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  •  I am thinking of my family friends etc (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times

    My GF does go running in the morning and at night. She waits until its a bit brighter out. As she should, she does have a little more risk than guys running at night. But its not safe for them either .

    Are my sisters etc scared at work? Hell no. At home? Sure as shit not.  My mom? No. She has had a breakin in the past and is she scared? Not even close. I had a hard time even after that convincing her to lock the doors.

    Everyone should think twice about walking out at night around here. Yes woman have a higher risk due to being smaller and being woman in general. But all encompassing fear wherever you go? No fucking way, that is not normal and that is not healthy.  

    I can only imagine what would be required for someone to think that way and its very unfortunate.

    Just polled my GF for the hell of it. Her response "What the hell are you talking about" (aimed at me) showed her the bit. Her response " Ummm no. "

    •  not an all-encompassing fear (19+ / 0-)

      An edge.  Always a little more aware, an unconscious awareness perhaps.  

      Maybe you're right, maybe it is only women who have been accosted that get that way.  Let me think:  2 assaults when I was a child, one minor, one not-so-much, a grabber from the trees when I was a teen, attempted rape when I was in college, my daughter harassed on the bus at age 11, my daughter accosted and stalked by a guy at work when she was in her twenties.  Two friends who have been raped that I know of,  several friends molested by stepfathers and other family members.  So yeah, maybe I am more paranoid than some.  But I would guess that my experience is not at all unusual.  I am not alone, not by any means.  

      We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

      by Leftleaner on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:01:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not alone and not unusual (20+ / 0-)

        Leftleaner, you are not alone and your experience is not unusual.

        And then some number who can't even come up with a user name to make him seem human, says "are you fucking kidding?" and spews his creepy ignorance all over your comments and my diary.  

        I was going to engage with him but thought better of it.  So I say again: your experience is not unusual, and you are not alone.  I don't know what else to say.

        •  And I have never felt particularly (15+ / 0-)

          as if I was a victim. But I have also never put all of these experiences  in one frame before, and I find it a little shocking. I think most women have these experiences one way or another, certainly my daughter, my friends, etc. We do indeed live in a culture where women are preyed upon on a regular basis.

          We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

          by Leftleaner on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:25:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All in one frame (13+ / 0-)

            When you add up all the ways, large and small, that women are demeaned and dismissed as having little or no value, it is shocking.  I find the way you express yourself to be so poignant:

            "I think most women have these experiences one way or another."

            Yeah, we do.  It's like part of the landscape.  

          •  I know what you mean (6+ / 0-)

            I did it myself, prompted by another recent diary, then didn't post.  But my tally:

            -- middle-school boy creepiness, running sticks down all the girls backs at recess to see if they were wearing bras, then judging them on the results, yes or no
            -- roommate in college harassed for at least a year by an ex-boyfriend, phone calls every night that she spent explaining she didn't want to talk to him anymore, showing up outside her window at night when she was at home, and so on.  I don't know how it ended or how bad it got, since we lost touch
            -- age 21, guy a might actually have had sex with if we'd had any birth control completely fails to care that I had stopped responding to him, doesn't force intercourse on me after I'd said no, but doesn't stop either, until he ejaculates.  I needed a shower after that, felt horrible.  Lest it be guessed that the fault was something in my behavior and not him being an entirely empathy-lacking asshole, I could also add that he found me at a bus-stop a few days later on my way to school, distracted me so much with persisting in trying to talk to me that I missed my bus, and then followed me the entire mile or two I had to walk to campus despite my saying I no longer wanted anything to do with him.  I could also add the creepy three-page "I love you" letter I got a few days after that.  I barely knew the guy.  Thankfully it ended there, but I wasn't right around men for months.
            -- age 24 or so, somebody -- presumably one of the undergrads in my lab sections -- wrote a multipage, unsigned letter that started with how good my breasts looked when I wasn't wearing a bra, and stuck it in my mail slot.  I didn't read the rest.  Gave it to admin, but nothing came of it.  I was uncomfortable for a long time about it, not knowing who or why or what else they might do.
            -- age 29, was raped by an intruder in my apartment in the middle of the night.  Long term effects from that one, I don't feel like going into it.  I don't consider it the worst thing that could possibly happen to me, but the next year or so of my life was pretty difficult to navigate.  13 years later I still have an overactive startle reflex.

            I didn't date all through high school.  Tally might be worse if I had.  As regards friends and acquaintances I'm sure there's plenty I don't know about.

            It all goes back to men thinking it is OK -- just fine and dandy even -- to force sexual attention on women in situations where the woman is in no position to refuse it, or to prevent her from walking away.  As if we simply do not rate any sort of human consideration, and completely uncaring of the effect on the woman who is supposedly admired.  The proverbial rapist in the dark alley is only the extreme version of this same thing.  That's why we call it "rape culture".  It's all horrible.  It all puts a burden on women that we shouldn't have to bear, it all treats us as something less than fully human.

      •  Not unusual (4+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times, Liberal Granny
        Hidden by:

        I do not know the details of the events you describe so all I can comment is that it is very sad that said events happened.

        In my perception there are three categories of people who who feel this all surrounding fear. Classic disclaimer obvious oversimplification, will leave something out etc etc.

        1) People who have had a traumatic event in the past.
        2) People who live in particularly unsafe areas.
        3) People who are paranoid for no fricking reason.

        From these statistics the absolute highest percentage of rape in any part of the nation is .1%. Obviously way too high but not something you really need to live your life constantly worrying about.

        This data is also from cities, where the numbers are elevated.

        Yes there are dangers but you cant live your life like Sirenus' post without any reason. Its not healthy, its no way to live and its unnecessary.

        If you are afraid of everything with a .1% rate of occurrence you will never be able to do anything.  No going for a drive. No skiing. No painting the side of your house. No swimming No going to crowded places. No eating food you could choke on....

          Be safe, be reasonable but do not be afraid.

        •  Wow. (4+ / 0-)


          This infographic is inaccurate in many ways (discussed at the link), but not in its basic message.

          "Crime rates" don't even come close to being accurate measures of actual rapes/harrassment/stalking/etc.

        •  Wow, that number is so wrong (7+ / 0-)

          I have heard 1 in 3 women have been raped.  I think that is much closer to accurate.  Did you read my story?  And I don't run in a big crowd.   Most rapes and attempted rapes don't get reported, so police stats are pretty useless.  

          You don't need to know the details of the incidents I listed.  They aren't important to the debate.  I had a pretty typical childhood and was assaulted twice.  Not because I was at particular risk, but because I was female.  In college, same thing, my risk factor was my sex.  My friends were at risk because there were males in their households who were older and not their fathers. This is not an unusual situation.

          You don't seem to get my comments about fear.  I don't let this stop me from doing things.  But I am aware always, and most women are.  It isn't overwhelming, it is accepting reality and living with it, going about our business, but locking doors, being aware of males in the vicinity, etc., at a level that white men don't worry about. It is probably similar to the wariness that minority men feel in our society.

          We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

          by Leftleaner on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:26:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I need to hide-rate that (0+ / 0-)

          It is so damn wrong as to numbers that it rises to the level of something that shouldn't even be promoted on this site, I believe.

        •  You mentioned a GF. While not always the case, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel, madhaus

          I assume you are male. I wanted to thank you so very, very much, sir, for your analysis of this problem.

          You have opened up my aged eyes to the truth.  I am so grateful to you.  Of course, I do know that it takes a clear-headed man to analyze a problem properly, something I tend to forget far too often.

          I am particularly grateful to you for your opinion and judgement that these feelings of concern are indeed "Complete nonsense on so many point."  Now when I go out at night alone I will remember your analysis and bravely go without needless fear.

          Of course I will try very hard to forget that the youngest girl raped was 9 months old, and the oldest was 97; that's on record from the old days of the '60s and '70s so they're probably not relevant.  As I am almost 69 my views were so solid that I convinced myself that I was still at risk.

          I do so appreciate your expertise and wisdom. I sincerely hope that you continue to give us women the wisdom of your guidance on how we feel.

      •  Sadly, you are not alone nor unusual (0+ / 0-)
      •  Lets see--I am going to add to your list (10+ / 0-)


        I am not even going to share all my experiences:

        I was chased down an alley in daylight as a 10 yr old by two men in a truck. I got away, police didn't believe me.

        Was flashed in broad daylight by creepy guy in neighborhood, after he pulled up and asked for directions. I was a young teen, about 13.

        I was stalked in the military.
        I was sexually harassed  several times.
        I was propositioned by someone in my Chain of Command.

        I have escorted inebriated females back to their dorms, when I notice that too many males were looking rather interested and wolfish--waiting for her to fall over.

        Was accosted in a parking lot waiting for a bus in town in daylight, when someone "propositioned" me after pulling his vehicle in close to the bus stop in a manner that made escape difficult.

        I have been groped in various places--bars, crowded thoroughfares by random people.

        I once had a college age girl run into my house unannounced, right through the front door stating she was trying to get away from a violent assailant, a boyfriend. I drove her to her apartment, after she informed me she didn't want to call the cops.

        I had to collect my kids and leave a park, because a boy about the age of 12, tried to stick his head under my 9 yr old's skort. His trashy parents thought that was funny.  A major WTF moment? Can we say, Teaching Moment? Not exactly what I had in mind though I must say.

        Every women I know, has either been raped, and/or molested, and some have also been the victims of domestic violence, and their children too have been molested.

        We have a major problem here and globally. A large percentage of Males feel that they are entitled to women, that all women and children should be available for whatever, whenever, however.

        Regular guys don't want to believe it. They cannot accept that some of their friends are no good assholes, who would rape a person if they can get away with it. They would rather blame the victim, it's easier that way, and there's a precedent for it.

        •  Your list is similar to mine (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TiaRachel, GreenMother

          and brings to mind two other events that I didn't think of last night--being grabbed when I was in my teens by the older brother of a child I was babysitting, and being followed in a car at 3 miles an hour when I was jogging.  
          These things are so common that we don't report them, don't think them unusual.  But they are events that color the life of all women and affect the way we live in subtle ways.

          We should not be fighting about equal pay for equal work and access to birth control in 2012. Elizabeth Warren

          by Leftleaner on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:14:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well you learn not to say anything. (0+ / 0-)

            Our laws and our society acts as if, unless someone actually touches you, or assaults you, then you have nothing to complain about.

            But if the people in that car following you, had assaulted you, it would have been your fault for not notifying the police of a behavior that they likely would have downplayed to begin with.

            You know--perverts will be perverts.

    •  WOW! You talked to ONE person! (3+ / 0-)

      What a statistically significant poll! Based on that and everything else you've posted here

      A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

      by METAL TREK on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:23:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where in any other post (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times

        do you see any use of statistic?

        You think the statement that "EVERY woman lives in fear wherever she goes" is just fine and does not need any supporting evidence? Yet the statement that I found at least one who does not somehow needs statistical support?  


        To disprove an "every" statment you only need to find one example.

        •  You're leaving out some important words: (6+ / 0-)

          From the original:

          This fear and uneasiness is woven into the unconscious and in many cases, the conscious substance of every woman in the world in the daytime, at night, in any part of town, and in her own home."

          It's not the sort of immediate shot of adrenaline you feel when, say, that car looks like it's driving straight at you, not usually.  It's not even as immediate, as close to awareness as when you're waiting for someone's test results to come back benign or malignant, though that comes closer.

          Please go and read this. And maybe also this. And consider what you see there.

          Until then, I don't see much point in continuing this discussion.

          •  I will give them a read in the AM (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hmi, Sparhawk, The Hindsight Times

            and maybe an update in the late PM.  But my response now

            I doubt you would even say that Sirenus's apparent reaction to the fear of sexual violence is reasonable reaction for the average American woman.

            Even if so. are you afraid of those other things I listed? Like climbing a ladder and falling? Would you not paint your house because of it. Would you say that  household accidents have woven fear and uneasiness into the unconscious of everyone?


            The statistics are compatible to numerous tragedies. Each regrettable and deserving of a campaign to reduce them.  But that statement is outlandish and unreasonable when applied to any of them. Ubiquitous fear is not reasonable and from my own life is not common.

            •  People tend to fear things out of their control (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TiaRachel, Leftleaner

              I should be more scared of slipping in the bathtub than I am of spiders in my shoes, but I'm not.  Why? because when I'm in my bathtub I am standing on my own two feet, and if there's a spider in my shoe, well, it really has nothing to do with me.  (ok, this is an absurd example, but I didn't want to use flying and driving, because those are boring).

              The point is that if a man decides to physically take something from a woman, he can.  (let's ignore the statistical outliers regarding size/strength, they exist, they are rare).  Physical force is the ultimate commone denominator, it's an equalizer that isn't equal.  

            •  If you are not afraid of men in general, you are (0+ / 0-)

              Men are strong and many are not loving or benign.

          •  i gave them a read (0+ / 0-)

            and cant really call them enlightening. More condescending but not really on point.

             This was a public rant about how ALL woman are so afraid of men that they are ALL scared even in their own homes. This is not even close to a reasonable claim.

            The premises of this abject fear seems to be that the risk these events is so very massive.

            But the fact that the chances of these crimes is roughly equivalent  to a myriad of other severely traumatic and life altering experiences  makes this claim ridiculous.

            The same rates roughly applied to car accident deaths. The same rates apply to generic murder.  The same rates apply to simple accidents that lead to death and sever disability.

            Fears of these do not permeate the lives of average woman nor men.

            The author picks their own fear and applies it to everyone. People have their phobias however it is not reasonable to assume everyone shares your own personal one.

        •  The fail is strong in this one (5+ / 0-)

          just like every other student who tries to use Wikipedia in the college courses I teach.

          Better yet, have daughters, like I do, and then tell them you talked to your girlfriend, so whatever they experience can't be true, so they should just lace up their petticoats and be good wimmin folk!

          Or try Red State. Critical thinking & nuance isn't in high demand over there.  

          A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

          by METAL TREK on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:27:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is completely ridiculous. A sexual assault (10+ / 0-)

      is committed every two minutes in this country. One in six women have been sexually assaulted. That's not paranoia. That's reality.

      And where the hell do you get off thinking you know every thought that passes through your girlfriend or mom's head. You certainly don't sound like someone I'd want to talk to about my fears. Just because you don't know about women's fears doesn't mean they don't exist. I don't know anything about ring tailed lemurs, either. That doesn't mean that ring tailed lemurs are a figment of someone's imagination.

      •  not to wish evil on anyone, but how will he react (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if a stranger rapes his girlfriend? What if someone attacks him by surprise...?

        •  Most men feel helpless. (5+ / 0-)

          Even if they didn't know you when the assault happened. You can really traumatize a man that way, because I guess when they are in a committed relationship, the woman makes the assault too intimate, too close.

          I think that some good guys just don't understand how these experiences haunt us, or how our fear of the stigma and the possibility of more rapes and harassment due to the stigma, affect survivors, how it pervades every aspect of our lives, public and private.

          So that when we share, I think that most men shut down. They do it because they love us or care for us, but just feel overwhelmed by all the realizations that happen, when such experiences strike so close to home and affect them directly, now, on a daily basis.

    •  When you are a woman, you grow eyes in the back (8+ / 0-)

      of your head. You learn early on that you have to. Most rapes are committed by people who know the victim.

      you learn that you cannot let your guard completely down anywhere.

      Because like other sexual predators, some rapists like to put themselves in situations where they can be alone with the victim. That way if the matter is reported and goes to court, he can say, "Well your honor, she went off with me alone--she wanted it, it was consensual."

      So yea that feeling is pervasive, and there are social constructs that women have to contend with as well. Many people think that if you go up to a man's room, that sex is a foregone conclusion. And if you get raped, well what did you expect, going up to his room? Etc., and so on. And then when that happens, it's because you are a slut that went up to a mans room and put out, and so you get suiters that magically appear, waiting for their turn!

      It's a party in your pants, and you don't even have to send out the invitations!

      What you fail to understand, beyond the brutality and violation is that this is like a cancerous tumor that has fingers that reach out and affect and are intertwined with other related topics. So to say this is pervasive, this feeling of having to be aware and to avoid, it almost doesn't do it justice, because we are trying to explain to you how women play a dimensional chess game, while you keep comparing it to Chinese Checkers or something.

      This is way more complex than you are able to comprehend in this moment. You have only just skated on the surface of this, unaware of what lurks beneath, nor the depths that one can sink into this topic alone.

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