I know it is not possible to fix all the problems in society in the blink of an eye. If I could, though, one of the things I would get rid of would be all violence. Lately, I have found the fact that women don?t feel safe walking alone particularly relevant.Sometimes, some males do not realize the privilege they have in being able to walk back from somewhere late at night without feeling afraid. I?m sure there are some men who do feel afraid, and some women who do not, but I bet that, statistically, more women feel afraid than men.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice, the most violent crimes are committed by males against males, except for rape and sexual assault. However, it is these two crimes we are most afraid of as women, and when violence does happen to women, there is a large chance it will involve involuntary sexual contact.
When Public Safety posts the “Safety Alerts” describing incidents that have happened recently that give the campus reason to be more cautious than usual, I always balk at the statement “Public Safety encourages students, particularly women, to be very aware of their surroundings, especially when walking around at night.” I understand that, statistically, women are at a higher risk in walking from place to place. I just wish this wasn?t the case.
It is in these ways that men have the unrealized privilege of being able to walk somewhere at night alone and most likely not feel afraid. From my past experiences and conversations with different men, I have not gotten the feeling that they are nearly as afraid as women.
This past summer, I attended the Michigan Womyn?s Music Festival, at which there are no men allowed. Not until I was in an allfemale environment did I realize what a relief it is. I realized there that every day I am on guard, cautious, and just feel different than when I was in an all-female environment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics in their most recent (1994) Special Report on sex differences in violent victimization, 431,100 women were raped or sexually assaulted, versus 32,900 men. Thus, statistically, women do have more reason to be afraid.
In a perfect world, no one would have to be afraid of anything. I wish I could fearlessly walk places alone, but any friend would tell me not to, and I would not let any other friend do so either; the statistics show why.