T Nation

Women's Fear of Random Attacks


This is something that's been getting on my nerves lately: the ridiculous fear of women getting attacked.

I rarely drive anywhere and so I end up walking alone in the dark quite frequently, in the morning on my way to work it is dark and its dark when I leave at night. It's dark when I run in the morning, hell, it's dark most of the time because it's WINTER.

But this is apparently quite irresponsible, so much so that everyone and their dog must offer me a ride home, lecture me on personal safety moan and groan about the bad men hiding in the bushes and tell me I'm CRAZY for stepping outside unchaperoned.

A short while ago I was on my way to work, waiting for the light to change at an intersection downtown, and a woman standing next to me says "Oh my, all these men....It's just not safe to be a woman alone!!!" WHAT???? I looked around me and there were some city workers across the street and a few guys here and there going about there business getting coffee and getting to work. Yes, very scary indeed. That dude with the briefcase is clearly about to attack.

A couple of weeks ago a co-worker was discussing his wife getting a job offer downtown. She declined the job because it required her to be downtown between 6 and 7 am and she felt it just wasn't safe. WTF??? He agreed with her and felt this was a fine reason for her to turn down a good paying job and stay on the fucking couch. Another co-worker (woman) also agreed and said she wouldn't do that either.

Am I crazy??? Is this not over the top ridiculous?


most rapists dont wake up before 10 am, theyre usually up late nights peering.


I'm hiding in your closet right this minute.



I can always tell when walking around campus when a girl is suspicious. Apparently logic doesn't appeal to them - because just maybe my class is in the same direction as hers. Unless some girl is in the middle of Englewood at two o'clock in the morning, it's all mental.


Ha! I thought I was the only one. They glance back, then lock their head straight ahead and step up the pace a bit; if they're wearing a skirt, they will suddenly become self-conscious and hold the hem down, like you're going to try to disrobe them right there. It never occurs to them that you might just be taking a similar route that you've used for the past three years. My reaction varies between amusement and annoyed incredulity.


I spent years riding the subway in Toronto hoping someone would cop a feel. No luck.

I agree. I think this is oversensationalised and reactionary.

Iron Dwarf, if you're in my closet, can you organise my shoes and stuff?


I've never been a women and I have never been raped, but all the women I know who have been raped wish it hadn't happened. Many of them blame themselves in some small way for getting into the situation in the first place. Your friends who are playing it safe will likely never have to come to terms with getting raped.


Gee, I wonder why they would think that?

And you're wrong. Fearing strange men will not prevent rape.


I can't say that as a woman I have any fear of attack. I do however make sure to leave with a group when going to my car from work and park in a well lit area. I work in a dangerous area, people I know have been mugged in my parking lot and a guy was just stabbed and killed about 200 feet from where I park last week. I don't do all this stuff because I am a woman but more because I think it would be stupid to go there alone when I don't have too knowing such things have been occuring. With that said I still will not let being alone stop me from what I have to do either.


LOL This happens to me pretty often too.


I figure if they're glancing over their shoulder that they're flirting and they're just ASKING FOR IT!!



I've never know one woman who was raped, buy you imply that you have known several. Do you work as some sort of crisis counselor?

Anyway, Deb, you're not crazy. I can't go along in life thinking that I have to be fearful of 50% of the population.


I believe fear of men in gemeral is learned on a mothers' knee. A woman who is afraid will instill this fear into her daughters. I get dozens emails from my older friends (and an occasional one from my own mother) warning of the "Raspist-who-asks-for-the-time", etc. urban legends. I simple email them the "snopes" or "truth or fiction" results of each supposed encounter. I think internet garbage scares older people into beleiving that there are way more crazy bastards out there (than there really are).


Okay, well she may be crazy but that's besides the point :slightly_smiling:

We can cower with fear in our homes. We can ensure we never go out unaccompanied. I refuse to live my life in fear all clenched and paranoid. By doing that, the few people who do behave badly, win and we punish all the other men in the world for the actions of others.

I think we need to behave sensibly but I don't envy the men that are looked at with fear simply because they're men.


I go for walks at night. Sometimes a run... people tell me I'm nuts. I say, "yep."

I'm not sure why fear seems to be popular. Is it because of fear-based advertising? Maybe the general population gets lured into a habit of worrying? I keep thinking it's because nobody else wants to go for a walk. Walking appears to be a forgotten art where I live. I got used to walking a lot when I lived in England.

(Shrugs) Statistics indicate that most rapes happen with a person you already know. Experienced that myself, when I was 15. I'm not worried that it will happen when I'm out for a walk. If it does, he'll have an unpleasant surprise.


Right! Or the Terrorists win!


Fearing and avoiding strange men may prevent them from being raped by those strange men. If it doesn't prevent it then they absolutely have a reason to fear them.


I know 2 women who have been raped. One was slipped a roofie at a party, believe it or not, and one was jumped in a parking lot by two guys and raped by both of them. No, make that 3 women, I forgot about the other one. She was also attacked by a stranger.

Woman #1 became meek & fearful, woman #3 became defensive & aggresive, woman #2 became a badass martial artist but deals with occasional depression.

I'd say I'm very cautious of all strangers, but I don't go around looking (or feeling)fearful. The more I train in martial arts, the less fearful but the more cautious I become, if that makes sense.

That comment, "oh, my all these men, its just not safe to be a woman alone" would have annoyed the shit out of me, too. It demonstrates an "I'm a helpless victim" mentality. If you feel truly unsafe, learn to defend yourself. Not you, Debra, I mean the comment maker.




What, you have a penis?