Why did you go alone?

CAT, even though you say you didn’t worry about it, you do more than 99% of women AND men to protect yourself by packing that heat. (Glock?) I don’t think it is even legal to carry a concealed weapon here in California. They don’t issue permits except for special circumstances.

Crime would go WAY down if they did allow it.

I once had some guy contact me for a web design job. When I agreed to meet him somewhere, and mentioned that I’d be bringing my husband, he got mad. He told me it was unprofessional. I told him that sorry, I didn’t meet strangers from the internet alone. He then started to make fun of me saying that I was flattering myself to think that he would want to do anything with/to me blah blah blah.

I told him I didn’t need his business.

I’m 5’2" but for some reason I always consider that I’d be able to kick the ass of any attacker. It’s because I realize that this is irrational that I try to avoid situations where I’m likely to be attacked :wink:

I always carry my keys when I walk to my car, and figure that my first action would be to try to gouge one of them through the throat of any attacker. I carry them “brass knuckles” style, with the keys poking out between my fingers. My chances of actually doing anything useful with them are pretty small, though.

That may not be your intention, but I hate the implication that just because I don’t have a penis I have to live in fear. Yes, I keep my doors locked. But I’m still going to go out alone at night, by myself. I’ll be confident and be aware of my surroundings. I’m not going to cower in my home, or have my boyfriend be my chauffeur and/or bodyguard.

I do that too,

though rationally, I realize that chances are it wouldn’t do me any good at all. I’d probably hit instead of remember to slash - and a gun or a knife or even a longer reach would make that useless anyway.

Once, when I was a senior in high school, I was play wrestling with a male friend who pinned me down. And for a second or two (not long at all) wouldn’t let me up - and I remember realizing (flash to the brain, epiphany type of realization) that there was pretty much nothing I could do about it. And this wasn’t the toughest guy (he had height on me, but not that much weight) - wasn’t the most massive guy out there. And all I could do about the situation (given the way I was pinned) was wait for him to let me up. And I was terrified. Not of him, he was a nice guy, a friend, he wouldn’t do anything to me - but of the fact that if he could do that, so could any other guy out there… many of whom before I was sure I could take.

Even though there’s some part of me that fantasizes she would of course be able to fight her way through the problem - I’m mostly aware that I probably couldn’t. So yeah, I try to avoid some situations.

At the same time, walking around scared of everything all the time (or failing to leave the house because of that fear) seems worse.

A guy on the level would have said " Yeah , I don’t blame you, with all the weirdos around."

This is what I’m talking about. Many women would have gone to that appointment alone.

And Easy E, didn’t you read the part where I said I walk down the street at night and listen for footsteps behind me? And I HAVE a penis. A very bi…oh never mind about that…

I am talking about women who WOULD have gone to that meeting opalcat described ALL ALONE. And maybe without telling anyone where they were going.

The sight of them hoisting that young woman’s body out of that canyon was horrible.

My daughter and I go snowboarding every year in Tahoe and we always drive back late at night on Highway 101 which up this way doesn’t have a lot of traffic at night. What if I have a flat tire and am out fixing it and 3 assholes who were just released from Folsom are out driving and stop to “help”.

And there is me and my daughter. I’m buying a gun. Fuck the law.

I used to do this sometimes too, but when I took a self-defense class (which I highly recommend for all women, BTW), we were told not to carry them that way. If you did happen to punch someone you would more than likely break your finger or hurt your own hand more than the person. (Keys are not sharp enough to slice cleanly into someone / thing, and will likely push to the side or back into your palm. I tried it lightly on myself, and it does hurt your hand). You can use your keys as a weapon by holding one or 2 out of your closed fist, so you can stab someone with them (like you would hold a knife in your fist with the blade out).

I also just wanted to add that if anyone is going to carry a weapon (including mace or spray), it is not enough just to carry it around with you, learn how to use it or it can be used against you. Just having pepper spray in your purse will not help you if you get jumped from behind. You can get taken down very quickly, so learn to fight with your body, including from the ground, and how to get out of holds. Even much smaller women can get out of many holds if you know what to do. And your best defense is always to get away.

Well, there are a few problems with that. First, I hate dogs, and I try not to subject the poor animals to having to live with me. They always want attention and to lick me and crap, and I hate that. Then I feel bad that I’m the one home most of the day, and I’m ignoring the poor thing.

Secondly, I’m not allowed to have animals where I live. You could say I should move, but I live in a great are with lots of families, right by my mother-in-law, in a much bigger apartment than I should be able to afford. Not moving just to get an animal I don’t like.

I live in Texas. I’d much rather get a gun.

Oh, I have a question. My grandmother gave me this thing, it’s like a personal alarm. If you are attacked, you pull out this cord and it makes the damned loudest noise you can imagine from something the size of a beeper. My husband told me not to carry it. He said that most people ignore alarms, and I’m likely to get myself hurt by pissing off an attacker rather than doing something to hurt/stop him. What do you think?

It’s a tool that I can use in the extremely unlikely event that I would ever be attacked. Quite honestly I think it’s far more likely that I’d be in a store/bank that got robbed than ever be attacked personally. It’s like a fire extinguisher. I have one, but I doubt my house is ever gonna catch on fire.

Why anyone would want to live in a prison of their own making is beyond me.

What am I supposed to do?

I know there is danger out there. I feel it when I get out of class at eleven at night. I feel it every time a guy yells stuff at me or leers at me or tries to touch me. I feel it when I’m home alone and hear the drunks right outside my window. I get damn scared.

But I can’t afford not to go to school. I can’t afford to only work day jobs. I can’t afford a house in a nice area. I can’t afford to buy a car so I don’t have to ride the bus. Even if I could afford it, I refuse to live half a life. Every month or so in Israel a bus gets blow up. Do they quit their jobs and hide away at home? No- they do what they gotta do.

I’m sorry. I’m not going to live less of a life just because people feel like they can attack me because I don’t have a penis. I’ve got stuff to do. I’m in a competative field (film). Within the last week, I’ve had two meetings with men alone in their offices, driven to an (all male) film shoot with a man I kind of know, and lugged all kinds of expensive equiptment around on the bus. What else am I gonna do? I need work, and in this field you don’t get enough chances to let them pass you up if you can’t get an escort. I’m not gonna give up my dreams. I’m not gonna leave film to the males.

Goodness, isn’t that the argument they make in fundamentalist Islamic coutries- that it’s unsafe for women to work and drive and walk around alone? That they might be left alone in offices with men and preyed upon?

I’m not falling for that old trick. The baddies can attack me all they want, but their not going to destroy me. Their not going to make me scale back my life out of fear. And they better watch out because I’ve got bear-strengh pepper spray in my coat pocket and I’m not afraid to let all this agression out on them.

Carrying pepper spray in the purse is absolutely useless. “Excuse me, Mr. Attacker, but I have to reach into my purse for a moment.” Unless you’re carrying it in your hand, you may as well not have it at all.

I just wanted to say good luck with riding the bus. I used to love riding the bus, but so many creepy things happened that I started to hate it. I was very happy to get another car. :slight_smile:

Attackers don’t spring fully formed from the bushes like Athena from sea-foam. They follow, they wait until you are alone, they may even try to talk to see if you easy to intimidate. All that time, I’m fingering the full can of pepper spray in my pocket, pre-dialing “911” on my cellphone, and practicing saying “touch me and I’ll fucking kill you” in my head.

I agree with Aspidistra and Kambuckta 100%.

A bit of awareness and common sense is all that I feel is necessary, and that goes for both men and women. I’m more worried about my husband having a car accident than I am about me going for a walk/jog after dark.

I worry about this. Probably a little more than the average person because I used to work for a sexual assault centre, plus I’m often alone.

Like another poster mentioned, I was once horsing around with a guy who was only a few inches taller than I am, and kind of lanky, and I just couldn’t budge him. That really brought it home to me. I mean, I would like to think if attacked, I would go crazy and use every dirty trick in the book, but who really knows? I might freeze up and do nothing at all, or fight back but be completely ineffective.

I don’t worry about being raped alone, mostly I worry about being tortured, or penetrated in a way that causes lasting injury (I’ve read that a number of rapes involve the use of objects). I worry about being murdered, or god forbid, being helpless to protect my child or prevent my child from being raped as well.

If I were a man, I wouldn’t have that kind of underlying worry that I may be tortured, raped, and maimed. Although men are at risk for violence, I don’t think the type of violence they may face is as intimate as what women may experience.

I am careful when I’m out. I’m careful when I’m home. It doesn’t run my life, but it is an undercurrent… like, when I’m taking the garbage out at night, I am aware that strangers may equal danger… or if I’m out drinking, it’s safer to buy beer and keep my thumb over the lid than to buy mixed drinks… or if I’m being leered at by someone it may not be harmless… or if someone unexpectedly knocks on my door, I should check the peephole first.

It is true that we’re more likely to be harmed by someone we know, but it’s equally important to be aware while out in the world, too, because it only takes once.

Thing is if you’re not just ‘horsing around’, there are no rules. You can fight as dirty as you have to.

When you’re horsing around with your friend, you’re not very likely to grab his nuts and twist until blood comes out of his eyes. You’re not going to bite. You’re not going to gouge eyes. You’re not going to maim a friend.

Would you be willing to maim someone who was really attacking you? I would.

Other than that, I think all physical violence is really intimate in that it’s an attack on your person. A good friend of mine was attacked, he was clubbed in the head with a baseball bat. Concussion, three missing teeth, bruises, cuts, and fractured cheek bone were the results of that. I’m not about to tell him that his experience with violence was ‘less intimate’ than someone else’s.

I must seem like a total lunatic because I’ll actually leave my mixed drink on the bar and go to the bathroom with little more than a ‘be right back’ directed at my friends (or the bartender if I’m there alone). I just can’t seem to make myself see life as being so risky that I can’t take a minute and a half to hit the bathroom while my drink stays at my table.

Well, I didn’t mean to downplay men’s experiences with violence. My apologies if it sounded that way. What I meant was, I’d rather have to worry about losing my wallet rather than worry about losing my wallet and being raped, or, I’d rather worry about getting beat up than getting beat up and raped. I didn’t mean to imply men’s experiences with violence are of lesser importance.

If I’m still not clear, what I mean is this: more women than men are raped. Therefore, not only do we share the same risks (of mugging, or random violence), but we have the additional risk of rape. And there isn’t anything we can do about that fact. (Meaning, simply by being female, I am more at risk, but I can’t stop being female.)

I hope I’ve explained myself a bit better. I’m afraid I’m at a disadvantage today, having a migraine headache coming on.

Your last sentence seems to contradict the previous two, since after all you’re implying that ‘men don’t have to worry about getting raped.’

It actually seems like you’re clarifying in the other direction. Women have more risks than men. Women might be raped, but not men. Women have something ‘additional’ that men do not to worry about. That seems to say to me that men have less to worry about so their problem is lesser than women’s problem.

I don’t think that’s the case. Then again I don’t believe rape is any worse than any other serious physical assault, which is obviously something on which other people’s mileage varies a great deal.

Our campus had one of those escort programs like Rex was describing, run by the AFROTC. It only ran till 1, though, and personally I’d rather take my chances alone than walk through some isolated area with a man I don’t know. That’s just me, though, and ymmv.

I don’t worry much about being alone, either at home or out and about. I don’t do stuff that I know to be stupid, and try not be an easy mark, but I don’t feel the need to keep the doors locked all the time. I lock up at night, and leave the dog unkenneled when Dr.J is on overnight call, but that’s really about it.

Personally, I worry more about someone trying to take the dogs out of the way than I do about myself. We had some assholes who were trying to harrass Mom into dropping charges against a friend of their’s drug our dog one night and try to break in. A few weeks later we found him with a bullet in his head.

I’m a vet tech. I’ve seen the horrible stuff people do to dogs for various reasons, and I’ve seen the terrible, agonizing deaths they can cause. It would be bad enough to be attacked, but to wonder the whole time if one my sweet girls is outside dying a horrible death because of me would be pure hell on earth.

I think all violence is wrong, and all types of violence is traumatic to the victim. That was what I meant to correct. I do believe women have an additional risk. We’re more likely to be raped than men. But again, all violence is wrong and traumatic.