It seems to become more and more of a thing lately...
A girl lives her life, exactly the way she wants to, and yet she is the one who is blamed for the actions of someone else… all because she should’ve done something differently, she shouldn’t have worn that outfit, she should’ve taken a different approach, she should’ve asked for help... she should’ve been more careful.
Yet, there are people out there making the choice to hurt, attack and in some cases kill others... and yet we are the problem.
I am a woman in my twenties, half way through 28.... and do i get scared? The answer is yes, every single day.
We should not be forced to stay inside, or change our lives to fit the rules for someone else because the correct actions cannot be made.
If I had a dollar for every single time I had to cross the street to get away from a guy harassing me at night, a dollar for a guy trying to touch me inappropriately, a dollar for a guy making me feel uncomfortable, a dollar every time I was made to feel unsafe, a dollar for a guy taking part of something that was mine, a dollar for the woof whistles, a dollar for the rude comments, a dollar for the inappropriate jokes against myself and to women… I would probably never need to work again.
But the truth is, this is a conversation that isn’t taken seriously enough, because people do not believe the impact the actions truly have on us.
There are times that I have to walk home at night, sometimes I can’t afford that taxi or that Uber, sometimes it is just easier to walk home… Now it seems as though we are the problem if something happens that is beyond our control.
In this society we are fed with so many different beliefs that even we don’t know what we want anymore.
We see it in the news every single day, someone is assaulted in their workplace... a place that is meant to be a safe environment, but is quickly turned into being the most unsafe.. do they speak up? Nope, because they know the consequences.
This is how the story goes, you might know it all too well...
Wear a short skirt, it will make you feel confident, but maybe not that short then you are asking for a butt grab, wear a low cut top, but not that low, you are then asking for people to stare, carry your phone on you at all times to make sure you’re safe, but not too much because then you’re being anti social, dance like no one is watching, but don’t dance too much because then everyone will be watching and getting the wrong idea, show off your body and be proud, everyone is different, but don’t show too much skin, you are asking to be taken home, don’t catch the bus it's dangerous, but so is walking and so is being in a taxi alone, also don’t catch the train, that is dangerous too, don’t drink and drive that is also dangerous, actually maybe just don’t go outside. Smile at strangers, make their day, but don’t smile too much, you might give them the wrong idea, get out there and meet people, try online dating, you never know who you could meet, but be careful who you talk to, they might not be who they seem, eat healthy and make sure you are going to the gym and working out, but be careful what you wear to the gym, people might get the wrong idea, don’t wear makeup you’re fine without it, but you look so tired and a bit ugly today what is wrong with your face?
This is something that we face every single day... of course we are confused, of course we are scared. We have absolutely no idea what to do and then when we react the way we feel is correct we are slammed for not reacting the way society thinks we should.
Do you not think that we have a wall up? Maybe we are just doing our best to protect ourselves… and yet we are still blamed.
And we aren't alone.
It happens every single day, right in our backyard… we could be walking home from work, something that we do every single day. The power is taken out of our hands and is put into the hands of stranger who has a sick agenda… but the message that comes with each story is, “stay safe, take the correct actions to assure you are making it home, use public transport, she shouldn’t of had her headphones in, she should’ve been more aware.”
Everything that we could've done to stop it.
We are being told that is our responsibility to take care of our own safety... so in that case, once again, we guess we better just stay home.
There is one positive that is starting to come out of these events, and that is that people who have a voice, people who have power are starting to talking about this more and more because this is a conversation that we need to start having.
This morning, Em, Grant & Ed from 2DayFM Breakfast spoke about the topic and Em had a message for all women that is pretty damn powerful.
The fact is, we can make a change with topic, but we need to get the conversation going, we all have a right to feel safe no matter where we are, our innocence and our lives should never be left in the hands of a stranger, a close friend or a work colleague and mostly we should NEVER be blamed for the actions of someone else.
But, we can try to create awareness.. too far is too far, and it is time for us to find our voice and speak up, or nothing will change.
If you are concerned about your own emotional wellbeing, are experiencing a personal crisis or are concerned about someone else, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or at www.lifeline.org.au