Jun 25, 2007

Take back the night.

When I lived in Bellingham, a college town, once a year female students would march on campus in an attempt to bring exposure to women's safety. While I salute their sentiment I was curious about what they did for the other 364 evenings in the year. I mean you have to be one seriously disturbed individual to believe that people should be vulnerable to violence, but I will always wonder what those women did to keep themselves from out of harms way.

I had a conversation with a participant after one rally about her thoughts on the matter. She believed that bringing attention to the subject will hopefully bring pressure on the university to offer things that'll make the campus safer such as more lighting, surveillance, security, and public phones. While these are all noble traits that the proper authorities will listen and hopefully take action on, the girl said nothing about personal security.

Carrying mace and/or learning a martial art was something that never crossed the mind of this girl when making her statement with her fellow marchers. I understand that learning these things can be frightening to some, but shouldn't security start with you?

Take for instance this 17 year old. She was being mugged by three people, one guy and two girls. Instead of taking an ass whooping she belted the guy in the sack and fought off the other two women who ran away.

I hear women claim that 'girl's kick butt' all the time, but I've only met a handful that actually do. Maybe I'm some gloom and doom kind of person who thinks the world is violent and cruel, and really it is, but I've always hated the type who expects their safety to be best handled by others and not take any measures themselves besides marching once a year.

I never talked with the girl after that conversation. Maybe she's still marching and hopefully her awareness of the issue becomes more enlightened. I would like a planet where women will never fall victims to shameless pig fucking guys, but until that wonderful utopia exists (never) I implore females to at least consider making security a personal responsibility as well as a communal one. March by all means girls, but don't let chanting fall on deaf ears. Especially your own.

"I just swung and hit him in the nuts and he hit the ground screaming." - Unidentified girl.

Teenage girl fights back and beats up muggers


Miss Ash said...

I've been to a few Take Back the Night events. It's more of an evening to bring awareness surrounding the issues of violence against women. We shouldn't be afraid to walk at night and unfortunately you're probably correct in saying that we always will be.

Most are women only events. Women centred agencies will go to give out information IE Sexual Assualt Centre, as well there is a march through the streets, generally a candlelight vigil and of course speakers. I think it can be a very powerful evening.

whatigotsofar said...

Defense begins with the self. It goes beyond just being able to square an attacker though. Awareness by the woman at all times, I think, is just as important. Knowing where you are and what's around you is the key, and that goes for everybody, not just women protective of their bodies.

Andrew said...

I saw the Take Back the Night rally at Western one year. I was heading to the computer lab and came upon hundreds of girls chanting and marching into Red Square. One girl had a huge sign that read "I Love My Pussy". I was tempted to yell "I Love Your Pussy Too!", but thought better of it. I was the only guy around and some of those girls looked like they didn't love their pussies.