How to Avoid Harassment, Rape, and Other Things You Shouldn’t Have To Worry About

I’ve seen so many posts on the internet about how much abuse and harassment that women get in the real world and on the internet. I don’t think it’s something that most people can truly understand without living through it, so I wanted to share a bit as a 29 year old woman.

First off, I individually have experienced varying forms of harassment. I think that if you ask any woman, you will find that they have also experienced harassment in some way.

Here are just a few things that I personally do in order to avoid abuse and harassment. I also threw in thoughts that I have when I encounter possible abuse or harassment

1. On Instagram: I avoid “liking” “commenting” on, or sending friend requests to anybody that I believe to be male… Unless I see from their pictures that they seem “safe”.

2. I avoid posting pictures of myself wearing revealing clothing.

3. When I lived at my apartment complexes, I avoided going to the fitness room by myself at night… (I had a creepy encounter there before)

4. I try not to go to wal-mart or other stores by myself at night. (Once again, creepy encounter).

5. I’ve gotten very good at sizing everybody up and recognizing which people to avoid. I do it at an unconscious level now, because I have to.

6. I avoid drinking socially without my husband nearby. Numerous stories and personal experience taught me that women drinking socially become targets.

7. It never surprised me when I hear that one of my female friends has been harassed by a stranger, or even by a friend. It’s just something that happens.

8. If a man that I do not know comes up to talk to me, the first thing I always ask myself is, “What does he want from me?”. I’m automatically expecting the worst.

9. I’ve gotten good at ignoring cat calls, whistles, and perceived harassment that I encounter in public. I know that if I lash out, I could get hurt.

10. I fully expect men to stare me down in public… It makes me uncomfortable, but I learned to pretend to ignore it for the same reasons as #9.

11. I avoid making friends with men when they won’t be friends, or aren’t already mutual friends, with my husband. This rule applies even more so if they’re single.

12. I avoid hanging out by myself with a male friend, regardless of whether or not they are mutual friend with my husband, in a relationship, etc.

13. I love the beach, but I avoid going there if I’d have to go there alone… Which means I almost never go. 😦

14. Just in general, I avoid going out alone.

15. I keep certain accounts private to avoid getting stalked. (I’ve had suspicions)

These are a few that I can think of now. It may sound like paranoia, but I don’t believe that it is. I should not need to worry about these things, but in the world that I live in, I do.

And it really pisses me off.

I’m angry that men act in a way that makes me scared sometimes. It makes me angry that I am scared, and it makes me angry that I just have to put up with it all, because it’s “normal”. I hate that all women have to deal with this on a daily basis, and I hate that I feel so helpless and unable to fix it all. Maybe by speaking out I can help somehow, because holding it all in and pretending like all this is normal had not been helpful.

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3 thoughts on “How to Avoid Harassment, Rape, and Other Things You Shouldn’t Have To Worry About

  1. I find myself approaching these kinds of situations the same way you do. I won’t walk outside by myself when its dark (if I can help it) because I don’t want to put myself in a potentially dangerous situation. I always park as close to the front of a store as possible so I don’t isolate myself. I’m constantly assessing the environment around me for potential dangers. And just like you, it pisses me off. Why should my (or any woman’s) comfort, feeling of security and safety be compromised because some feel they are entitled to harass, follow, catcall, and make me feel unsafe? I wish there were a simple solution, but respect for others doesn’t seem that common any more. Sorry if I ended up ranting a bit. I really do appreciate your post, thanks for sharing your own experiences.

    Like

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