While we may fight for equality, it is no secret that women lead vastly different lives from men. Apart from the oppression, suppression, and gigantic gender roles of which the victims are mostly women, they remain cautious of all that surrounds them.
It is draining – to say the least – to be on watch 24/7, to take in the world with suspicion. Imagine a life without wariness, where caution does not overpower desire or necessity, when flickering streetlamps don’t ignite any emotion but of irritation at the government for not properly using the taxes they collect. It’s not going to happen, but imagine.
The females of our society must pay heed to what time they leave the protection of their houses; a protection that is subjective to the people that reside in the house. Perhaps, these females prefer to work or remain out of their houses due to the oppressive atmosphere that suffocates them to no end, but what a world! No sanctuary for women, be it a house or a workplace, or the streets.
Is it too early to go out, or too late? Is the risk of heading out into an empty, vacant street worth it? Certain hours of the night and day are unsafe for women to go out at, and we should be ashamed that our men have made this time unsafe. The fact that women are limited to specific hours of the day to go out at, acceptable hours for a female to be out of the house have been ascertained by our damaged societal values is a ridiculous and outdated notion of safety. How many of us have been scolded by our parents for staying out too late, because respectable women do not remain out of the protection and constant scrutiny of their family? On the other hand, our male counterparts are free to roam the streets, and are often left to their own devices.
In a self-defense class, here are some of the things that are taught:
Do not listen to music via headphones; you must be able to hear anyone coming up behind you.
Look up from your screen and pay attention to your surroundings, or your phone will get you killed.
Always hold your keys so they protrude from your knuckles like a weapon ready to be used.
Before leaving in a cab, make sure to contact your friends and keep them on phone if you can.
There are countless measures women have been taught, but what about the men? Are we actively teaching our boys that they will be held accountable for their actions, and they must behave morally? Then again, the morals we have been taught are something along the lines of: boys will be boys, and women must bow.
With anxiety as a constant companion, are we doomed to live in constant fear of being attacked, assaulted or violated?