Moving Through the World as a Woman
The special considerations women tend to make as a matter of habit as they move through the world have been on my mind lately, as they’ve been on Aunt B’s. You see, on some evenings I ride the city bus home from work, taking a walk up a steep hill with no sidewalks or street lights to get to my house.
Last week, as I walked up the hill from the bus stop, two young men in a junky car buzzed me and one screamed out his open window just about a foot away from me. Not a “Hey, baby” yell – just pure primal yelling, intended to frighten. I got to the house as quickly as I could after that, not sure if they would turn around and harass me further. I skipped checking the mail on the way in just in case.
What I’ve been thinking about is this issue of safety, and how two idiots in a car didn’t kick off my apprehension about the simple act of riding the bus home, they simply added to it. I’ve noticed that on days when I’m planning to ride the bus, I don’t wear skirts. I wear shoes I could conceivably run in, not heeled shoes I might trip in. I try to pace myself up the hill to balance wanting to get home quickly against having some energy left should something happen.
I remember the first time I realized that boys don’t grow up being told to glance under and in their cars before getting inside. I read an article in a recent “Risk” issue of Bitch magazine that addressed how fear-mongering spam (Your lipstick/antiperspirant/cooking devices will kill you!) tends to address topics that disproportionately affect women.
I don’t have any real conclusion to this post, I just get a little tired of feeling that numerous extra precautions are needed simply because I have boobs and a vagina. I’m tired of “just in case.”