It wasn’t my first hint, but it was the moment that I *knew* in my bones that being a woman means never being safe. Not even for a minute. I had recently moved out of my parents home because my dad was an alcoholic nightmare and staying there meant I was unlikely to finish college. I was 19 and a full time student with a job. He had recently removed the spark plugs from my car the night before finals because I missed my 11pm curfew by 15 minutes.
I rented a room in a friend of a friends place. It was sort of a shitty add on to their garage which meant a big room all for me (room for a bed, couch, and t.v.), but I had to cross the garage to use the shared bathroom and kitchen. Anyway, it seemed great and I felt relaxed being on my own. I felt in control and...safe. Then a neighbor was raped. She left her place in the early morning to walk 1/2 a block to 7-11 to buy a diet pepsi. She was a nurse working an early shift. She left her door unlocked. A man was waiting in her apartment when she returned and raped her and carved words on her with a knife.
It wasn’t me. I was lucky and not harmed so it’s crazy that I was so shaken. But that was the minute when I knew being a woman meant you were never safe no matter the time of day, your dress, your age, or where you were. It took me 19 years to learn which means I was lucky. How sad is thay?
Some women are more vulnerable, but none of is safe. Ever. Not from strangers, partners, bosses, fathers, no one. Yet men are the ones who whine.