Thursday, June 29, 2006

6/29

Now, I don't know who wrote this comment (the anonymous part leaves it up to my imagination), but I'm guessing it is someone that doesn't regularly experience fear and humiliation while walking down the street.

My anonymous commenter said:

"Not to inflame the comments here, but in terms of judging a group of men hanging out as a potentially great enough risk to force women to stay indoors, I agree with the email. I know there are lots of reasons that make it smart to err on the side of caution, but one must be careful that caution doesn't turn into unreasonable fear because, as yoda points out, that leads to some bad places ;) just food for thought - the rest of that email was out of line. "

Yes, Do's e-mail was out of line. Thank you for recognizing that. Here is my reply to your other point, which is something that I didn't touch on in yesterday's post. It's interesting to me that both Do. and some of the people that read his e-mail yesterday assumed that the group of men I was referring to had "just gotten home from work" or were " just hanging out relaxing". I happened to know that a number of men in and around my apartment complex are unemployed. I know this because my next door neighbor asked me to get him an application for where I work. This is the same man that came over to kill a half-dead, enormous cockroach from my kitchen floor because it was making me so squemish that I couldn't even go into same room with the bug. He is a great guy. He always asks about Zac and I truly believe that he would defend me or change my tire if I needed him to.

Why the hell, though, would I assume everyone in the world (or even north Houston) was like that? What confidence do I have in machismo to trust that a group of men, or even a solitary man, won't emotionally or physically harm me? I don't. It doesn't keep me indoors. It keeps me safe. Big difference.

This is the kicker, the part that some of the men reading this site clearly don't realize: fear is a subjective emotion, which means that there is no logic behind it. I become afraid when a man grabs his crotch and yells nasty shit to me on the street the same way that I become afraid when I walk down a dark street at night or pass a group of "harmless" men. There is no reason to it, other than I FEEL unsafe. On a daily basis I am physically intimidated and objectified by strangers for no other reason than my biological sex and stature.

Here is the other part, the reason that I choose not to run at night: If something were to happen to me, who would take care of Zac? If I were beaten and raped, how long do you think it would take me before I recovered enough to be the best mother I can be to my young son? Where would that leave Zac in the meantime? I can't put my safety in jeopardy for an ideal that 'it should be safe for a woman to do this'. I just can't.

7 comments:

wildflower said...

To me, the issue is not whether or not a particular group of men is scary. If you are scared, no self-righteous man is entitled to judge you or invalidate your intuition. I can recall a certain moment in my life when I had an urge to get off a bus because it Friday the 13th and there was a full moon. Illogical, right? Well, I let logic overpower my fears and ended up in the hospital when the bus crashed. Logic is overrated.

Pregnant In Texas said...

Amen, sister!

Heather said...

I totally agree with you. I'm not a mother yet (well sort of). I'm newly pregnant and already I've noticed that all of my decisions seem to be made for different reasons. What I once felt fine doing, I now think.. if something happens to me, it happens to this baby. Do I have a right to risk that?

You don't have to justify your fear. It is what it is. And I commend you for being able to think of Zac first, no matter what asshats say!!

Ali said...

It is common fact that it is not safe for anyone, especially women, to be out at night by themselves. Whether there is a group of men hanging out or not, it is not safe, especially depending on the town/area. Now, if there are a bunch of men hanging out, drinking beer, etc. all the more reason to watch yourself.

You have no way of knowing exactly how much they've been drinking or how long they've been out there, but why take that chance? If something were to happen to you, people, you included anonymous, would be asking "Why did she go jogging after dark anyway?"

And right, you aren't as risky after you have a child, especially if you are that child's sole support.

Any other dates coming up?

jenna said...

i repeat what i commented in the previous post (- which i had written before i read this.)

Anonymous said...

HI; I AM AN AUSTIN FRIEND OF JENNA F... JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW I READ YOUR BLOG AND WOULD LIKE TO CORRESPOND-CAROLYN IN AUSTIN

Pregnant In Texas said...

Hi Jenna's friend from Austin. Please ask Jenna for my e-mail and write to me sometime.

Heather - congratulations on the your new baby. Thanks for the support.

Ali - Still want to e-mail you. We need to find some way to exchange information