Think twice

It’s not often that you get smacked in the face with a truth so profound that it makes you swallow a whole lot of words you have carelessly said in the past.

But it happens.

As it did to me, last Friday, on my way home from a match with my carpool buddy. We’d closed down the club, as we usually do, after a pitiful loss followed by a night of merriment with the team now that the big C is letting up a little. And under the light of the moon, in the dead of night (2 a.m. is one of those times that the world just seems a bit alien, amirite?) we were walking to his car.

Man. Dyou know it always makes me happy knowing I have someone to walk me to my car round here?‘ I said to him, while glancing at three or four cars standing at the far end of the parking lot.

He looked at me questioningly.
Puzzled.
Confused.

It was only then that I realised…
Really really realised…
How much that weird kind of fear is a part of my life. That strange kind of fear of having to go anywhere. Alone. At night.
Because I’m a woman.

You see – I’ve always kinda shrugged at the whole women in charge movement. Sort of held my hands away from the heat of #metoo. SJWs. Lifechangers and people making noise.

Not because I think they’re wrong, on the contrary. Just mostly because I tend to not agree with their methods, most of the time. Not that I’d know a better solution. A way that would be wiser. A quicker path. Not at all. But even when you don’t know what is right – you can still have an inkling about what feels wrong, I suppose.

The anger. The passion. The urgency. I never really connected, I suppose. I don’t have the heart of a world-changer. I’m well and good living in the confines of my head, most days. But I admire them all their quest. Their mission. And the justness of their cause.

Because as we were walking to that car I found myself explaining to my 6ft-plus strong Iranian teammate (who, I suppose, might look intimidating to anyone who doesn’t know his kindness) that I was glad not to be alone because of the cars on that lot.

Cars belonging to the standard night-population of our specific parking lot. The type of loud-bassed-big-mouthed-small-dicked small-town gangsters dealing in even smaller misdemeanors and filthy attitudes. Nothing to be particularly scared of, in general. The types of gangly youngsters with a bark way worse than their bite.

Unless it’s 2 a.m. and you are a woman walking to a lonely car on an empty parking lot with a small crowd of slightly criminal onlookers.

They’re only there because the cops sort of allow them to be. Figuring they’re better off on an off-site sportspark parking lot than at the local McDonald’s. Or the town center. Or wherever else they’d park their stupid asses.

And though they would not stop me from attending matches, or closing down the club, or walking to my car when I’m alone – there’d be anxiety gripping my heart none the less if I had to.

The ‘what-if’ fear. The ‘are they going to…?’ uncertainty. The ‘this might be a mistake’ surety.

Thoughts I had to explain out loud to him. Feelings so familiar they’ve been a part ofmy life so long that I usually don’t even pay them any mind. Fear that is so standard to me as a girl. Because he never had, and will never feel any of them. Because he’s a guy. And he doesn’t have to ever think twice about walking to his car alone at night.

And suddenly all of the girls up in arms started making a whole lot more sense. Because when you really really think about it?

That shit be crazy, man.

16 thoughts on “Think twice

  1. I can so relate to this.. Even after almost 6 years in the uk I still feel so uncomfortable to stop at a red traffic light late at night because back home you get your car smashed and mugged at red traffic lights late at night… As girls we are a little more vulnerable even when it’s unlikely they will do something there’s still the anxiety in us that they could

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always feel uncomfortable out anywhere alone at night. And when I get to my car I always look in the backseat before I get in! Do you know how many movies people don’t do that and Wham! someone is in the backseat to attack them. It shouldn’t have to be that way but there you have it…..

    Like

  3. It’s Worth Noting Zoe if You Have
    Any Gangs In Your Area

    A Common

    Initiation

    Is Gang

    Rape of

    Innocent Women
    And True Sadly it
    Will Also Be Religiously
    Motivated The Same For

    Tribal Honor Killings of Women
    Not Even Part of The Ignorance of Religion

    Particularly in Some Scandinavian Countries
    Anyway never Felt That Fear For It’s True Even
    In A Dark Parking Lot Of A BookStore A Woman Must

    Always

    Be On

    Alert As

    Just By the

    Nature of Having

    Certain Body Parts She is Prey

    How Sad Not to See Women As Flowers
    They Are How Sad How Humanity is Lost This way…

    Yeah Baby, Every Minority This Way Deserves Social Justice

    Making that Term A Pejorative is Only A Symptom of the Same
    Old Damn Toxic Patriarchy Disease Where Women Fall in Line Behind…

    And Sadly

    Some Do
    Find Social

    Esteem in ‘That Big Lie’ True…
    Humans Aren’t Rational Humans
    Aren’t Rational CuLTuRE Proves This Every Day…

    Other than That And This Do Stay Safe Come And Go With FRiEnDS…
    However As Statistics Show There is often More to Be Worried About

    With the

    Familiar…

    The Enemy

    Who May Be
    Closest oF All…
    Prey Just So Many Predators

    Hidden In Shadows Still To Come…

    Like

  4. I get it.
    Even if for different reasons.
    I’m amazed, right now, how much stuff would be so much cooler without all kinds of fear being poured over the top of it.
    I think how cool it’d be if I could open up a really vulnerable kind of freedom that lives inside me, and has started to hide itself.
    Part of me feels as though it doesn’t matter… that such voices mean nothing anymore.
    But another part of me simply can’t let go…
    aches to be an unwanted thing in a world that chews up and spits out so many faces just for being what they are.
    I don’t want to play warrior games just so I can face getting up in the morning.
    I want to believe in those voices that whisper “I got this”, grab my shoulder and urge me to try a soft thing one more time in a sharp, mean place.
    Sorry…
    rambling.

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  5. I think most women, if we are honest, feel like bait to any many under the same circumstances. I see most men as “predators”….not really! I would go crazy if I had to live in that kind of fear nightly. I don’t take walks during the day alone either though, not because of the fear of man but of dogs in the neighborhood on the loose. I hate that. I love nature and being outdoors for walks, biking or any outing. Yet, the fear keeps me from doing things I wouldn’t think twice about doing when I was young. My faith keeps me from fear. Staying fit and being informed about the world around me helps. I would like to take some self-defense classes (not sure I want a gun). You always have your body and you always have your mind. If I fill my mind with good things and especially God’s work I can counter any bad thoughts that might get me down, discourage me or cause me to be afraid. If I exercise, learn some moves that may protect me, build muscle and practice balance it could help me against an attacker if I was in that situation. Preparedness and knowledge can get us through a lot! If I had a gun, I’d be afraid it could be used against me or do more harm than good.
    I enjoy your writing!

    Like

  6. I used to work swing and graveyard shifts when I was younger and I never wanted to be anyone’s victim so I also trained in Marital Arts and Kickboxing for hours on end. Sometimes guys would stay stupid shit, only one time did a guy try to jump me. I dropped him with one kick, called a half moon, where you bring your heel down on their clavicle/neck. I told him to “get a real job” (because I think he’d planned a mugging not a rape). It felt great, but I also had to remind myself not to get too cocky. He could have had a gun.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awesome!! I have knee injuries but I’ve often wished I could take up a martial art, I would’ve got into it years ago, for this reason. I don’t have the same fear but have always had a general fear of the dark, and always looked over my shoulder when walking anywhere at night. It’s a very nicely proactive thing to do, and a great backup to have.

      Along those lines I recently bought a couple of self-defence things for a female friend who moved to an area she wasn’t comfortable with (complex circumstances)— I got her a 140dB alarm and a kind of self-defence spray. I think these are good things to have, too, just in case and for extra peace of mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The tricky thing about sprays is making sure you have it pointed in the right direction and ready to go in a short amount of time with no wind. At one of my jobs I was a security guard. A fellow guard deployed pepper spray in the mall and around 20 people all got affected by it. Not just the two people who were fighting. I used teach a few moves to everyone I knew. I recommend a quick punch to the throat. It doesn’t take much pressure. They likely won’t expect it and they can’t chase you if they are gasping for breath.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I can totally imagine how spraying it correctly and quickly would be nervewracking and difficult. Here we’re not allowed pepper sprays, we just have deterrent/identification spray.

        I feel vindicated now that you mention the throat punch! It’s the one thing I practice if I feel like mentally taking it out on someone or for disaster rehearsal, lol. There’s so much sense to it. Throat and balls, the only two places to worry about.

        Liked by 1 person

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