhabit. Maybe take some time off from your study of the combative arts to have conversations with the women you know. Ask them how safe they feel on public transit, on the sidewalk, or alone anywhere after dark. Ask them how much they enjoy being called “bitch” or “cunt,” being screamed at and cussed out, being followed down the street, being physically threatened, because they refused the sexual advances of a strange man.

Quit telling me how to mitigate my fears until you’ve taken the time to fucking understand them. Your dismissal of my fears as irrational tells me that you have no idea what it’s like to experience the world as anything other than a man.

And yes, I’m aware that “Social interaction is a negotiated act.” In fact, that is precisely what I am promoting. Social negotiations, based on common social cues and courtesies, and giving equal respect to all parties involved, regardless of gender or any other characteristic. Please inform your male brethren what social negotiation means, because a lot of them don’t get it.

Peace out.