If I were a boy I wouldn’t be writing this.
If I were a boy I wouldn’t have to text my friends as soon as I got home.
This is not something I would usually write about, but it is something that is on my mind everyday and it effects my decisions and subsequently my life. For as long as I can remember I have been told to “walk home with a friend”, to “text as soon as I walk through the door”, “to be careful” and “to be on my guard”. Incase of attack. Our lives as women are apparently made up of a series of decisions and choices that could go well as long as a man doesn’t rape us.
I just watched the Game of Thrones episode (spoiler alert) where Sansa Stark is raped. I am a huge GoT fan, but the entire Sansa storyline from series 1 to present day has been plagued with the question “Who will rape Sansa Stark?” Will it be King Joffrey? A dwarf? A peasant or Lord Baelish? I hated it and dare I say it, now it has happened I feel relieved. Relieved it will no longer be hanging over me. This, plus the recent story of a woman who got rewarded £500 for attacking her attacker has made me really mad. I am so mad that I have to worry about rape every time I leave the house.
Since becoming a mother I don’t get to go out much, but this week I got invited to a dinner with some girlfriends and I will have to catch the train after 7pm to the destination. My gal pal invited me to said event and in the invite I was promised a buddy system escort service to and from the station. This is not because I am a weirdo who doesn’t like to go out at night or I cannot walk by myself, this is just how women have to make plans. If we want a rape free night – we have to have plans in place.
I cannot help, but think that if I were a boy I wouldn’t have to make these decisions, I wouldn’t have to make these plans and no, I don’t believe every man is leaving the house with rape on their mind, but why do I and every woman I know carry the burden that they might?