UGGGHHH someone on my Facebook just posted a Portuguese version of the silly, gendered, over-exaggerated advice that makes its round every once in a while. This one was extra sexist for some reason. I’m posting it here to really break down the horribleness (I had to translate it, so I apologize if it doesn’t flow perfectly).
Advice from a POLICE WOMAN. Send to women (to take care of themselves) and to men (so they can pass it on to their wives, girlfriends, sisters, friends, etc ...). This advice is directed at women, but is also valid for men! You can never be too aware! We must always be alert! The woman who prepared the contents of this email is the head of a private security company in Rio de Janeiro and was advised by a police woman after recording police reports.
Wrong. This is fake. This is a long-running chain that seems to have originated as a summary written by an attendee of one Pat Malone’s personal safety seminars, according to Snopes.
“Lightning” Kidnapping: If one day you are thrown into the trunk of a car. DON’T PANIC AND BREATHE DEEPLY. Kick the tail lights out, stretch your arm through the hole, waving them like crazy. The driver will not see you, but everyone will see. This has saved many lives.
Also wrong. Most modern cars are not built like that. Also the probability that you are thrown in a trunk is pretty slim, and the probability that this would happen while you are awake and your arms/legs are unbound is even slimmer.
NEVER DO THIS! DO NOT DO IT! Women have a tendency to get into their cars and sit there taking notes, or writing lists, or checking the purchase of a ticket. The predator will ALWAYS be watching you: This is the perfect opportunity for him to get the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. When you get into your car: lock the doors and drive away, do not fix your hair or put on lipstick.
I don’t even know where this advice is coming from. It’s one thing to say that you should take care to lock your doors when you get in your car, but it seems so weird to focus on what exactly women are doing when they get in their cars. Do many of us sit there writing lists? I sure don’t. Also, what is this “the predator will be watching you” business? It just propagates the idea that most assaults/murders happen with strangers in an alley rather than people the victims know.
If a large van is park next to your car: please enter your car through the passenger’s side. IMPORTANT: Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans when women are trying to get into their cars.
This is just straight up not true. Serial killers have patterns and rituals they adhere to, and to generalize what “most” of them do is pretty dangerous advice.
ALWAYS use the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone. They are perfect places for a crime).
STOP IT! Women are always trying to be helpful. This trait may result in you being murdered! A serial killer, a good-looking man, with good academic background, stated in his testimony that he ALWAYS exploited the friendliness and helpful spirit of women. He walked with a cane or a limp, and therefore called for ‘help’ to get in or out of your car, and it was then that he abducted his next victim. During the day, wear sunglasses. The attacker will never know where you are looking. Only use your cell phone in a safe place.
Sorry it devolved into gifs. I just can’t even try to dismantle this shit anymore. It’s well-meaning but just ugggghhhhhh.