Janet Miles, CAP-OM (janetmiles) wrote,
Janet Miles, CAP-OM
janetmiles

I have no idea what to title this

There have been a couple of good posts just now, one on my friends list, and one linked to by that friend, on the culture of rape, and how women have to guard themselves as though all men are latent rapists.

And I am puzzled at myself, because, as far as I can determine, I don't feel that way, I don't treat men that way, and I guess I've been insanely lucky.

I am 46 years old. There has been exactly one time in my life that I feared I was in danger of being assaulted -- possibly for money, possibly rape -- and I handled that situation by pointing a loaded gun at the man I felt was threatening me. There was exactly one date when I felt that if I stayed, I might be forced into sex, and I handled that by saying so, and leaving, and never seeing him again. That was also the one and only time I ever went out on a date with a stranger. (Although, now that I think about it, the people I told did say, "Well, what did you expect, going back to his house to 'talk'?")

I have shared bed space with male friends and not had any qualms about doing so. I have gotten drunk (rarely) with male friends without any worries about what might happen. I walk alone on campus after dark and don't feel even slightly twitchy about it. I wander around science fiction conventions in moderately revealing clothing, and have never been hassled. And while I would never even consider hitch-hiking in the USA, when I was in high school and college I hitch-hiked around four different countries in South and Central America, and never felt endangered.

And yet, and yet. I know so very many women who have been assaulted or raped. I know it happens. But I still don't have that fear, that sense of guardedness. And I don't know why.
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