You Can’t Lean In: Violence Keeps Women From Pursuing Higher Needs

Women can’t reach self-actualization because of violence.

As I’ve grown up and grown older, the number of my friends who have experienced sexual assault in their lives has increased.

It has made me believe that the greatest battle my sex has to fight is not financial and career equality or to have genderless toys for our kids.

The greatest battle for my sex is to live unharmed. That’s it.

As women across the world, we cannot even get past the second stage of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Whether in prosperous America or rural India, all women fear for the health and security of their body.

We are never told rape is bad. We are told, starting at a young age, that it is bad if you get raped. If you’re the victim.

We’re told that attempted rape will happen, and that it is up to us to prevent it. We have to be on guard. No one is out there to help us. We’re all on our own. Hold your car keys between your knuckles so you can fight back. Buy mace and put it on a key chain. Buy a gun to scare them off. Keep a taser in your purse.

How could we possibly have the time and energy to fight for financial and career equality in tier four when we’re just trying to survive tier 2?