From carrying pepper sprays, to shrugs or scarves to cover ourselves up - all us women can relate to this need to be always prepared, 'just in case'. And for the longest time, women have been subjected to problematic statements to counter this very real problem - i.e. to confine women at home at night, to instate curfews. And if she's out despite that, then it is automatically her fault, right? Phew! Let's dust our hands off of all responsibility then.
But what would happen if the tables were turned? Almost an utopian scenario, posed by civil rights activist, Danielle Muscato, asking women,
"What would you do if all men had a 9pm curfew?"
The replies on this thread encapsulate how women are deprived of getting to enjoy the simplest of things, because of this constant fear and anxiety bound to their own safety.
Danielle implores men to actually listen to the replies so that they understand, how being alert all the time almost becomes a draining second job.
I would go outside or to a park at night. I love the nighttime outside when it's so quiet, and there is a quiet contemplative beauty to the world, especially in the city. But is hard to enjoy it when I'm hypervigilant to possible threats (getting mugged/assaulted/kidnapped).— CJ Spooky Jeff 💀 (@neutronsoup) September 26, 2018
What I usually do? The chances of me being kidnapped or raped would go down 100% though. https://t.co/9Eix06Dk17— Somebody mama. (@adabofash) September 26, 2018
I just booked an airbnb for a work trip which will have me out late into the evenings. Took me an hour of google mapping to see how I'd approach different properties, whether streets were lighted or populated. So, for starters, I'd book any damn place I wanted to, without worry.— Let's Scare Jessica Shortall To Death (@jessicashortall) September 25, 2018
Limiting men from the public sphere at night seems just as 'sensible' a response as confining women to the private sphere to 'avoid' assaults. Isn't it?
Go out to bars by myself, walk with both headphones in my ears without my keys in between my fingers inmy hand.— Kristen Michelle (@KristenKayMBee) September 25, 2018
Hi! Sure! I’ve also while waiting for a friend, had a female bar tender watch my drink behind the bar when I had to go to the bathroom.— Kristen Michelle (@KristenKayMBee) September 26, 2018
The replies captured the scary reality of being a woman - from the fear of getting our drinks spiked, to the fear of being followed home. Ensnared by this crippling fear, some of us women actually end up confining ourselves.
can you imagine getting up to go to the bathroom and leaving your drink sitting there, knowing when you get back that you're not going to fall unconscious. Or getting as drunk as you want and stumbling home, no fear of being followed. that's twilight zone shit.— HM Esmerie (@lizardwedding) September 29, 2018
How we get to act in public accounts for a sort of privilege subject to our class, caste and gender. The effect of this post was that men actually listened.
Some of the men replied to the thread claiming that they never realised that their freedom accounts for a certain privilege bound to their gender.
Wow, I feel horrible right now. None of this has ever occurred to me as an issue. I run, I go do whatever I want whenever I want.Why aren't women filled with uncontrollable rage all the time?— Houston Wolf (@houstonwolf) September 26, 2018
I’m a white guy who regularly visits other countries by himself, walking city streets after midnight while listening to music on my headphones while not speaking the language. Never even occurred to me that this was a gender privilege.— Randall Stephens 🏳️🌈 (@DrBeagleman1) September 26, 2018
The viral post opened a channel for a conversation to negotiate the space politics of the public sphere, that all the genders equally share.
As a fellow runner and male, is there any way to show I’m not a threat? Or just keep my distance? Sometimes I do the polite “fellow runner nod” but now I worry that could be misinterpreted. These replies are heartbreaking and infuriating.— Kris White (@krisryanwhite) September 26, 2018
It starts with a conversation and acknowledgement of each other's struggles. And we are glad about posts like these that end up working towards peaceful negotiations.
Read the full thread here.
Feature Image source.