- I can’t walk alone. I carry pepper spray and a taser and my keys between my fingers because it is dangerous just to walk alone at night. My guy friends always walk me back if it’s dark, and if we’re off campus, they walk on both sides of me. Because it’s “safer that way.” And god, I wish I didn’t have to use quotation marks. Because it actually is safer that way. And if I go to a club with friends, the entire group has safety plans and back-up plans and contact numbers pretty much memorized, and hell, there’s even nail polish that changes color when it comes into contact with a date rape drug. It is not safe.
- I am afraid to go on dates with guys I haven’t known for years and years because what if they’re not who they seem to be? When I went on a date with a relative stranger, four of my girlfriends followed me because they wanted to make sure that this guy (who was bigger than me in both height and weight) would not shove me into his car and rape me. Because that’s an actual fear that girls have. Because it’s happened to so many of us that we all have to be wary of it.
- I hate playing online, interactive video games because as soon as the general gaming population hears that I’m a girl, they say things to me like “did your boyfriend teach you how to play?” or “shouldn’t you be in the kitchen?” or “go make me a sandwich bitch.” Crushing them in the game isn’t enough because then they’ll just say that I had my “boyfriend” beat them for me. I can’t even play games without being put down for being a woman. It doesn’t matter if I’m better than them or more well-versed in the game. I’m still not good enough because I am a woman.
- When I took a self-defense class, I was told not to shout “rape” or “sexual assault/harassment” if a guy ever attacked me. Why? Because no one would come. I was 13, and I was told that if I screamed for help when I was getting attacked, no one would come. They told me that a much better option to scream was “fire” because then someone would come see what’s going on. If that’s not fucking terrifying to you, then I don’t know what is. 13-year-old me was very disillusioned.
- By saying that I’m a feminist, so many people will discount me. People will tell me that if I’m really about gender equality, then I would be an “equalist.” What they don’t realize is that white women make about 80 cents to a white man’s dollar. A woman of color makes about 60 cents to a white man’s dollar. A woman with children (with the exact same skills and experience) as a male counterpart with children will never be chosen over him. What they don’t understand is that we have one scoop of ice cream and men have four, and we’re just asking for an additional three to make up for the fact that we’re so disadvantaged. And then the men with four scoops will just say that we’re being feminazi’s and that they deserve an additional three scoops. That’s what they mean by equality. Feminism is about bringing women up not bringing men down. And I mean damn, feminism helps men too. But what’s the point in even going on about it?
People stop listening as soon as I say that I’m a feminist.